Apple fixes major bugs in iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS software updates

An iPad with the screen on
Enlarge / The 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Samuel Axone

Today, Apple released several new operating system updates to the public: iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4, tvOS 15.3, and HomePod Software 15.3.

The patch notes for these builds are some of the meagerest I’ve seen. iOS, iPadOS and macOS simply state that the update “includes bug fixes and security updates” and is “recommended for all users”.

iOS and iPadOS 15.3 do not add any new user-facing features. On the contrary, they fix several key security issues. Most notable is a zeroday vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild. Tracked as CVE-2022-22587, the threat stems from a memory corruption bug in IOMobileFrameBuffer. Hackers who successfully exploit the bug can run malicious code with kernel privileges on vulnerable devices. The vulnerability also resides in macOS Monterey.

“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” Apple said in Wednesday’s release notes.

Apple also patched a previously reported Safari vulnerability that allowed websites using the common IndexedDB API to access database names from other websites. Note that this also affected other browsers on iOS and not just Safari (this is because all iOS web browsers must use WebKit). macOS 12.2 fixes the same bug in the desktop version of Safari. (Unlike iOS, some macOS web browsers were not affected.)

For the full list of security updates in iOS and iPadOS, visit Apple’s support page on the subject. There is also a similar page for macOS.

macOS 12.2 also makes Apple Music fully native and AppKit-based in macOS, and the update improves scrolling smoothness in Safari on Mac with 120Hz ProMotion displays.

As for the Apple Watch update, it’s all about bug fixes again. Specifically, watchOS 8.4 fixes a widespread issue that prevented some Apple Watch Series 7 owners from being able to properly charge the device from certain chargers.

Apple TV and HomePod software updates also arrived today. HomePod 15.3 update “adds Siri voice recognition support for up to six users in a home in English (India) and Italian (Italy)” as well as “performance and stability improvements “. The HomePod mini was launched in Italy and India late last year.

Apple hasn’t released any details about the tvOS update, but that update likely also offered performance and stability improvements under the hood.

Apple has also been busy outside of software updates this week. For months, users have been complaining to app developers about iCloud sync issues accompanied by error messages that read “The request failed with HTTP status code 503”. Developers were quick to recognize that this was an issue on Apple’s side, although many users assumed the blame was on the developers.

Now the developers are say on twitter and elsewhere that the iCloud Sync bug seems to be fixed. Apple has yet to issue a public statement on this, however.

All of the aforementioned software updates are available for all supported devices starting today.

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