Apple’s latest iOS, watchOS, and macOS updates are more urgent than they seem
July 22, 2022 July 22, 2022
Apple this week released OS updates for all of its devices, likely the final ones to appear before the new versions land in the fall. On the surface, they seem quite minor, with very few new features to speak of, but that doesn’t mean you should drag your feet on updating.
The new OS updates are iOS 15.6, iPadOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 Monterey, watchOS 8.7, and tvOS 15.6. The only new feature people might notice is in the TV app, where Apple has added the option to restart, pause, rewind, or fast-forward when watching live sports, namely Friday Night Baseball. There’s also a new toggle to turn off Test Emergency Alerts in the U.S.
Otherwise, there are a few specific bug fixes, including one where a Safari tab reverts back to a previous page and an iOS issue that caused braille devices to slow down or stop responding when in the Mail app.
But the main reason to update immediately is security. There are dozens of updates this round, several of which are critical:
iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6: 37 updates
macOS Monterey 12.5: 50 updates
watchOS 8.7: 26 updates
tvOS 15.6: 27 updates
macOS Big Sur 11.6.8: 29 updates
Security Update 2022-005 Catalina: 36 updates
That’s a lot of updates, and even though many many obviously overlap between the systems, each contains some that are unique to the specific update. Even Safari got three security updates on its own. You can see all of them on Apple’s support page.
The security updates span the whole system, from the Apple File System to iCloud Photo Library, the Neural Engine, GPU drivers, and WebKit. Several of them could allow for root privileges or arbitrary code exaction, which is as severe as it gets.
Plus these updates are likely the last to arrive before the new OSes land in the fall, so if you have an iPhone or iPad that isn’t compatible with the upcoming iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 update, you probably won’t be getting another update for a while (if ever), so make sure this one is installed ASAP. And it’s not just the iPhone—there’s a very good change the Apple Watch Series 3 will never get another update either. Older Macs will still receive regular security updates, but they might not arrive as frequently.
So you’ll want to install this one. To update your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, head over to the Settings app, then General (iPhone or iPad) or System (Apple TV) and Software Update. On the Mac, go to System Preferences, then Software Update. To update the Apple Watch, you’ll need to go to General then Software Update in the Watch app on your iPhone.