Apple Device Critical Update


Apple Device Critical Update:

Apple released new versions of iOS, WatchOS, iPadOS and macOS just as they were announcing the newest iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches in September 2021. Apple notes these updates as critical, so if you have an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac (iMac, Mac, Macbook), then you need to update asap. For those with Apple TV boxes, the latest update was released in July 2021.

For iPhones, the current version is 14.8, although version 15 will be available on September 20th. You can choose to update to iOS 15 or not, but even if you don’t, you should still take the update to 14.8. To update your iPhone, tap Settings > General > Software Update and follow the on-screen prompts. This update will take a good 20 minutes or more, and for most of that time your iPhone will not be usable. Best also to have the iPhone plugged into electrical power during the update.


For Apple Watches, update after your connected iPhone has already been updated, and use the Watch app > General > Software Update. The current version is 7.6.2.


For iPads, update by tapping Settings > General > Software Update and following the on-screen prompts. The current version is 14.8 (version 15 coming out September 20, 2021).

For Macs, click the apple icon in the top-left > About this Mac > and click the Software Update button, then follow the on-screen prompts. The latest version is 11.6 (Big Sur). Apple did release updates to older versions of macOS, including Catalina and Mojave.


So why are these updates critical? In a word, security. All software is imperfect, and as bad guys find and exploit vulnerabilities and other imperfections, software developers issue updates to patch and fix those vulnerabilities and imperfections. Just because Apple has a good reputation for security doesn’t mean they don’t have to deal with this problem. And so do all users of their products, e.g., you and me.

If you’re interested, one of the particular vulnerabilities being patched involves a maliciously-crafted PDF that can bypass Apple’s security to execute code on your device. Other vulnerabilities being patched can infect your device without you having to do anything at all. So that’s why you should be installing these updates immediately.

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