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 update notes for these releases are some of the leanest 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. Rather, they fix several key security issues. The 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 the IOMobileFrameBuffer. Hackers who successfully exploit the bug can execute 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 that use the common IndexedDB API to access the names of databases from other websites. Note that this also affected other browsers on iOS and not just Safari (that’s because all iOS web browsers must use WebKit). macOS 12.2 fixes the same bug in the desktop version of Safari. (Unlike iOS, there are macOS web browsers that were not affected.)
macOS 12.2 also finally makes Apple Music fully native and AppKit-based in macOS, and the update improves the smoothness of scrolling in Safari on Macs with 120 Hz 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.
Updates to the Apple TV and HomePod software also hit today. The HomePod 15.3 update “adds Siri voice recognition support for up to six users in a home in English (India) and Italian (Italy)” plus “performance and stability improvements.” The HomePod mini launched in both Italy and India late last year.
Apple didn’t publish any details about the tvOS update, but that update likely offered performance and stability improvements under the hood, too.
Apple has been busy outside the realm of software updates this week as well. For months, users have been complaining to app developers about iCloud syncing issues accompanied by error messages that say, “request failed with HTTP Status Code 503.” Developers quickly recognized that this was a problem on Apple’s end, even as many users assumed the fault was the developers’.
Now, developers are saying on Twitter and elsewhere that the iCloud Sync bug seems to be fixed. Apple hasn’t yet released a public statement on it, though.
All of the aforementioned software updates are available to all supported devices starting today.