Today, Apple released updates to the operating systems behind all its most popular devices—including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Apple computers—and although the company often updates its operating systems with minor changes or fixes, these may be more pressing. Apple doesn’t provide specific information on the vulnerabilities it’s discovered in its operating systems, so as to not alert hackers to the issues, but as Wired points out, each operating system’s fixes involve removing an attacker’s ability to “execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges”—essentially being able to take control of the device running that system.
The updates affect the following:
- all models of the Apple Watch
- the newest generation of the Apple TV
- iPhone 5 models and newer
- fourth-generation iPads and newer
- six-generation iPod Touches and newer
- any computers running macOS Sierra
Apple also released updates for its Safari web browser, and the Windows versions of its iCloud and iTunes software—all of which have similar security issues.
The software update also includes a fix that Apple developed in response to Consumer Reports‘ decision to not recommend the new MacBook Pro laptops for the first time since the line started. Before the software update, Consumer Reports had been seeing wildly different battery lives between charges, ranging from about three hours worth of charge, up to nearly 20. For MacBook Pro owners experiencing this inconsistency, today’s software updates will hopefully come as an added bonus.
How to update:
On iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch: Open Settings > General > Software Update
On a Mac computer: On top-left of the screen, click > About This Mac > Software Update…
On an Apple TV: Open Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software
On an Apple Watch: On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch App > General > Software Update > Download