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What’s in iOS 15.3.1 and macOS 12.2.1? Here’s what Apple’s iPhone and Mac updates do


A 14-inch laptop on a table
Enlarge / The 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Samuel Axon

Apple has released updates for iOS/iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS that primarily address bugs and security vulnerabilities.

iOS 15.3.1 is a minor update, feature-wise, for most users. It fixes a problem with Braille displays and addresses an arbitrary code execution vulnerability.

Apple’s iOS update notes are as follows

iOS 15.3.1 provides important security updates for your iPhone and fixes an issue that may cause Braille displays to stop responding.

Additionally, Apple has published information about the security updates on its support website:

WebKit

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.

Description: A use after free issue was addressed with improved memory management.

CVE-2022-22620: an anonymous researcher

Meanwhile, macOS Monterey 12.2.1 mainly fixes a bug that could cause Macs to unexpectedly drain battery. Here are the update notes:

macOS 12.2.1 provides important security updates and fixes an issue for Intel-based Mac computers that may cause the battery to drain during sleep when connected to Bluetooth peripherals.

The bug received some press attention a couple of weeks back, with users claiming that their MacBook batteries would drain to zero or close to it even when the laptops were in sleep mode and weren’t being used.

The behavior occurred because Bluetooth accessories were repeatedly waking up Macs to which they were synced, but Apple says it has fixed the issue with this update. macOS 12.2.1 also addresses the same WebKit problem that iOS 15.3.1 does.

Apple also released watchOS 8.4.2 for the Apple Watch today but simply says that the update fixes bugs and provides security updates without going into further detail on either.

All of these updates are available to supported devices right now. They come about two weeks after Apple pushed out iOS 15.3, watchOS 8.4, and macOS 12.2, which were also focused on bug fixes and security updates.



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