Apple’s latest update for its devices doesn’t have any new features, but it does fix serious security issues with WebKit. Here’s why it’s important.
Apple is rolling out a new security update for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch — and it’s one that everyone should download as soon as they can. While this latest round of updates doesn’t add new features to Apple’s devices, it does fix a serious security vulnerability that shouldn’t be left untouched.
This update was announced just a few days after Apple released iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.4. These updates added a few smaller features to Apple’s product lineup, including things like App Tracking Transparency, the ability to unlock an iPhone with a connected Apple Watch, and a big redesign of the Apple Podcasts app. Now that those updates have been released and made available to the public, Apple is rolling out this security-focused update to patch a bug that it missed the first time around.
For iPhones and iPads, users should soon get updates for iOS 14.5.1 and iPadOS 14.5.1, respectively. For Mac users, they’ll be getting an update to macOS Big Sur 11.3.1. These updates come with the same two fixes, both of which are focused on Apple’s WebKit platform. Apple’s support pages note that the issue stems from “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.” Apple issued two fixes for this vulnerability, including a “memory corruption issue” that was patched with improved state management, in addition to an “integer overflow” that was “addressed with improved input validation.” With the watchOS 7.4.1 update, Apple only needed to address the memory corruption issue.
WebKit Powers Safari And Other iPhone Browsers
For those that may not be familiar, WebKit is essentially the backbone that powers Apple’s Safari web browser. If someone uses Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, WebKit is the engine powering everything. WebKit is also used for third-party browsers on iOS and iPadOS, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and others. It’s a critically important component that needs to be operating at peak performance at all times. If Apple discovers any vulnerabilities that can negatively impact WebKit, it’s important that updates and released and installed as soon as possible.
The good news is that Apple has already made these updates available for everyone to download and install. On an iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app, tap ‘General,’ and then tap ‘Software Update.’ For Mac, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner, click ‘About This Mac,’ and then click ‘Software Update.’ Finally, for the Apple Watch, open the Watch app on its paired iPhone, tap ‘General,’ and tap ‘Software Update.’
Next: All The New iPhone Features In iOS 14.5
Allow Apps To Request To Track: Apple’s Warning Explained & How To Enable
About The Author