Apple made iOS 15.3 available to all compatible iPhone models Monday. The update squashes at least one bug that recently made headlines. But there are no new features.
Why iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 are a big deal
The release notes for the just-launched operating systems make the lack of new features clear. “iOS 15.3 includes bug fixes and security updates for your iPhone and is recommended for all users,” they say. The iPad version says the same, simply subbing in “iPadOS 15.3” and “iPad.”
But iPhone and iPad users should install these updates anyway. The new versions include a fix for a nasty WebKit bug that allows websites to view iPhone and iPad users’ browsing habits and Google account details. The bug affects Apple’s Safari browser on all devices, as well as third-party browsers on iPhones and iPads.
Still, it’s a bit surprising that a simple bug-fix update got as big a change in version number as this one. Normally, if bug fixes but no additional features were added to the previous iOS 15.2.1, the newest version would be iOS 15.2.2, not iOS 15.3.
How to install the iOS and iPad OS updates
iPhone or iPad users can install iOS 15.3 or iPadOS 15.3 by connecting the device to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes. Alternatively, an over-the-air update is also possible. That’s accomplished by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update.
Looking ahead, Apple has almost certainly already begun work on iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The first betas for these should go out within days.