iOS 15.4.1 improves iPhone battery life, macOS 12.3.1 fixes Bluetooth bug


iOS 15.4.1 release improves iPhone battery life, macOS 12.3.1 fixes Bluetooth bug
If you have an Apple device, it probably got an OS update on Thursday.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple introduced bug fix updates for every one of its operating systems on Thursday. These updates should improve the battery life on iPhone and iPad. And for Mac users, the new version fixes well-publicized bugs recently introduced by macOS 12.3.

However, there are no new features in macOS Monterey 12.3.1, iOS 15.4.1, iPadOS 15.4.1, watchOS 8.5.1 and tvOS 15.4.1 — Apple just fixed small problems. All five updates are available to download immediately.

What’s new in iOS 15.4.1 and iPadOS 15.4.1

The official release notes for the latest OS update for iPhone say:

iOS 15.4.1 includes bug fixes and security updates for your iPhone and is recommended for all users.

This update includes the following bug fixes for your iPhone:

  • Battery may drain more quickly than expected after updating to iOS 15.4
  • Braille devices may become unresponsive while navigating text or displaying an alert
  • Made for iPhone hearing devices may lose connection within some third-party apps

The release notes for iPadOS 15.4.1 are nearly identical — just take out “iPhone” and substitute “iPad.”

What’s new in macOS Monterey 12.3.1

The update for Mac is a welcome one because it promises to fix problems users have been experiencing with external monitor and game controllers. The official release notes for the latest macOS release state:

macOS Monterey 12.3.1 includes bug fixes and security updates for your Mac.

This update fixes the following issues: 

  • Some 2021 MacBook Pro models cannot update or restore to macOS Monterey 12.3
  • USB-C or Thunderbolt external display does not turn on when connected to Mac mini (2018) as a second display
  • Bluetooth devices, such as game controllers, may disconnect from your Mac after playing audio through some Beats headphones

What’s new in watchOS 8.5.1 and tvOS 15.4.1?

The release notes for the Apple Watch software update say only, “watchOS 8.5.1 includes security updates and bug fixes for your Apple Watch.”

Currently, there are no release notes for tvOS 15.4.1.

How to install the iOS, iPad OS, macOS and watchOS updates

iPhone or iPad users can install iOS 15.4.1 or iPadOS 15.4.1 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.

Anyone with a compatible Mac can download macOS Monterey 12.3.1 now. Go to Apple menu  > About This Mac. Then click Software Update. Alternatively, you can install the new version from the App Store. (Note: At the time of this writing, Apple had not yet updated the version of macOS Monterey in the App Store. But it should happen soon.)

The watchOS 8.5.1 update can be installed directly onto an Apple Watch, as long as the wearable is connected to Wi-Fi. From the Settings app just navigate to General > Software Update. Alternatively, it can be installed from an iPhone by opening the Apple Watch app and going to My Watch > General > Software Update.



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