Apple fixes security vulnerabilities and bugs with iOS and macOS updates [Updated]


Apple goes on bug hunt with new iOS 16.4.1 update
iOS 16.4.1 is ready for your iPhone. And there are macOS and iPadOS updates, too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone, Mac and iPad users got fresh operating system updates on Friday. iOS 16.4.1, macOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 fix a smattering of bugs on the devices — including some security vulnerabilities that Apple admits may have been exploited — but there are no new features.

At this time, there are no equivalent updates for Apple Watch or Apple TV.

Squash those bugs!

Apple introduced iOS 16.4 and the iPad equivalent, along with macOS Ventura 13.3, on March 27. These added new emoji, Voice Isolation for phone calls and other enhancements. As usually happens, significant OS upgrades are followed by bug-fix updates.

The official release notes for the iOS version released Friday fix a problem with the new Pushing Hands emoji, and Siri occasionally being unresponsive. It’s not yet known if iOS 16.4 takes care of the battery drain problem in the previous version.

The release notes for the latest macOS update say it removes a bug where “Auto Unlock your Mac with Apple Watch may not work,” and it takes care of the same emoji problem.

Despite the thin list of changes, iOS 16.4.1, macOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 are recommended for all users ASAP due to the security updates they include.

Security updates in iOS 16.4.1, macOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1

Apple’s security notes on today’s updates pinpoint problems with the company’s IOSurfaceAccelerator and WebKit frameworks.

The IOSurfaceAccelator vulnerability meant “an app may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.” And the WebKit problem meant “processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution.”

Both security updates include the fact that “Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”

A related update released today for Apple’s Safari web browser also addresses the WebKit problem.

How to install iOS 16.4.1, macOS Ventura 13.3.1, iPadOS 16.4.1

iPhone and iPad users can install the new iOS and iPadOS versions directly by by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update. Alternatively, the update can also be accomplished by connecting the device to a Mac, or to a PC running iTunes.

To download the macOS Ventura update, 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 in the App Store. But it should happen soon.)

What’s next for iOS, macOS and iPadOS?

Looking ahead, Apple already has iOS 16.5 and macOS 13.4 in beta testing. These aren’t expected for weeks, though, and offer only a few tweaks. The focus is already on the major upgrades to be announced at WWDC23 in June.

Note: We updated this post to include information on the security content of today’s Apple updates.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.