Monday, 27 January 2020 22:55

Apple releases iOS 13.3.1 and macOS Catalina 10.15.3

Today, Apple released updates for its operating systems for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, Mac, HomePod, and Apple TV devices. iOS 13.3.1 is the most substantial of the updates, but they are all incremental updates that fix bugs or address user complaints or privacy concerns.

iOS 13.3.1 adds a new feature to toggle on or off the U1 ultra-wide band chip contained in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. This is in response to recent consumer concerns about the fact that international regulations affecting ultra-wide band devices that required the phones to check their location periodically even if users had disabled location services for all of their apps individually. Security experts observed that Apple did not seem to be collecting any user data, but the company promised under this scrutiny to offer a toggle in a future software update (this one, now) that would allow users to bypass the problem by disabling the U1 chip altogether. The U1 is currently used for the AirDrop file-sharing feature, but it may find other applications in future versions of iOS.

Additional changes in iOS 13.3.1 and iPadOS 13.3.1 include a fix for a problem, whereby the recently added Communication Limits feature could be circumvented, and a number of bug fixes and improvements for Mail.

Beyond the iPhone and iPad, the software releases we saw today were small in scope. macOS Catalina 10.15.3 "improves the stability, reliability, and security of your Mac," and it contains only two specifically noted changes: an optimization to how SDR content is handled when working on the new Pro Display XDR monitor, and improved performance for multi-stream video editing on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Apple has not specifically singled out any new changes in watchOS 6.1.2 or tvOS 13.3.1 (both of which are also available today). The company was content to simply claim that watchOS 6.1.2 offers important security updates.

Apple also released iOS 12.4.5 with bug fixes and improvements for devices that are not supported by iOS 13 and its subsequent updates.

iOS 13.3.1 release notes:

iOS 13.3.1 includes bug fixes and improvements. This update:

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

iPadOS 13.3.1 release notes

iPadOS 13.3.1 includes bug fixes and improvements. This update:

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

macOS Catalina 10.15.3 release notes

The macOS Catalina 10.15.3 update improves the stability, reliability, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.

watchOS 6.1.2 release notes

This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222