Apple releases first ‘rapid security response’ iOS update: What to know

(NEXSTAR) – If you’re using an iPhone or other iOS device, you might want to download Apple’s latest software update right away.

On Monday, the tech giant launched Rapid Security Responses, which aim to “deliver important security improvements between software updates.”

“They deliver important security improvements between software updates — for example, improvements to the Safari web browser, the WebKit framework stack, or other critical system libraries,” Apple explains. “They can also be used to more quickly mitigate certain security issues, such as issues that may have been exploited or reported to exist” in the wild. “

Apple initially announced the rapid security responses last year, according to The Verge. Not only are updates intended to target important security fixes, but they’re also supposed to be faster to install than standard iOS updates.

However, they are still found where traditional iOS updates are – under Settings, then General and Software Update. Mac users will find Updates under the Apple menu, then System Settings, General, and Software Update.

According to Apple, these rapid security response updates are applied to iPhones, iPads, and Macs automatically by default. If an update is necessary, your device will notify you by restarting your device.

Apple uses messaging to show the difference between standard iOS updates and Rapid Security Response updates. Once the QR is applied, a letter will appear after the software is released. Here is an example of Monday’s update:

Apple released its first Rapid Security Response update, which can be seen here. (Ady Pink / Nexstar)

While the message about 16.4.1(a) says it addresses “important security fixes and is recommended for all users,” Apple has not released security notes describing exactly the goals of the update.

Rapid Security Response updates are only available for the latest versions of iOS (16.4.1), iPadOS (16.4.1), and macOS (13.3.1).

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