Just as all eyes are on iOS 17 and it’s coming out, Apple suddenly released a new update for iOS 16 today. It’s probably one of the last updates to iOS 16, not least because it’s not a full release. Could there be an iOS 16.6.2? Never say never, but unless there’s a Rapid Securit Response, I think it probably is.
Here’s what’s in today’s release.
Which iPhones can run iOS 16.6.1?
This may be the last update that will apply to iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. That’s because the next release we expect to see is for iOS 17, which works for iPhone Xs and above. For now, Apple is running iOS 16.6.1 on all iPhones from the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X onwards, and this update includes features relevant to all of these handsets.
How to get it
Updating is easy, as you know by now. Open the Settings app, click General, then Software Update. Then select Download and Install and you’ll be worth gold in no time: This is a small to medium update of just 248MB on my iPhone 14 Pro Max.
What’s in the release
The last full-point release was iOS 16.6, released on July 24, 2023. There are no new features in this update, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. It is important.
Apple’s notes talk about two elements, both of which are security elements that will be fixed, if all goes according to plan.
First, there’s ImageIO, the bit of code that means apps can read and write image file formats. It also provides access to the metadata associated with an image.
This may have already been exploited, Apple says, noting that the fix came “by addressing a buffer overflow issue to improve memory handling.”
Second, and this is the issue that will make users’ hearts beat faster, it is a security issue that affects the Wallet app. Again, this may have already been exploited in the real world, Apple acknowledges. It appears it was related to a validation issue and was “addressed with improved logic.” Well, from Aristotle onward, we could all use some of that.
Wallet is such an important part of the iPhone that it is very concerning to have any doubts about it. So it’s good that it’s being addressed to say the least.
Next, it will really be iOS 17, I predict, and you can rest assured that the issues mentioned here will be baked into iOS 17, if necessary, as I write this. And while this update has nothing new in store, the range of updates for the next software is dizzying. You can find out exactly when we can expect iOS 17 on general release here, but I’m pretty sure it’s in the week starting Monday, September 18.