Apple’s Updated iOS, iPadOS and macOS Sonoma – And It’s a Good Idea To Upgrade

Apple’s Updated iOS, iPadOS and macOS Sonoma – And It’s a Good Idea To Upgrade

Your iPhone, iPad and your Mac are ready for their updates now – here’s what’s new and what you should do before upgrading.

Overnight, Apple released point updates for both iOS and macOS Sonoma, upgrading them to iOS 17.1.2 and macOS Sonoma 14.1.2 respectively.

Point updates are rarely the ones where you see huge new features being implemented, but that doesn’t make them unimportant, because they’re often the areas where companies address underlying bugs that could affect performance, or security issues that could affect privacy and, well, security issues.

Apple’s always notably a touch coy about absolute details on security bugs, and that’s typically because like every other tech manufacturer, there’s a delicate balancing act between making it clear that a problem is (hopefully) solved and giving too many details away that could compromise the security of as-yet-unpatched devices.

If you want a taste of irony given how they fight it out in the smartphone space, it’s worth noting that all the issues Apple does talk about across both iOS/iPadOS and macOS Sonoma appear to have been noted specifically by Google security researchers.

Which devices can get the iOS and macOS Sonoma updates?

Apple lists the following devices as being capable of taking the iOS/iPadOS 17.1.2 update:

  • iPhone XS and later
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd generation and later
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 11-inch 1st generation and later
  • iPad Air 3rd generation and later
  • iPad 6th generation and later
  • iPad mini 5th generation and later

While on the Sonoma front, it’s any Mac that can run macOS Sonoma, which is as follows:

  • iMac 2019 and later
  • Mac Pro 2019 and later
  • iMac Pro 2017
  • Mac Studio 2022 and later
  • MacBook Air 2018 and later
  • Mac mini 2018 and later
  • MacBook Pro 2018 and later

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS/iPadOS 17.1.2

In most cases, you technically don’t have to do much at all; if Automatic Updates are enabled on your iPhone or iPad, it will generally try to run those updates overnight for most users.

However, if you’ve got them disabled, you may find that the update hasn’t been applied yet. Often when I’m asked about issues with iPhones or iPads, the second step I take (after the old reliable reboot, which fixes many a woe) is to check that it’s up to date with the latest version of iOS available to it. It’s why it’s a generally good idea to update when you can.

Force updating is feasible, and quite easy. Open up Settings, open up General and tap on Software Update. Your iPhone or iPad will then ping Apple’s servers to see if there’s an available update, and advise you if it’s available.

Bear in mind that the upgrade will take some time depending on your network connection and whether Apple’s servers are being hammered at that time. It’s a good idea to keep your device plugged in so it doesn’t go flat while it’s waiting, and remember that the reboot period will involve a non-responsive device – so don’t start the process just before that vital phone call you need to make!

How to update your Mac to MacOS Sonoma 14.1.2

Steve Jobs shows off an iMac in 1998. (Photo: Reddit user: Lakailb87, Other)
Not so much THIS Mac, though (Photo: Reddit user: Lakailb87, Other)

It’s broadly the same story on the macOS Sonoma side of the fence. Open up Settings, then General and then Software Update. Often you won’t even need to do this step, as macOS is a little more pushy in terms of notifications about needed updates, and you may see a message in Settings or if you click on the Apple icon at the top left letting you know there’s an update to be applied.

Again, this will involve a reboot and offline period while it updates. I recommend coffee in these circumstances, but also not doing so if there’s vital work to be done.

While issues are rare, it’s a good idea on a Mac to ensure that your backups are up-to-date before updating, just in case.

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