Enlarge / The iPhone 12 mini.
Today, Apple released new versions of its iOS and iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, and watchOS 7 operating systems. The updates came just a day before Apple is expected to reveal its new iPhone and Apple Watch models and the release dates for iOS 15 and watchOS 8.
Whether we’re talking about iOS, macOS, or watchOS, these are security updates across the board. They don’t add any new features or functionality at all.
Specifically, two main issues have been addressed on Apple platforms, one with Core Graphics and the other with WebKit. In both cases, malicious content (PDF or web content) could be used to execute arbitrary code. Apple also says that these updates fix an issue that allowed attackers to bypass Apple’s protections aimed at stopping code execution through messages.
The updates are labeled iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, watchOS 7.6.2, and macOS Big Sur 11.6.
Apple does not typically release security updates in a version 14.x rather than 14.xx format. Typically, updates with a decimal point add new functionality in addition to fixing bugs or security vulnerabilities.
These updates are the first to Apple’s operating systems in several weeks, but they will likely be the last during this annual cycle. The company will likely announce the release dates for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 during its live streaming event tomorrow.
Those updates will introduce numerous new features that were already announced at the company’s developer conference in June, although already, some of the features that were announced for the iOS 15 release have been postponed for later updates in the iOS 15 cycle.