Apple has been releasing software updates for iPhones and iPads at such a torrential pace that some users may think the new iOS 10.2.1 update is an insignificant one. Instead of introducing new features, the update focuses on bug fixes and security improvements. The Cupertino company has also released software updates for Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users.
iOS 10.2.1 fixes over a dozen security flaws
Though the iOS 10.2.1 may not seem like an important update, you should download and install it at the earliest. It is about 72MB in size. The update protects your iPhone or iPad against more than a dozen devastating vulnerabilities. As many as 11 vulnerabilities are related to WebKit, the software behind the App Store, Safari, and many other iOS apps. A total of nine flaws were reported by Google’s Project Zero researchers.
One of the flaws in the web browser included a malicious website able to open pop-ups that could give hackers access to your device. In two other instances, a malicious application could take complete control of your iPhone or iPad by executing arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Malwarebytes senior security researcher JP Taggart told Wired that it could record conversations, add files, delete files, install additional malware, or execute any other actions.
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It’s available for iPhone 5 and later
You can download and install the iOS 10.2.1 update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The Cupertino company released the first beta of iOS 10.2.1 on December 14, followed by the second beta on December 20, third beta on January 9, and the fourth beta on January 12. The update is available for the iPhone 5 and later, iPad 4th generation and later, and iPod Touch 6th generation and later.
It is unclear at this point whether the update contains a fix for the 30% bug that causes the iPhones to go from 30% battery charge to 1% abruptly.
iOS 10.3 to be a much bigger release
Another bug that Apple patched with the update is related to Auto Unlock. The bug unlocks your iPhones when the Apple Watch is off your wrist. Apple has also fixed a Contacts bug that might lead the Contacts app to crash. A WiFi vulnerability that might be exploited to briefly display the home screen on an activation-locked device has also been fixed.
The iOS 10.2.1 is a security update, but Apple is gearing up to release the iOS 10.3 next month that will be a much bigger release. It is expected to come with a new ‘Theater Mode’ that will optimize the video watching experience by muting the notifications and dimming the screen. It is believed to be an enhanced version of the Dark Mode. Users will reportedly be able to control the Theater Mode using a popcorn-shaped icon in the Control Center.