Apple has released iOS 15.4.1 and iPadOS 15.4.1 updates for its devices in just over a fortnight after the debut of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The new software versions fix battery drain issues that were introduced with the release of the previous iOS and iPadOS updates. Alongside the iOS 15.4.1 and iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple has released HomePod 15.4.1 update to fix an issue related to Siri. Apple Watch users have also received watchOS 8.5.1 as a minor update that brings a series of security fixes. Similarly, Mac users have got macOS Monterey 12.3.1 with fixes to address issues with Bluetooth and external display connections.
Last month, Apple introduced iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 that started causing battery draining issues to some users. User reports surfaced online had suggested that the issues were reducing battery life on the iPhone 13 Pro Max for some users to half a day, while the iPhone 11 models for some users were losing 80 percent of the battery in 24 hours. Apple has addressed these concerns by introducing iOS 15.4.1 and iPadOS 15.4.1 that includes fixes for the issues causing the batteries to drain more quickly than expected, as per the official release notes.
In addition to the battery drain problems, iOS 15.4.1 and iPadOS 15.4.1 fix a bug that was causing braille devices to become unresponsive while navigating text or displaying an alert. The updates also address a problem related to Made for iPhone and Made for iPad hearing devices that were becoming unresponsive with some third-party apps.
Separately, iOS 15.4.1 and iPadOS 15.4.1 fix a security issue within the AppleAVD media decoder that would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Apple has mentioned that the zero-day vulnerability might be “actively exploited” by some attackers in the wild. It is impacting devices, namely iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and the iPod touch (7th generation).
Alongside the latest iOS and iPadOS releases, Apple has brought HomePod Software Version 15.4.1 that fixes an issue causing some HomeKit-enabled accessories to fail to respond when controlled via Siri. The update also includes bug fixes for the HomePod devices, the company said in its changelog.
Apple has also released watchOS 8.5.1 as a minor update to watchOS 8.5. The new software version carries security updates and bug fixes for compatible Apple Watch models, the company said. However, exact details about the security updates and fixes are yet to be revealed.
Mac users have received macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update that addresses a problem causing Bluetooth devices such as game controllers to disconnect after playing audio through some Beats headphones. The update also fixes an issue that was resulting in the USB-C or Thunderbolt external display to not turn on when connected to Mac mini (2018) as a second display.
The new macOS Monterey release also fixes the issue that was causing some 2021 MacBook Pro models to not update or restore to macOS Monterey 12.3, Apple said in its release notes.
Additionally, the macOS 12.3.1 release carries two security fixes. One of them is for the zero-day vulnerability related to the AppleAVD media decoder that also existed for iOS and iPadOS users. The software update also patches a security loophole that existed within the Intel Graphics Driver and could allow an attacker to gain access to kernel memory.
Apple said that it was aware that both issues might have been actively exploited.
You can download iOS 15.4.1 or iPadOS 15.4.1 on your device by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The updates are available for all the devices that are running a recent version of iOS 15 or iPadOS 15.
The updates will also reach your devices automatically if you have enabled the auto-update feature. However, Apple normally delays seeding updates to devices set on auto-update.
Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi apparently confirmed in a response to a Reddit user the delay in automatic updates. The executive said in his purported response, which has been shown in a screenshot, that the company delays automatic updates by one to four weeks after receiving user feedback and makes its software updates first available to users who go with the manual method.
Federighi's purported response doesn't give any clarity on why Apple does so. However, it could be due to two reasons. Firstly, the delay would help the company to not put a massive strain on its servers for seeding software updates simultaneously to a large number of devices. Secondly, it may help reduce the impact of any bugs that an update might include.
Unlike the case of iPhone and iPad devices, Apple pushes software updates to HomePod and HomePod mini automatically. You can, though, check for HomePod Software Version 15.4.1 for your device by going to Home Settings > Software Update from the Home app. Make sure that your connected Apple device is running the latest software version.
You can download watchOS 8.5.1 on the Apple Watch Series 3 and above by going through General > Software Update on the Watch app on your iPhone. Alternatively, you can download the update directly from your Apple Watch if it's connected to Wi-Fi, by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Apple has released macOS Monterey 12.3.1 for all eligible MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. You can manually check for the update by going to System Preferences > Software Update after clicking on the Apple menu icon from the top-left corner of your computer's screen. You can also alternatively get the update by visiting the About This Mac setting from the Apple menu.