APPLE has rolled out an urgent software update that fixes a critical security flaw in the iPhone operating system.
The free iOS 15.2.1 upgrade also includes vital bug fixes for iMessage and CarPlay – Apple’s system that allows you to view content from your mobile on your vehicle’s built-in display.
What bugs does iOS 15.2.1 fix?
The minor update, which rolled out worldwide on Wednesday, mends several bugs and vulnerabilities in the iPhone software.
One denial-of-service (DoS) flaw fixed by Apple is dubbed “doorLock” and can cause iOS devices to crash.
According to security researcher Trevor Spiniolas, who unearthed the bug, it can cause iPhones to falter after connecting to an Apple Home-compatible appliance.
“This bug poses a significant risk to the data of iOS users, but the public can protect themselves from the worst of its effects by disabling Home devices in control center in order to protect local data,” Spiniolas said in his report.
Apple said that today’s update also includes bug fixes for CarPlay as well as sharing photos via Messages.
According to Apple, third-party apps that connected to CarPlay were on occasion not responding to input.
What was new in iOS 15.2
Wednesday’s update is a minor tweak to iOS 15.2 – a major update for iPhones users that added a handful of new features in addition to security and bug fixes.
Among the tools added to iPhones worldwide was Apple’s long-awaited App Privacy Report, which is available in your settings.
It gives users an overview of what information their apps have access to and what they’re sharing.
For instance, the report shows the number of times an app has accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more.
To find out who your data might be shared with, you can also view which other web domains the app is contacting.
It’s designed to give users a better idea of exactly who is seeing the data collected by their favourite apps.
But that’s not all that iOS 15.2 has to offer.
The update also adds features designed to protect kids from paedophiles.
Apple will now scan Messages for possible naked shots sent to and from a device and blur them from sight.
A button allowing them to contact their parents within Messages about possible pervs will also be shown.
Following the update, your iPhone will now warn you if you were scammed while getting your device repaired.
People sometimes go for cheap high street repair shops and even try to do DIY fixes by buying components on eBay, but these might not be approved bits of kit.
In iOS 15.2, you’ll be able to see whether genuine Apple parts were used.
With the update installed, you can go to Settings > General > About to see the parts and service history of your iPhone.
An Unknown Part warning appears next to anything Apple deems “nongenuine”.
This will also show up if it was already used or installed in another iPhone.
The same goes if that particular part isn’t working properly too.
What iPhones are compatible with iOS 15.2.1?
The update is available to anyone with an iPhone 6S and later, as well as 7th generation iPod touch owners.
If you’re using an iPhone that can’t update to iOS 15.2.1, it’s important that you consider upgrading.
Moving to a newer iPhone means you’ll be able to get the latest security updates.
Using older models that can’t update with the latest security fixes is a major risk – and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
How to update to iOS 15.2.1
If you have a compatible device and your iPhone hasn’t automatically updated then you can download iOS 15.2.1 by following a few simple steps.
Before you get started, make sure your iPhone is backed up and that you’re connected to WiFi.
Open Settings, tap “General” and then “Software Update”.
The update may appear on the screen if it’s ready for your phone and you can tap “Install Now” to get it.
In other news, personalised smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers this year.
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Police have caught an Italian mafia henchman who’d be on the run for 20 years after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.
And, one of the best-preserved fossils ever found has confirmed that young dinosaurs burst from their shells just like baby birds.
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