Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 16.3, watchOS 9.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2

Apple publishes updates to some of its operating systems. iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS 13.2 get updates. tvOS and HomePod software are not yet updated. Also, no new Xcode is released.

This update also brings iCloud Advanced Data Protection to all users worldwide.

iOS 16.3

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

  • New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month
  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process on new devices
  • Support for HomePod (2nd generation)
  • Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls
  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards
  • Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status
  • Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests
  • Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

iPadOS 16.3

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process on new devices
  • Support for HomePod (2nd generation)
  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards
  • Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

watchOS 9.3

watchOS 9.3 includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, including new Unity Mosaic watch face to honor Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month.

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

macOS Ventura 13.2

This update introduces Security Keys for Apple ID, and includes other enhancements and bug fixes for your Mac.

  • Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key to sign in
  • Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver may stop offering audio feedback while you are typing

Some features may not be available for all regions, or on all Apple devices. For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

Updates to previous platforms

Apple also updates OS releases for devices which could be be updated to latest software. These updates were releases with security fixes:

  • iOS 12.5.7
  • iOS 15.7.3
  • iPadOS 15.7.3
  • macOS Big Sur 11.7.3
  • macOS Monterey 12.6.3

References:

iOS 16.3 and other platforms get Release Candidate

Apple releases RC for iOS/iPadOS 16.3, macOS 13.2 Ventura, watchOS 9.3 and tvOS 16.3. Apple announced that release will be available next week.

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:
- New Unity wallpaper honors Black history and culture in celebration of Black History Month 
- Security Keys for Apple ID allow users to strengthen the security of their account by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process on new devices 
- Support for HomePod (2nd generation) 
- Emergency SOS calls now require holding the side button with the up or down volume button and then releasing in order to prevent inadvertent emergency calls 
- Fixes an issue in Freeform where some drawing strokes created with Apple Pencil or your finger may not appear on shared boards 
- Addresses an issue where the wallpaper may appear black on the Lock Screen 
- Fixes an issue where horizontal lines may temporarily appear while waking up iPhone 14 Pro Max 
- Fixes an issue where the Home Lock Screen widget does not accurately display Home app status 
- Addresses an issue where Siri may not respond properly to music requests 
- Resolves issues where Siri requests in CarPlay may not be understood correctly

Apple

iOS/iPadOS 15.7.3 RC is also released with security bugfixes.

Beta download: Operating Systems

Release notes are not updated for Release Candidate.

References:

Apple publishes beta 2 for iOS 16.3 and other platforms

Apple continues to beta test iOS/iPadOS 16.3, macOS 13.2, watchOS 9.3 and tvOS 16.3. New round of beta versions also comes without new Xcode beta.

No notable changes are reported for this beta round so far.

Beta download: Operating Systems

Release notes notes do not indicate any changes too.

Just yesterday Apple also published new Rapid Security Response to macOS 13.2 beta 1.

References:

Apple developers now should submit annual self-classification report on encryption

Each year during January developers using App Store should submit report on encryption usage in their apps for the past calendar year.

Reports should be emailed to Bureau of Industry and and the ENC Encryption Request Cordinator at crypt-supp8@bis.doc.gov and enc@nsa.gov.

This report must be submitted even if apps only use platform standard encryption components (such as HTTPS connections).

Online tool might be helpful for report generation.

This is unofficial tool

This tool is not created by BIS, NSA or any other government agency. Also, this tool is not provided by any major software vendor.
This site is not affiliated with this tool either.

Tool: BIS Annual Self-Classification Report Generator

Google Home speakers were vulnerable to eavesdropping hackers

Earlier last week, a researcher/programmer/ethical hacker Matt Kunze released a blog post detailing a severe vulnerability of Google smart home speakers that could give hackers remote control over the devices. In his blog post, Matt details how the vulnerability was discovered and then explains in frightening detail exactly how this backdoor could be used to access a wide range of commands and actions using the affected Google speaker.

The potential for attack stemmed from a vulnerability that could allow someone to add themselves to the Google Home App. From there, a hacker could control devices connected to the account. Once connected, an attacker could utilize voice commands to activate the microphone on a given device. You can imagine how much chaos could ensue from that point. The device could potentially be used to do anything that the Google speaker was capable of as it relates to any other connected devices in the home.

more:

https://downrightnifty.me/blog/2022/12/26/hacking-google-home.html

Just after iOS 16.2 release first beta for iOS 16.3 is published, other platforms too

Apple publishes iOS/iPadOS 16.3 beta 1, macOS 13.2 beta 1, watchOS 9.2 beta 1 and tvOS 16.3 beta 1. No corresponding Xcode beta is there yet.

iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 beta 1 bring support for hardware security keys for Apple ID second factor announced recently. iOS beta also now shows guidance on HomePod handoff process.

Apple Developer: Get ready with the latest beta releases

Beta download: Operating Systems

Release notes:

References:

Apple releases iOS 16.2 and other platforms

Following recent RC Apple now releases iOS/iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1 Ventura, watchOS 9.2 and tvOS 16.2. Xcode 14.2 is also released.

HomePodOS received corresponding update (which is required for Home updates and Matter support).

Apple also releases security bug fixes for previous OS releases - iOS 15 and macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey.

This update brings several important updates:

Apple Newsroom: Apple launches Freeform: a powerful new app designed for creative collaboration

References: