Oops. Apple just released iOS 14.5.1 and iPadOS 14.5.1 to fix an important bug in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5. If you had already disabled Settings > Privacy > Tracking > Allow Apps to Request to Track, you may not have received App Tracking Transparency prompts from apps, even if you re-enabled the setting. We were wondering why we couldn’t get any apps to ask to track us.
Apple also released iOS 12.5.3, macOS 11.3.1, and watchOS 7.4.1. They, along with iOS 14.5.1 and iPadOS 14.5.1, fix nasty WebKit vulnerabilities that could lead to arbitrary code execution and that Apple says may have been actively exploited in the wild.
We’ll likely see security updates for 10.15 Catalina and 10.14 Mojave as well. They may be delayed while Apple fixes problems that Security Update 2021-002 Catalina created for apps that use OpenCL. There is no corresponding tvOS update because tvOS does not use WebKit.
Given the severity of these WebKit vulnerabilities, we recommend updating soon, whether or not you have already updated to one of last week’s updates (see “Apple Releases iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, macOS 11.3, watchOS 7.4, and tvOS 14.5,” 26 April 2021).
To install the updates:
- iOS 14.5.1, iPadOS 14.5.1, and iOS 12.5.3: Go to Settings > General > Software Update. iOS 14.5.1 is 135.1 MB on an iPhone 11 Pro. iPadOS 13.5.1 is 92.8 MB on a 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
- macOS 11.3.1: To install the 2.4 GB macOS 11.3.1 Big Sur update, go to System Preferences > Software Update.
- watchOS 7.4.1: Install the watchOS 7.4.1 update from the iPhone’s Watch app in My Watch > General > Software Update. The Apple Watch must be on its charger and charged to at least 50%. The update is 63.1 MB on an Apple Watch Series 4.
As always, if you experience any problems after updating, please share that information in the comments to help other users.