Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 34 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

Apple Squashes Bugs with iOS 17.1.1, iPadOS 17.1.1, macOS 14.1.1, macOS 13.6.2, watchOS 10.1.1, and HomePod Software 17.1.1

Apple has pushed out updates to all its current operating systems (and macOS 13 Ventura) except for tvOS. They’re designed to fix a handful of problematic bugs related to updating, battery life, and Siri reliability, though they may also address security vulnerabilities that Apple discovered on its own—there are no published CVE entries.

iOS 17.1.1 and iPadOS 17.1.1

iOS 17.1.1 addresses two bugs, and iPadOS 17.1.1 piggybacks on one of those fixes. First, Apple says that Apple Pay and other NFC features may become unavailable on iPhone 15 models after wireless charging in certain cars—MacRumors says it was BMW. Second, Apple’s engineers got their act together just in time to fix the Weather Lock Screen widget, which didn’t always correctly display snow. 🌨️

Unless you use wireless charging in your car and rely on Apple Pay, I recommend waiting to install these updates until it’s convenient.

macOS 13.6.2 Ventura

The release notes for macOS 13.6.2 say it “provides important bug fixes and is recommended for all users,” but that doesn’t seem entirely accurate. Apple’s Security Releases page lists macOS 13.6.2 as applying only to the “MacBook Pro (2021 and later) and iMac (2023).” So it’s not recommended for all users, and indeed, my 2020 27-inch iMac isn’t even being offered the update.

However, Mr. Macintosh deserves kudos for discovering in Apple’s Enterprise release notes for Ventura that macOS 13.6.2 also fixes a bug that could cause 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with Apple silicon to start up to a black screen or circled exclamation point after the built-in display’s default refresh rate was changed.

Plus, although I don’t know where he got the information, Howard Oakley writes that macOS 13.62 addresses two update-related problems:

  • MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon could have problems while updating to macOS 13.6.1 that result in a black screen failure mode.
  • Some just-released M3 24-inch iMacs shipped with macOS 13 Ventura installed instead of macOS 14 Sonoma. That’s an embarrassing misstep on Apple’s part, but worse is the fact that they couldn’t be updated or upgraded using existing updates.

There’s no need to install macOS 13.6.2 unless you plan to update a MacBook Pro with Apple silicon to macOS 13.6.1 or have just purchased an M3 iMac that came with Ventura. If it were me, I’d install this one just to get it out of the way.

macOS 14.1.1 Sonoma

Apple says only that macOS 14.1.1 “provides important bug fixes and security updates and is recommended for all users.” Given what Howard Oakley says about the M3 iMacs, I suspect that macOS 14.1.1 is designed to allow those users to upgrade to Sonoma.

Craig Hockenberry also reports that macOS 14.1.1 addresses a macOS 14.1 window server bug that affected tools in his xScope app and—probably more what triggered Apple’s quick fix—Photoshop.

There’s no telling how many apps would be affected by this bug, so I encourage updating soon, particularly if you notice any unusual behavior with graphics apps.

watchOS 10.1.1

Nearly every iOS or watchOS update generates squawks from some users about reduced battery life. Usually, those issues resolve quickly as the operating system finishes building caches and indexes. Sometimes, there are actual bugs, though, which seems to have been the case here since watchOS 10.1.1 “addresses an issue that could cause the battery to drain more quickly for some users.”

I’ll be installing this one right away. Unsurprisingly, my new Apple Watch Series 9 has had stellar battery life since I got it, but it nearly ran out of power on my bike ride yesterday. Perhaps I failed to put it on the charger properly the night before, but any time Apple says an update should prevent unnecessary battery drain, I mash the Install button.

HomePod Software 17.1.1

During the pandemic, I installed a lot of HomeKit switches, so we’re accustomed to controlling lights in our house using Siri on an original HomePod (see “Reflections on a Year with HomeKit,” 17 December 2021). When you talk to Siri every time you want to adjust the lightning, you get a feel for how well it’s working. (OK, I’ll admit, as much as I try to avoid it in my writing, we totally anthropomorphize Siri in everyday life, such as when Tonya exasperatedly exclaimed last night, “She’s being super dense today.”)

So yes, although we don’t have hard and fast statistics on it, our sense is that Siri’s reliability for executing common HomeKit commands suffered after the release of HomePod Software 17. Sometimes, we have to ask two or even three times before Siri will recognize the command. It’s not so bad that we instead walk over to the light switch and activate it manually, like an animal, but I’ll be pushing HomePod Software 17.1.1 to our HomePods right away, given that Apple says it “addresses an issue where some HomePod speakers could respond slowly or fail to complete requests.”

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For over 33 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. The Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Comments About Apple Squashes Bugs with iOS 17.1.1, iPadOS 17.1.1, macOS 14.1.1, macOS 13.6.2, watchOS 10.1.1, and HomePod Software 17.1.1

Notable Replies

  1. I count on you to be pretty plainspoken since you are a technical writer at the core, but since I’ve been reading you for decades now, I have to admit it delights me when you drop it and crack wise every now and then, specifically the crack about flipping a light switch “like an animal.”

    I totally laughed out loud at that HomePod remark. I never LOL, though.

  2. …for everyone thinking about upgrading from Sonoma: macOS 14.1.1 ist still not compatible with GPG eMail encryption.

  3. Guess it was BMW, not Lamborghini. Bummer.

    Glad you liked it. I’m not a natural, like Andy Ihnatko, so I stick to when it feels easy. :smile:

  4. I did find an issue with updating Original Homepods. A stereo pair that is default audio output for an Apple TV 4K got stuck updating. I found I had to disconnect them from the Apple TV and reset them in order for the update to complete. The system is now working as intended.
    Another pair of Orginal Homepods that are not linked to an Apple TV updated without issues.
    So my suggestion is to remove Original Homepods from the Apple TV audio settings before attempting the 17.1.1 update.

  5. Simon,

    Thanks for the link to Howard’s article. I have an M3Pro MacBookPro arriving this week. It will be interesting to see what is actually installed on it.

  6. I’ve just received my new M3Pro MacBookPro. It was shipped on November 7 and was preloaded with Sonoma 14.1, which, I believe, was the current release at shipping time and is only 0.0.1 behind the current release.

  7. I do a LOT of timers & alarms (helped by being able to use Siri to get them going). When iPad17 first hit I found an issue, the system would simply go dead for 5-6 seconds AFTER the timer ran out, then would play the wrong audio notification. 17.1 seems too now honor my selected audio notification but not the delay in sounding the alarm. I know it may seem silly to be kvetching about this (what is annoying is I use timers doing stretching exercises so the music stops then 6 seconds later the alarm goes off) BUT to me it’s indicative of their focus elsewhere. These 2 bugs have never existed before and I suspect I’m going too have to live with the delay.

  8. I’ve just received my new M3 iMac (all the way from Shanghai, via DHL), and it was indeed loaded with Ventura. But I upgraded to 14.1.1 today without problem.

  9. since upgrading my 2020 27" (16gb of RAM) iMac to MACOS 14.1.1 and my Apple Watch series 5 to 10.1.1 my watch will no longer UNLOCK my Mac. Any suggestions?

  10. This happens to me frequently after running updates, particularly on macOS. It doesn’t happen with every update, but it does happen a lot. Really the thing that always works for me is toggle the setting off and back on. If toggling the setting back on gives an error message about not being able to contact the watch (rare for me), then try restarting (power off/power on) the watch (and the Mac if you want) and see if that fixes it.

  11. That worked. Thanks. I had to, in addition to restarting both my Apple watch and my iMac, sign my iPhone out of and then back into again iCloud. Annoying but at least it worked. Thanks again.

Join the discussion in the TidBITS Discourse forum


Avatar for ace Avatar for Simon Avatar for aforkosh Avatar for drfredn Avatar for ddmiller Avatar for tony2 Avatar for mpainesyd Avatar for tidbits41 Avatar for benedikt.lechner Avatar for SJHC