If you've yet to update to iOS 16.1, now might be a very good time to do so — because it includes an important fix for a zero-day exploit that Apple says may have already been exploited in the wild.
Apple released the latest version of iOS 16 to the public earlier this week along with a list of improvements and features. There's one specific security fix that's worth noting though. Apple says that previous versions of iOS allowed an app with root privileges to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges.
That, of course, is bad.
The exploit could have allowed hackers to run code on affected iPhones, with the so-called zero-day status meaning that it was out in the wild before Apple knew about it, let alone fixed it. That fix is now here, though — and it's one you should probably install as soon as possible if you haven't already.
Unfortunately, these kinds of exploits are becoming increasingly common. Ars Technica notes that this is at least the eighth of its kind to befall Apple this year alone, and we aren't at the end of it yet.
The iOS 16.1 update is an important one for non-security reasons, too. It's the update that adds support for Live Activities, allowing apps to push persistent and constantly-updating notifications to the iPhone for the first time. It also included support for the Matter smart home standard as well as changes to the iPhone's battery indicator and more.
Apple is already testing iOS 16.2 and it's available for download in beta form, but that isn't expected to be made available to everyone for a few weeks yet.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.