On Monday, Apple released iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, watchOS 7.2, tvOS 14.3 and macOS Big Sur 11.1 to the public with its new Fitness Service, Apple Fitness+. Along with these new updates for newer & supported devices, they have also released security updates for older devices that do not support the newer versions.
Apple has released iOS 12.5, iPadOS 12.5, and watchOS 6.3 for older devices to the public. These updates come in after over a month since the release of iOS 12.4.9, watchOS 5.3.9, & watchOS 6.2.9.
iOS & iPadOS 12.5
iOS 12.5 brings support for COVID-19 Exposure Notifications for older devices that do not support the newer versions of iOS. The build number for iOS 12.5 and iPadOS 12.5 is 16H20. As mentioned in the release notes, a security issue was also fixed with this version – “Unauthorized code execution may lead to an authentication policy violation”.
You may have noticed, that iPadOS 12.5 was released, but Apple introduced the “iPadOS” naming for the iPad with iOS 13. It seems that even older versions like iOS 12 are being updated to now have the iPadOS naming.
Apps on the App Store also reflect this change under the App Compatibility Section. This information is visible once the user scrolls down to the bottom, and the Compatibility Section shows the minimum hardware and software requirements. For example, If any app has a minimum software requirement of iOS 9 on an iPhone, the iPad version of the app has a minimum software requirement of iPadOS 9, which only proves that Apple is unifying the naming pattern for its softwares.
This new update is available for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch (6th generation). The oldest iPhone to be supported with iOS 12.5 is the iPhone 5s, which was released in 2013 and it is simply amazing to see Apple provide security updates till date for a phone which is 7 years old, making Apple a clear winner in terms of Security & Software updates.
watchOS 6.3 fixes a security issue for the Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2 where “Unauthorized code execution may lead to an authentication policy violation” as mentioned in the release notes. It is quite impressive that a four-year-old Smartwatch is receiving Security updates.
Apple is simply winning in terms of Software Updates when compared to its competitors. The oldest iPhone to be supported with iOS 12.5 is the iPhone 5s, which was released in 2013 and the oldest Apple Watch to be supported with watchOS 6.3 is the Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2, both released in 2016 making these software updates amazing to see as Apple is providing security updates till date for a phone and a watch which is 7 years old and 4 years old respectively. This only proves one thing: Apple wants its user’s devices to be secure, even if its an older device, making Apple a clear winner in terms of Security & Software updates.