When it comes to OS updates, we at Macworld encourage users to install them as soon as possible. Updates sometimes contain nice new features, but bug fixes and security updates are the most important. But with iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3, Update for update It was worth the wait—and depending on the problems you’ve had with your devices, they might be the most important of the year.
On Friday, Apple released minor updates to iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3, and if you look at the release notes, they’re very minor updates. Three main issues are mentioned—fixes for Siri, automatically unlocking your Mac with the Apple Watch, and an emoji—but they’re bigger than that. One is that they include two key security patches that can be “severely exploited.” For another, iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 appear to fix most, if not all, of the bugs introduced:
iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4
- Weather app: The weather app that many of us rely on to set the tone for the day has trouble displaying the forecast. Earlier this week, the Weather app experienced a complete data crash, and while the service was being restored (according to Apple’s System Status website), the app still performed poorly. We’re not sure if the weather app has been fixed, but we haven’t had any issues since Friday.
- Battery drain: There always seems to be a voice count of users experiencing short battery life when an update is released. But the number of event accounts, like those in Apple’s support community, seems to be more frequent with iOS 16.4. YouTuber iAppleBytes has a video demonstration of Geekbench battery testing with iOS 16.4, which supports the shortened battery life claim. Battery drain is always difficult to quantify, but we didn’t notice any unusual drain on iOS 16.4.1.
- Home Application: The Home app, used to control smart home devices, received an update to its architecture, but Apple stumbled during its release. It was initially offered in iOS 16.2, but it was withdrawn and later released with iOS 16.4. Now, iMore reports that there are many complaints about the reworked app. We didn’t run into issues on iOS 16.4, but our Home app works fine on iOS 16.4.1.
macOS Ventura 13.3
- Home directory: macOS 13.3 introduces an issue with user home directories stored on external drives. The workaround for this problem involves disabling System Integrity Protection, but that’s not ideal. We have confirmed that this issue is fixed in the MacOS Ventura 13.3.1 update.
- Quick view: While I didn’t have this problem, many users in Apple’s support community can’t get Quick Look to work on MacOS 13.3. Replies to the original post confirm that MacOS 13.3.1 fixed the problem.
- Universal control and manual: These features, which rely on iCloud connectivity, stopped working for some users after installing 13.3. The solution is to simply log off iCloud and log back on, but that can be a total headache, especially if you use iCloud to sync your photo library. Check if this error persists.