Apple fixes a few annoyances with iOS 16.3.1, iPadOS 16.3.1, macOS 13.2.1, watchOS 9.3.1 and tvOS 16.3.2

Release notes for iOS and iPadOS 16.3.1, macOS 13.2.1, watchOS 9.3.1 and tvOS 16.3.2 reveal bug fixes related to iCloud, Siri on HomePod and more.

An iPhone laying on a MacBook, showing an iOS update progress bar
A new update is available for your iPhone | Image: Szabo Viktor/Unsplash

On February 13, 2023, Apple released some updates for its iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV hardware. Instead of outward-facing new user features, the updates focus on fixing a few annoying bugs that users have complained about.

For instance, one of the patches in iOS 16.3.1 resolves an issue where Siri on HomePod would cause some HomeKit requests to fail or time out. macOS Ventura 13.2.1 includes security patches for the system kernel, the Shortcuts app and WebKit. The kernel and WebKit fixes are also part of watchOS 9.3.1 and tvOS 16.3.2.

What’s new in iOS 16.3.1?

iOS 16.3.1 provides bug fixes for the iCloud section in the Settings app being unresponsive or incorrectly displaying whether apps are using iCloud.

There are also fixes for when Siri requests for the Find My app wouldn’t work. iOS 16.3.1 also optimizes the iPhone 14’s Crash Detection, likely to address skiers accidentally triggering the feature. The security patches in iOS 16.3.1 resolve a pair of vulnerabilities related to the kernel and Safari’s WebKit engine.

To install iOS 16.3.1 on your iPhone, go to Settings → General → Software Update, then hit Install Now or Download and Install. To apply the update, you must enter your iPhone’s passcode and the device must be connected to a Wi-Fi network.

What’s new in iPadOS 16.3.1?

iPadOS 16.3.1 sports the same iCloud and Siri-related fixes as iOS 16.3.1, including patches for the kernel and WebKit vulnerabilities that could permit an attacker to execute arbitrary code via a rogue app or maliciously crafted web content. Apple says it’s aware of a report that the WebKit issue may have been actively exploited. To update your iPad, open Settings → General → Software Update.

What’s new in macOS Ventura 13.2.1?

The official release notes for macOS Ventura 13.2.1 don’t reveal much about the update beyond stating that it provides “important bug fixes and security updates for your Mac,” including patches for the kernel, Shortcuts and WebKit issues.

The kernel and WebKit patches are the same as in iOS 16.3.1. A fix for the Shortcuts app patches an exploit that could allow an app to observe unprotected user data. Apple fixed this privacy problem with “improved handling of temporary files.”

To install macOS Ventura 13.2.1, click the Apple menu, select System Settings, and then navigate to General → Software Update. If you see the macOS Ventura 13.2.1 update listed, click the button to install it.

What’s new in watchOS 9.3.1?

watchOS 9.3.1 includes unspecified bug fixes and security updates. Apple hasn’t provided release notes for the update, but we’ll update the article with a list of changes as soon as the official changelog has been published on Apple’s website.

To install watchOS 9.3.1 directly on your Apple Watch, go to Settings → General → Software Update, then hit Install and follow the onscreen instructions. You can also update your Apple Watch through your iPhone by opening the companion Watch app and navigating to My Watch → General → Software Update.

To install the update, your watch must be plugged into power, have at least fifty percent battery, be connected to a Wi-Fi network and nearby its paired iPhone.

What’s new in tvOS 16.3.2?

Official details were unavailable at publication time, but it would seem that tvOS 16.3.2 brings the same security updates to your Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K as iOS 16.3.1. To update your Apple TV manually, go to Settings → System → Software Updates and select Update Software. If you see a tvOS 16.3.1 update listed there, choose Download and Install. Keep your Apple box connected and plugged into power until the update is complete.

What’s new in HomePod software 16.3.2?

iOS 16.3.2 also includes updates for your HomePod and HomePod mini devices. Aside from general performance and stability improvements, HomePod software 16.3.2 focuses on fixing a HomeKit-related issue where asking Siri on HomePod to control your smart home appliances would time out or completely fail.

To update your Apple smart speaker, open the Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, then hit the … (ellipsis) menu and choose Home Settings → Software Update. If there’s a new update, hit the Update button to download and install it.

Relevant Apple support documents

As is the case for other Apple OS updates, the new software is supported by technical documents on Apple’s website, which contain the official release notes, the contents of security updates and so on.