When it comes to OS updates, we at Macworld recommend that users install them as soon as possible. Some updates add cool new features, but the most important ones are the ones that fix bugs and make the system safer.
But iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, and macOS 13.3 were the updates that were worth waiting for. Depending on the problems you’ve had with your devices, they could be the most important updates of the year.
Apple released small updates to iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 on Friday. The updates are very small if you look at the release notes.
There are only three small things mentioned—fixes to Siri, the ability to automatically unlock your Mac with an Apple Watch, and an emoji—but they are much bigger than that.
For one thing, they have two important security fixes for problems that “may have been actively exploited.” Also, it looks like they fix most, if not all, of the bugs that were introduced with iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3:
iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4
Weather app: The forecast isn’t showing up on the Weather app, which many of us use to set the mood for the day. This week, the Weather app lost all of its data. According to Apple’s System Status website, service has been restored, but the app still doesn’t work right. We don’t know for sure if the Weather app is fixed, but since Friday, we haven’t had any problems.
Battery drain: When an update comes out, there always seems to be a small number of users who say their battery life has gotten shorter. But there seem to be more anecdotal reports, like those on Apple’s Support Community, about iOS 16.4. YouTuber iAppleBytes has a video showing a Geekbench battery test with iOS 16.4, which backs up the claim that the battery life is shorter. Battery drain is hard to measure, but iOS 16.4.1 hasn’t caused us to notice any unusual battery drain.
macOS Ventura 13.3
Home app: The Home app, which is used to control smart home devices, got a change to how it was built, but Apple made a mistake when it was released. It was first available in iOS 16.2, but it was taken away and put back in iOS 16.4. iMore says that there are now a lot of complaints about the changed app. We didn’t have any problems with iOS 16.4, but our Home app works well with iOS 16.4.1.
Home directory: With macOS 13.3, user Home directories saved to external drives will no longer work. System Integrity Protection can be turned off to get around this problem, but that’s not ideal. We’ve confirmed that the macOS Ventura 13.3.1 update fixes this problem.
Quick Look: Many people in Apple’s Support Community can’t get Quick Look to work in macOS 13.3, which I haven’t had a problem with. Responses to the original post show that the problem is fixed by macOS 13.3.1.
Universal Control and Handoff: Some users who installed 13.3 have found that these features, which depend on being connected to iCloud, no longer work. The workaround is to log out of iCloud and then back in, but this can be a lot of trouble for some users, especially if they use iCloud to sync their photo library. We need to see if this bug is still there.