iOS 17.1.2: A seemingly boring iPhone update you need to install now

There are no new features baked into iOS 17.1.2, but it's still vital that you install it as soon as possible.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iOS 17.1.2 update for the iPhone

iOS 17.1.2 update for the iPhone

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Yesterday saw a surprise release of iOS 17.1.2. This update comes hot on the heels of 17.1.1 which came out in early November 2023, and acts as a snack before the much-anticipated release of 17.2, coming later this month. That one will bring a raft of new features such as the journaling app and the ability for the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max to record spatial video for the Vision Pro, as well as even more bug fixes.

OK, but what's in iOS 17.1.2?

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Two security fixes, information on which is detailed here. And the important takeaway here is the phrase "Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been exploited" for both. 

Apple's description of the bug fixes contained in iOS 17.1.2

Apple's description of the bug fixes contained in iOS 17.1.2

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

This means that this is a bug fix for a problem that the bad guys are currently leveraging to get into users' devices. And these bugs can be used to expose your sensitive data while you are simply browsing the web.

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And don't think that if you're using Google Chrome or some other browser on your iPhone that you're safe, because you're not. Every third-party web browser and app that accesses the web that's available for iOS and iPadOS use Apple's WebKit engine, so this is a huge attack surface.

If you'd heard rumors that the next iOS update was going to be what Apple calls an RSR (Rapid Security Response) patch, updates that only contain security patches and are much smaller than regular updates and designed for rapid installation, you're not alone because I'd heard the same rumors. But instead what we have is a standard update that only contains bug fixes.

And it's not just the iPhone that's affected. There are updates for the iPad (iPadOS 17.1.2) and Mac (Sonoma 14.1.2). Additionally, there is an updated Safari 17.1.2 for Macs running macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura.

To update your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings and then General and Software Update and follow the prompts to get your device up to date. To update your Mac, fire up the System Settings app, then go to General, and then Software Update.

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