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Apple pushes out iOS 10.3.1 to address tighter security and bugs

The iPhone and iPad operating system only just updated to iOS 10.3 – about a week ago, in fact – but Apple has already pushed out an update to its users to address security issues and to fix a few more bugs.

The update doesn’t deliver any new features in iOS 10.3.1, which is available from today. However, it adds further layers of security to its previous update which introduced a Find my Airpods option to the Find my iPhone app, Siri enhancements, a new iCloud profile in Settings, and a brand new file system.

For more information on all the new features introduced with iOS 10.3, read our article on the update.

So what security issues have been addressed? Apple’s brief notes on the update say that a stack buffer overflow was addressed, which may have enabled an attacker within range to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip.

Essentially, it means Apple’s patched an issue that could have let a malicious individual hack your device.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Apple that first picked up on the flaw. The bug gives credit to Google’s Project Zero, which is a scheme that tells companies about found bugs in the hope that it will patch them quickly. If it doesn’t, the project discloses the bug to the general public 90 days after informing the company about it.

The iOS 10.3.1 update might be more noticeable to iPhone 5, 5c and fourth-gen iPad users. Apple’s iOS 10.3 update was only available to these users via an iTunes upgrade, rather than a Wi-Fi-based over-the-air update. This was likely due to these devices being 32-bit. The rest of the devices compatible with iOS 10 are 64-bit. However, this latest update makes iOS 10.3 available to these users over-the-air once more.

An iOS 10.3.2 build is already available in beta, and will likely release in a month or two. From there, it’ll be plain(ish) sailing until iOS 11 is unveiled at WWDC in June.

Do you need to upgrade? Each iteration is a recommend upgrade by Apple. And even though there are no real new features, the effect on your device is so minimal that it makes sense to upgrade to ensure your device is as secure as possible.

If you’ve not set your device to upgrade automatically, head to Settings > General > Software update and follow the instructions from there to upgrade.