Security is a moving target, and Apple’s latest security release aims to better capitalize on that: To keep iPhones and Macs up to date with new security solutions, it launches Rapid Security Response, which applies security updates to devices on the fly. , outside of iOS version updates.
The feature was announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), and it appears to be already live in the iOS 16 developer beta (meaning, it will likely roll out with the general release of iOS 16 as well).
The feature was only briefly mentioned in yesterday’s keynote, but in the developer version of iOS 16, the new switch already appears in the automatic updates menu under “Install system and data files.” It suggests that Apple would push automatic security patches by default.
The description of the feature suggests that you may not need to reboot your phone for some updates to take effect.
Rapid Security Response is not limited to iOS. Apple is also bringing this feature to macOS Ventura, according to a feature preview page.
“This is not a standard software update. These improvements can be applied automatically between regular updates – without a reboot,” the company said on the blog.
Until now, users had to wait for Apple to release critical security updates with minor version releases. The new rapid security patch system allows the company to push important bug fixes without releasing a separate software update.
This feature is rolling out with iOS 16, so if Apple needs to push a security patch sooner, it should send a version update. Once the feature is available to everyone, people will no longer need to be aware of a potential bug to fix it. Apple may quietly release an update that would be effective for people who don’t update their phone with all the minor releases.
Google has taken a similar approach with the Google Play system updates — which are separate from OEM version updates — to protect Android devices from malware and software vulnerabilities.
Now, Apple’s new feature is preparing it to more proactively protect iOS and macOS devices from unexpected cyber attacks and vulnerabilities as well. It can release patches as quickly as possible without depending on users to download and install them, making them more effective overall.
Apple also introduced new security features for iOS, including Security Check to remove data access from abusers, a default lock for hidden and recently deleted photos, and Face ID support for landscape mode.