Apple’s End-of-Year OS Updates Add Promised Features, Security Updates

Originally published at: Apple’s End-of-Year OS Updates Add Promised Features, Security Updates - TidBITS

Apple has released iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, macOS 14.2 Sonoma, watchOS 10.2, and tvOS 17.2 with notable improvements and several features promised early in the year. HomePod Software 17.2 received only unspecified bug fixes. Apple also published security updates for iOS 16.7.3, iPadOS 16.7.2, macOS 13.6.3 Ventura, and macOS 12.7.2 Monterey.

there are people who like journaling (and are unlikely to switch to Journal) and those who don’t (and are unlikely to start).

This would be true for me if MacJournal ever worked well on iOS. I’ve used Evernote, but it stopped behaving well, then got really expensive. I’ve used Obsidian, and it’s okay, but not really user-friendly; I have to spend lots of time tweaking it to get it to behave as I’d like. I’m currently trying Daylio, but it won’t sync between devices and is generally too limited.

In other words, I’m interested to see what Apple’s app is like. If it supports blogging or something like it, I may well switch over.

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Sounds like Journal might be worth a try. Have you tried Day One? That’s the main journaling app I hear about.

No. I’m aware of it, and have downloaded it, but never really got into it for some reason.

A quick note on the Ventura update. Last week, I was running Safari 16.? I could not find a. Update to 17? Even two chats with Apple support left me where I was as they told me that Safari 17 was only for Macs running Sonoma. Today, update let me update to Safari 17.?

I’ve been running Safari 17.1.2 on Monterey since December 1st, and that’s just when I noticed it, it might have been available earlier, so definitely not just for Sonoma. Just checked Software Update, and Safari 17.2 is now available (as well as a Monterey update to 12.7.2).

I have 16.7.2 on my iPhone 12 and my iPad Mini 6 but I’m being told I can only get 17.2. How can I get 16.7.3? The hardware requirements are iPhone 8 and iPad Mini 5 and later so I qualify.

Apple is trying to get all eligible devices to iOS/iPadOS 17, so only older devices that can only run 16 will be able to get 16.7.3 and up from now on.

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I’ve been running Safari 17 on macOS Monterey and Ventura from the day 17.0 became available, so Apple Support was totally wrong about that.

Thanks for the overview Adam, useful.

MacJournal was always a solid Notes alternative, I used it for blogging for years, feature rich.

I am curious to see what Apples app makes of me with its on device learning. Hmmm.

FaceTime on the AppleTV is fantastic, though you have get off the sofa to pop the phone up in front of the TV, not the smoothest of starts, well depending on your knees maybe.

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With the iOS 17.2 update, my Shortcuts shortcut for opening a specific Notes Note now fails with “Couldn’t communicate with a helper application.”

OK. I won’t be getting iOS 17 for several months then as I do the major updates in July or August. I figure by then Apple usually has a majority of the bugs worked out.

Diarly is also worth a look. It is included with Setapp.

I’m an erratic journaller, but when I do want to note something down it is handy on my phone. I like the default time stamp entry feature, and I haven’t seen any issues syncing between iOS and macOS.

Also, get the same error with macOS 14.2.

I’m on iOS 16.7.2 on my iPhone and iPad and not ready to make the move to 17. Appears Apple wants to force me to because I do not see the 16.7.3 updates. :slightly_frowning_face:

That’s right, but just curious why you are not ready for iOS/iPadOS 17 yet?

Maybe I have become overly cautious, but in my experience major updates often introduce bugs and break something. I’m just not willing to risk that now, especially because I am not that excited about the new features the new OS version brings. Eventually I will update, when I think most wrinkles have been ironed out and I have the time available to deal with any issues that could pop up. I am happy with the way things are, so why fix something that isn’t broken?

I agree totally (as I have written (in TidBits posts) about Apple making changes, which is a big risk (my opinion), to introducing bugs and breaking stuff (which has worked well in the past) ).

A large motivation for me to update Apple software, is to install the security updates. If it were not for this concern, I might still be back at Catalina macOS, which I thought was pretty good at the time.

Speaking as someone who installs all Apple operating system updates as soon as they’re available, I think worrying about updates breaking things is seriously overblown. I can’t remember the last time I regretted installing an update. When there are new features that might not work well, they can usually be ignored.

Sure, with a major update, wait a month or two to ensure that all your apps have been updated to support it, and with smaller updates, wait a week or so to ensure that the Internet doesn’t squawk about some unexpected problem, but beyond that, the only reason to delay is because you’re too busy to wait for the installation to complete. And the longer you wait, the more likely you are to have problems—skipping multiple macOS versions is an almost guaranteed way of making your upgrade hard.

You can come up with rubrics about how you’ll wait until the X.3 update or 7 months or whatever, but that’s just random. What might have been true with the bug fixes in one release will not be true for the next.

If you’re really unsure if you should install an update, see if I’ve made a recommendation when I’ve written about it, and if not, ask here. But only listen to the people who have actually installed it and therefore know what they’re talking about.

Let’s try to stick to the topic of these particular operating system updates now.


As somebody who is actually rocking the latest and greatest OS versions on his main Apple devices, I’ll disagree. I’ve gotten burned plenty, and would Apple not restrict me from downgrading, there would have plenty of updates I would have skipped.

I think @pmvtutor points out exactly why somebody would NOT want to jump on the incessant gotta-keep-updating Apple band waggon.

If you have no interest in all the bling and emojis and whatever else shiny bloatware battery-sucking nonsense Apple puts into their latest iOS (the thread you just locked has plenty of TidBITS people alluding to exactly that), then why bother? Why risk breaking your setup when what you have works for you? Once you’re approaching 2 generations behind so you start getting concerned with no longer getting security updates, is early enough to reconsider. Or perhaps once an app you absolutely want requires a later OS. But otherwise, why the rush if you already know you’re not interested in the “new features”? There’s really no need for people to just follow Apple marketing like sheep. You don’t need to follow everything Apple marketing suggests to be a happy Apple user. No need to jump the gun on anything. After all, with Apple’s QC record as of late, the conservative crowd is the crowd avoiding the greatest mayhem.

[And just FTR, you @ace, are obviously a different case. Since you are a professional tech writer and investigating this stuff is your bread and butter (and thank you for doing that otherwise the rest of us wouldn’t know what to expect), you obviously need to adopt a different update schedule and POV. But regular users really shouldn’t see themselves forced to adopt anything as long as they’re happy with what they have (and can remain secure). Everything I wrote above pertains to the non tech writer professional who uses their Apple device primarily as a tool to get other work done. For them, unlike for you, it’s not just l’art pour l’art.]

Edit: I will add that I think Apple has these days effectively given up on their annual release schedule. Sure, they launch a “major” update in fall, but it then takes them almost 8 months just to finally release all the features they so boldly advertised ahead of the annual release. And honestly, I think that is a good thing — release stuff when it’s ready to go, not when your marketing folks tell you to throw a big rally just because last quarter’s sales came in half a basis point below some pundit’s expectations. But the flip side of that is also, now dot releases aren’t just about big fixes and security as much as they are where actual new stuff gets released. So it’s getting harder to advise to just update for security releases. It’s becoming more and more of an ugly trade-off between the security updates and perhaps the occasional bug fix you’re hoping for, vs. the “new feature” you’re going to also get even if you have zero interest in it. But I’ll readily admit, this is a tough nut for Apple to crack. There’s no way I personally would prefer the rigid annual release schedule just because of this conundrum.