Device Support Update

Those weird iOS Device Support Updates are now real updates in Software Update–even for El Capitan. I just peeked at my 2011 mini file server to check something, and there it was. Not sure exactly when it turned up, but it was sometime today. So unless apple is only teasing us, that should be good news for those of us using old mac hardware/systems but also wanting to use the new gadgets. Looking forward to getting a shiny new iphone se and an ipad air 5…

Correct, as stated earlier, these are a normal occurrence after new iDevice hardware comes out. The name has changed recently, but the results are the same.

No, in the past, on least on the older systems as recently as when iOS 15 came out, you got a dialog box at the time you connected a device that needed the new support with no description of what it was other than ‘needed’ with no explicit reference that it was related to the device, er even that it was an apple thing and not coming from some third party app, and then it did the update if you oked it. This has confused many people, even on this list. Now it shows up as a proper update in the regular software update mechanism with a decent description. You can install it when convenient whether you connect a device or not. I’d heard they would/had started doing this on the new systems, but certainly didn’t expect a system as old as el capitan to get the same improvement. Since el cap is my imazing machine, this is a Very Good Thing since it implies continued support for new devices on old macs, not something that we can count on apple doing these days.

Device Support Update was only released to macOS El Camino and Sierra yesterday but there is also one called “Mobile Device” released for El Capitan through Monterey which is not showing up in Software Updates for me in Mojave at the moment. Nor does it popup when I plug my iPhone in. The size of both installation packages are identical and appear to contain the exact same files. The last time I got Device Support Update was back on Oct 1 last year having been made available on Sep 29. It was smaller than the current one and is now deprecated.

And what I meant by “the results are the same.” was that the software files installed by both methods are the same, not that the mechanism was the same.

If I get some spare time, I’ll try to sort all that out.

My experience matches @alvarnell; that is, I see an update when I boot into Sierra (which I installed) but do not see the update when I boot into Mojave. Lockratter reports the following:

Software Update found the following new or updated software:

  • Device Support Update-
    Device Support Update ( ), 203946K [recommended]

I guess this means I will be able to sync my future iPhone SE3 with iTunes on Sierra. This is actually pretty cool because iTunes v12.6.5.3 on Sierra supports Home screen/apps layout – a nice legacy feature.