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Apple Rapid Security Response update for iPhones & iPads released: What is it?

Apple has released a new type of software update called as the Rapid Security Response (RSR) update for iPhones and iPads on iOS 16.4.1 and 16.4.1, respectively. These type of updates are released with patches for major security vulnerabilities that are active or have been exploited, according to the company.

What is a Rapid Security Response update?

The company explains that the Rapid Security Responses are a new type of software release for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. “They deliver important security improvements between software updates — for example, improvements to the web browser, the WebKit framework stack, or other critical system libraries. They may also be used to mitigate some security issues more quickly, such as issues that might have been exploited or reported to exist “in the wild”, says the brand.

Apple also says that new Rapid Security Response updates will only be released for the latest version of iOS, iPadOS and macOS — beginning with iOS 16.4.1, iPadOS 16.4.1, and macOS 13.3.1. Moreover, your device allows Rapid Security Responses to be applied automatically and, if necessary, will prompt you to restart your device. This setting, which has been enabled by default, can also be disabled if the user prefers.

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When a Rapid Security Response update has been applied, a letter appears after the software version number, Apple notes. For instance, after your iPad or iPhone has applied the RSR update, if you go into the About section of your device, it would show iOS 16.4.1 (a) in the software version section.

Lastly, if you choose to turn off this setting or not to apply Rapid Security Responses when they’re available, your device will receive relevant fixes or mitigations when they’re included in a subsequent. However, we would recommend the readers to not turn it off as its an important feature which should be kept enabled at all times.

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