Apple sends out iOS 15.7, macOS 12.6 with security updates as it releases iOS 16

Enlarge / A few apps that received significant updates in iOS 15. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple released the next major versions of several of its operating systems today, including watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and iOS 16. The latter is probably the most significant of the three, with a total overhaul of the iPhone lock screen, new iMessage editing and message deletion capabilities, and passkeys that attempt to replace passwords (Our full iOS 16 review is forthcoming.)

Also of note are a volley of updates for older operating systems, including iOS 15.7, iPadOS 15.7, and macOS Monterey 12.6. The iPad and macOS updates both bring the security-related patches from the newer OS versions back to older ones while we wait for the release of iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura later in the fall. The release of iOS 15.7 serves two purposes: to keep older iPhones that can’t run iOS 16 updated with security patches (this includes the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 series along with the original iPhone SE, among others) and to let people who don’t want to upgrade to iOS 16 a way to get security updates.

Apple also did this for a few months after the release of iOS 15, offering version 14.8 to supported devices so that people could defer the update without putting themselves at risk. By January 2022, the company stopped updating iOS 14 and pushed all iOS users to update to version 15.2.1.

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