Apple has released iOS 15.6.1 and iPadOS 15.6.1 to combat two major new security threats. Now macOS Monterey 12.5.1 has also arrived with the same fixes for Mac and MacBook. Should you upgrade, or is the version bringing significant issues? Here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page as I will update it if/when new bugs are discovered. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
Who is it for?
MacOS 12.5.1 is supported by all Monterey-compatible devices, i.e. MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) and newer. You can find Apple’s official list of compatible Macs here.
You should be automatically prompted to update, but it is possible to trigger the update manually by going to Settings > Software Update. If you are using newer beta software (see “The Road Ahead” section at the end), de-register your device first.
The market breakers
Forty-eight hours after release, users are reporting no major issues with macOS 12.5.1. I’ve seen isolated reports of increased battery drain, but this is common for the first few days after updating.
So what do you get?
MacOS 12.5.1 is a dedicated security update with no added features or bug fixes. That said, security patches made international news after Apple revealed two major zero-day flaws that affect all of its operating systems.
The flaws were found in Kernel, a program at the heart of the operating system (CVE-2022-32894) and WebKit, the engine that powers the Safari web browser (CVE-2022-32893). Both flaws allow hackers to remotely execute malicious code on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and potentially take control of your device.
Apple said it understands that both vulnerabilities “may have been actively exploited” before they could issue patches.
MacOS 12.5.1 Verdict: Upgrade
Given the severity of these vulnerabilities and isolated bug reports in macOS 12.5.1, there is every reason to update as soon as possible.
Note: Reluctant upgraders can bookmark this guide as it will be updated with any relevant glitches or features I find. I will post my final verdict here in a week.
The road to follow
The next generation of macOS, “Ventura”, is due out in October, and beta testing has been ongoing for some time. At this point, many bugs are still being reported after five betas, especially with the UI – many of which you can find related here.
Unless you’re a developer or have a secondary computer for non-critical work, stay away from Ventura until it’s more refined.
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