Apple has hit a notable milestone by releasing its first Rapid Security Response (RSR) update to the general public. This is a welcome change from previous update types, which were only available to beta testers or developers who were running pre-release builds of Apple’s mobile operating systems.
Rapid Security Responses are a new form of software release for Mac, iPad, and iPhone devices, providing vital security updates that are released between the usual security updates. They aim to roll out important security patches to phones as soon as possible, though Apple hasn’t said how quickly these are released.
These updates may involve critical system libraries, the WebKit framework stack, or the Safari web browser, among other components. Additionally, they can be used to promptly address some security concerns, such as those that have already been exploited or reported to exist “in the wild.”
By default, RSR updates are permitted to install automatically. While not all of these updates will require a system restart, some might, and you will receive a notification once it’s complete.
You have the option to disable the automatic installation of RSR updates via your device’s settings, but this is not recommended as RSRs deliver highly important security updates.
Today’s RSR update, which mandates a system restart, can be downloaded and installed in just a few minutes. In the future, RSRs will only be accessible to users running the latest versions of iOS and iPadOS.
The RSR update is currently being released for both iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1, with the rollout expected to conclude within 48 hours. After installing the RSR, your iPhone or iPad’s About section will display an “(a),” signifying that you are running iOS 16.4.1 (a) or iPadOS 16.4.1 (a).