Apple releases incredibly minor iOS & iPadOS updates

in iPad

Oddities in Apple's software updates are continuing, as now it has quietly shipped an iOS and iPadOS revision whose version number and a lack of an "over the air" update path suggests has only the most minor release.

iPadOS on an iPad
iPadOS on an iPad

There was already a mystery around how Apple was announcing iPadOS 17.4.1 as coming on March 26, 2024, even though it was already out alongside iOS 17.4.1 as of March 21. That could have been just two parts of Apple not checking with each other, but now there is a little more.

For Apple has now issued a new update for both iOS and iPadOS, with a build number of 21E237. The one that came out on March 21 was build number 21E236.

It's possible that this release is specific to certain devices, perhaps including the new iPads. While build 21E237 is out, no AppleInsider staff received the usual notification -- and all iPhone tested insist that 21E236 is the latest version.

That's because this new update is not available to download over the air at all. To get it, iPhone and iPad users must plug their devices into their Macs.

That rather tells that Apple isn't fussed about every iPhone and iPad user getting this update. Then that difference in build number is so small that it needs a magnifying glass just to spot it.

So there were something like 17 versions of that March 21 update being tried out in Apple Park before it was released to developers. Having just one single version suggests that the changes from the previous one are miniscule.

More than that, it suggests that Apple tested whatever the change was, and didn't need to do any further work or testing. It suggests that Apple didn't may not even have needed to do anything different for supporting the forthcoming iPad Pro and iPad Air releases.

Apple rarely says much about its updates beyond security comments, so it's unlikely that it will ever reveal what has happened here. Given the lack of testing and iteration, implied by the single-digit build number difference, maybe someone just spotted a typo.

Read on AppleInsider


Sign In or Register to comment.