Apple Releases Surprise watchOS Update for Some Series 4 Owners

Apple Watch Series 4 Credit: Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
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Apple’s latest Apple Watch software is watchOS 6, but it requires an iPhone running iOS 13 to download and install. That means if you use an Apple Watch Series 4 with a device like an iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s, you’d typically be left with out-of-date software.

However, Apple on Wednesday released a new software update specifically for Apple Watch Series 4 owners who use their wearable with an older iPhone.

The update, watchOS 5.3.2, is aimed at users who own a device that isn’t capable of running iOS 13.

It was first released late last month for the Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3. Now, this month, Apple has released the update for Series 4 devices.

Of course, it’s worth noting that it’s likely a very small group of users who have an Apple Watch Series 4 but not an iPhone compatible with iOS 13.

So why did Apple push out this update?

You won’t find any new user-facing features or additions. Instead, the update appears to be solely focused on patching a single security flaw within Apple’s Foundation framework.

This suggests a couple of things. First off, it hints that the Foundation security vulnerability is a fairly significant one.

Apple’s release notes suggest that an attacker could exploit it to “cause unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.”

Apple has fixed the flaw on pretty much all recent devices in iOS, iPadOS and watchOS. With today’s watchOS 5.3.2 update, it seems like Apple is patching up what holes were left.

It also suggests that Apple is taking steps to provide continued support for users on older devices. While the Series 4 is newer, the iPhone 5s was first debuted in 2014. That does sort of fly in the face of planned obsolescence controversies.

Because of the likely severity of the security flaw, it’s recommended that you update your Apple Watch to watchOS 5.3.2 as soon as possible.

You can update your Apple Watch through the Watch app on your iPhone. To do so, the Watch must be at 50 percent battery life, on its charger and in close proximity to your iPhone.

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