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Alongside a slew of new minor software releases on Monday, Apple also quietly released new updates to its iOS 9 and iOS 10 operating systems.
No, you haven’t been transported back in time. With iOS 9.3.6 and iOS 10.3.4, Apple increased the usability and may have extended the overall lifespan of some of its older devices.
What’s in These Updates?
The iOS 9.3.6 update is aimed at the iPhone 4s and cellular variants of the iPad mini, the iPad 2 and the iPad 3. iOS 10.3.4 will support the iPhone 5 and the cellular model of the iPad 4.
As far as what the updates actually introduce to the aging operating systems, both updates contain a fix for a GPS-related bug that could interfere with location services and lead to incorrect time and date settings. They also introduce a handful of security fixes.
It isn’t clear what security patches are in iOS 9.3.6 and iOS 10.3.4, however. The security content page of Apple’s website notes that there are no published CVE entries for the two software updates.
We can probably assume that the security updates mitigate several dangerous vulnerabilities that have surfaced over the past couple of years.
Should You Update?
Apple recommends that users with eligible devices download and install the new updates. If you’re hanging on to an older model iPad or iPhone, that’s probably a good idea — especially since updates for aging software versions are few and far between.
The last update to iOS 9, version 9.3.5, was released in August 2016. Apple last updated iOS 10 with version iOS 10.3.3 in July 2017. The company has since stopped code signing for both software versions in October 2016 and October 2017 respectively.
While owners of older devices may be hesitant to threaten the stability of their tablets or smartphones, iOS 9 and iOS 10 were fairly stable releases. Because of that, the new updates to those platforms released today probably won’t affect the performance or functionality of your older device.
The updates should now be available to download on the respective devices as an over-the-air update. You should be able to find the updates in Settings > General > Software Update.