Everything you need to know about the latest iPhone patch

  • The latest iOS patch is here in the guise of iOS 17.0.3.
  • A sizeable patch, 17.0.3 fixes a possible attacker exploit, a bug that runs unnecessary code and the much-maligned overheating problem with the iPhone 15.
  • While Apple has said how exactly it has fixed the overheating problem – or what caused it – it has apparently done so without sacrificing performance on the iPhone 15 Pro.

With the iPhone 15 now in South Africa, some owners may have already experienced a problem others have shared on social media – a bug that causes the latest Apple smartphone to overheat, or as the Cupertino creator describes it “run warmer than expected.”

This bug is apparently found in iOS 17, the latest operating system for iPhone that launched alongside the iPhone 15 and brought all the latest features that Apple has shown off in marketing videos since June, including Name Drop, StandBy Mode, new stickers, new widgets and a way to use Maps offline.

Unfortunately, the update also contained a bug that caused certain models of the new iPhone to overheat, prompting concern from owners.

“We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhone to run warmer than expected. The device may feel warmer during the first few days after setting up or restoring (it) because of increased background activity,” an Apple spokesperson told Forbes in a statement.

The iOS 17.0.3 software update.

Then, iOS 17.0.3 brings a few additions to your iPhone and comes in at a whopping 423.2 MB. Apple indicates that “important bug fixes” are included in the update, which will also address the issue of overheating.

According to the update’s patch notes, the two most important security fixes have been applied to a kernel and the WebRTC of iOS 17 on iPhone. The kernel fix sorted out an issue that affected iPhone XS models and later, which includes iPhone 15. There was previously an exploit in which an attacker may have been able to gain better access to a user’s iPhone using a kernel. Apple says this issue has been addressed.

The WebRTC problem affected the same iPhones as the kernel exploit, but caused a bug that ran code in the iOS that didn’t need to be run. This code could have increased the performance requirements of the iPhone. This issue too has been addressed. Both security fixes also apply to the latest iPadOS.

Apple however has not indicated what exactly was causing the overheating issue, nor what it has done to fix the problem. It simply says the problem has been fixed. Given the size of the iPhone patch at nearly half a GB, clearly something substantial has been added to the operating system, more than just a few lines of code.

Insider Ming-Chi Kuo, who has reported correctly on a number of the company’s secret decisions in the past, told MacRumours that the iPhone 15 overheating was likely caused by “compromises made in the thermal system design” and that the only way Apple would fix this issue was to reduce the performance capabilities of the smartphone’s powerful A16 and A17 processors.

However, this may not be the case. Beta Profiles which covers Apple and iOS news performed tests on benchmark software Geekbench 6 before and after the iOS 17.0.3 overheat fix on the iPhone 15 Pro and found that performance capabilities have not been compromised to fix the problem. The benchmark reportedly shows similar performance before and after the update has been downloaded.

The update is available right now for all iPhone users in South Africa, and owners are recommended to download and install the update, at least to gain access to the security patches.


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