iOS 9.2 brings a slew of bug and security fixes

— 7:54 AM on December 9, 2015

Apple has unleashed a truckload of updates for its various platforms. OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 patches a couple of  bugs. watchOS 2.1 adds support for a number of new languages. tvOS 9.1 lets owners of the fourth-generation Apple TV control their set-top boxes with the iOS remote app. The biggest update Apple released is iOS 9.2, though. This latest iPhone and iPad update includes several new features and purports to fix a whole mess of bugs.

At the top of the release notes is the Apple Music app, which gains several new capabilities. It can download items from an iCloud music library for local storage on a device (where it could previously just stream them) and show which iCloud music library songs have been downloaded to the device. The Classical Music section of the Apple Music catalog now shows the works, composers, and performers of each piece. Users can create new playlists when adding a song to an existing playlist. The most recently-updated playlist shows at the top of the playlist section, too.

The rest of the user-facing changes of iOS 9.2 are spread across a handful of other apps. Mail now supports Mail Drop, which allows users to send large attachments as links to iCloud rather than bundling the actual attachment into an email. That feature originally debuted on OS X when El Capitan was released, but it had been absent on mobile platforms until now. iBooks gains support for 3D Touch actions within the app. A "peek" action on a book's table of contents will preview the linked section, and a "pop" action will open it. iOS 9.2 gives iPhones the option of importing photos from the just-updated Lightning-to-SD-card adapter, too. 

iOS 9.2 also comes with an extensive list of bug fixes. Apple says it has improved the stability of Safari and the Podcasts app. The company says it also fixed a problem related to iOS updates that inadvertently disabled alarms. Several keyboard-related issues have been fixed, including responsiveness when using Quick Reply for incoming messages and a case where iPads would accidentally switch to text selection mode. Several accessibility changes let VoiceOver wake the screen, invoke the app switcher, and confirm face detection in the Camera app.

Plenty of security fixes are wrapped up in iOS 9.2, too. Apple says it fixed some security holes that could lead to arbitrary code execution, including one related to maliciously-crafted fonts, another in the CoreMedia Playback framework, a third that could pop up when accessing external disks via the IOKit SCSI and the MobileStorageMounter frameworks, and several more in kernel modules. The update also plugs holes in WebKit and OpenGL that could have led to arbitrary code execution. An attacker could have triggered those last two by making a user visit a maliciously-crafted website.

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