It's time for a new round of operating system updates, with Apple releasing macOS 10.14.6, iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3 and tvOS 12.4. Surprisingly, the company has also released updates to much older versions of iOS versions 10.3.4 and 9.3.6 – to fix a few issues that older iOS devices might encounter.
Normally, we recommend waiting a few days before installing minor updates, but Security Editor Rich Mogull recommends updating to macOS 10.14.6 and iOS 12.4 immediately because of the severity of the external security issues they address.
With macOS 10.14.6, Apple focuses on adding features to Apple News and providing a few bug fixes. The enhancements to Apple News make downloaded magazine editions available in the My Magazines section, although the Mac does not have Internet access, add all publications in Apple News + in the directory at the top of the News + feed, and allow you to clear downloaded magazine editions in History> Remove> Remove Everything.
As far as bug fixes go, macOS 10.14.6:
- A problem that prevents the creation of a new Boot Camp partition on an iMac or Mac mini with a Fusion Drive
- Resolves an error that can cause a hangout during a restart
- Solves a graphics problem that may occur when you wake up from sleep
- Fixes an issue that may cause full-screen video to appear black on the Mac mini  Improves file sharing security over SMB
- Addresses an error that could cause file sharing connections to fall
- Improves Xsan client compatibility when accessing volumes using 1K or larger LUN sector sizes  macOS 10.14.6 also includes 25 security fixes.
The update weighs in at 2.64 GB and you can install it by using the software update pane in System Preferences.
iOS 12.4 update fixes the Walkie-Talkie vulnerability on Apple Watch and re-activates that feature (see "Apple Disables the Apple Watch Walkie-Talkie App because of the security vulnerability", July 11 2019).
iOS 12.4 provides a new migration tool for iPhone that "introduces the ability to transfer data wirelessly and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during configuration." It expands the existing quick launch feature that helps you set up a new device using an existing one. Apple says you can also connect your devices using the Lightning two USB 3 Camera Adapter and a Lightning two USB cable, but it's not clear when it may be preferable.
iOS 12.4 update offers the same Apple News enhancements that appear in macOS 10.14.6: making downloaded editions available in My Magazines, even while not offline, adding all publications to Apple News + in News + – directory, and let you remove problems with downloaded magazines.
Many outlets also report that iOS 12.4 supports the upcoming Apple card (see "Apple Card: more than just a credit card," March 28, 2019), but Apple does not mention it in the release notes.
iOS 12.4 includes 19 security fixes.
You can update to iOS 12.4 in Settings> General> Software Update or through iTunes. The update weighs 385.4 MB on the iPhone X and 319.8 MB on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
iOS 10.3.4 and 9.3.6
Although Apple rarely updates outdated versions of iOS, MacRumors reports that Apple has released iOS 10.3.4 and 9.3.6 to fix a problem affecting GPS site performance and may lead to incorrect system dates and times. If you use a device that cannot upgrade beyond one of these versions, the update is probably worth installing after waiting a few days to ensure it does not introduce new issues.
As with previous watchOS updates, watchOS 5.3 enables the ECG app and irregular heartbeat alerts in several countries, this time bringing Croatia, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland and Slovakia up. It also disables accessories with unsafe Bluetooth connections, solves a problem where the numbers on the Explorer face would not appear to any users, and adds a new clock surface.
watchOS 5.3 has 16 security patches. Oddly, the Walkie-Talkie vulnerability mentioned in the iOS 12.4 release notes does not mention anything here.
You can install the 104 MB update using the iPhone's Watch app – go to Watch> General> Software Update. Once you have updated to iOS 12.4, you may as well update to watchOS 5.3 as well.
Apple has released tvOS 12.4, and says nothing more about the changes other than the usual "overall performance and stability improvements." The company also released Apple TV software update 7.3.1 for the third generation Apple TVs with the same little useful description. It is quite possible that the whole point of tvOS 12.4 is to spread 14 security corrections.
If automatic updates are not on, you can update Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K by going to Settings> System> Software Updates. For a third generation Apple TV, go to Settings> General> Software Updates.