Critical iPhone security update now live for millions — download iOS 13.5.1 now

ios 13.5.1
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you've got an iPhone — or really any Apple device — you'll want to download the latest software updates from Apple that just came out today (June 1). 

Apple's new software updates focus on security, patching a flaw that lets you jailbreak your device, but could also let hackers with physical access to your device "execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges".

Specifically, the release notes for iOS 13.5.1 and iPadOS 13.5.1 say that the update addresses "a memory consumption issue" with "improved memory handling." 

It doesn't take much detective work to figure out how Apple was alerted to this flaw, especially since the credit for finding this flaw is given to "unc0ver". Last week, a new version of the unc0ver jailbreak emerged that promised to work with all current iPhones. 

Reportedly, a person who worked on the unc0ver jailbreak said that it exploited an iOS "zero-day" vulnerability that Apple was not aware of. 

This release patches the flaw that makes the unc0ver jailbreak possible, and no other flaws. If (and only if) you are using or plan to use the uncOver jailbreak, then you should stay on iOS 13.5.

Apple released iOS 13.5 at the end of last month. It's the software update that made it easier to unlock your smartphone when you're wearing a mask, as more of us are doing these days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

iOS 13.5 has also introduced other, less welcome issues such as recurring reboots on iPads for some users and playback flaws for MP4/MPEG-4 encoded content. Apple's release notes for iOS 13.5.1 make no mention of those issues.

Today's security updates aren't just for iPhone and iPad users. Apple has also released new versions of tvOS, watchOS and macOS for High Sierra and Catalina users that also tackle the same vulnerability. You can read more at Apple's security update site.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.