Apple releases macOS 10.12.4, iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2, tvOS 10.2 – PLEASE BACK UP FIRST!

Today Apple released updates for all of their operating systems. In addition to the regular security and bug fix updates, each of these updates includes a few minor features.

NOTE: It is especially important to back up your iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) before this upgrade because your files will be converted to the new APFS filesystem. This won’t change how your device works; it’s all under-the-hood improvements for speed, security, and battery life. But anything that mucks with your files has the potential for data loss. So far I’ve heard no reports of problems but it’s always important to back up before upgrades anyway. Just make sure you have your device backed up first and you’ll be fine.

macOS 10.12.4 adds the Night Shift option, which reduces the blue light your mac screen emits after dark. There is some evidence that this may reduce the impact of glowing screens on your sleep rhythms.

iOS 10.3 adds Find my AirPods, changes the navigation of email conversations in response to customer feedback, makes it easier to manage your iCloud account, and converts your device to the new APFS filesystem.

tvOS 10.2 makes it slightly easier to scroll through large lists. You can access an index by swiping along the right edge of your Siri remote.

watchOS 3.2 adds Theater Mode which disables Wake On Raise temporarily. You still get vibration notices but you must press a button to wake the screen. Access this by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to access Control Center and tap the comedy/tragedy masks.

As always, be sure your devices are fully backed up before updating.

To update your systems

  • macOS: Click the Apple menu > App Store > Updates. After the page loads click the Update button.
  • iOS: BACK UP FIRST! I’m being serious. Then tap Settings > General > Software Update.
  • watchOS: First upgrade your iPhone, then on your iPhone tap the Watch app > General > Software Update. This update might take about an hour to install and will require you to leave your Apple Watch on the charger.
  • tvOS: navigate to Settings > System > Software Update.