Thursday, Oct 21, 2021, 15:12 Mac: Software

macOS And "Device Support Update" – What Apple's New Mechanism Is All About

iPhone and iPad owners who connect their devices to a Mac using a cable are sometimes greeted with a pop-up window. Apple points out that a software update is required before the connection can be established, so that synchronization works without problems. A special Mac app called "MobileDeviceUpdater" is responsible for this message. This looks for an update when the smartphone or tablet is connected and then offers to install it if necessary.

"Device Support Update" in the system update for the first time
Users of iDevices occasionally find this - after all, not too frequently displayed - notice annoying. The update naturally leads to a delay in the connection between iDevice and Mac. The pop-up window with the update request should probably not cause any more waiting times in the future, at least if macOS Big Sur or the upcoming Monterey are in use on the computer from Cupertino. A few weeks ago, Apple published a "Device Support Update" for the first time, which was offered in the software update of the system settings.

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Apple's approach was unusual
What this update was about was not clear at first. The description only stated that it was supposed to ensure the correct backup and restore of iOS and iPadOS devices. It was assumed that Apple was fixing a problem that had occurred a few days earlier in connection with the iPhone 13 and the new iPad. However, the procedure was unusual, because until now, such updates were always performed with the help of the "MobileDeviceUpdater" app mentioned above. This usually happens when the iPhone or iPad is running a version of iOS or iPadOS that is not yet known to the Mac's operating system.



No more pop-up window when connecting an iPhone in the future?
The change in the update process suggests that Apple wants to offer such updates in the future whenever they are ready. The sometimes annoying pop-up windows when connecting the iPhone or iPad to the Mac could thus be a thing of the past. This assumption is supported by a test, which Adam Engst from TidBITS carried out. He did not install the "Device Support Update" at first, but connected his iPad Pro to the Mac. The "MobileDeviceUpdater" then reported and updated the software. Afterwards, the "Device Support Update" disappeared from the system update. It remains to be seen whether Apple's action in this regard was a one-time event or the future rule due to the lack of official information from Cupertino.

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