Apple Releases iOS 12.4.1, Likely With Jailbreak Fix

Apple today released iOS 12.4.1, a minor update that comes one month after the launch of iOS 12.4.

The iOS 12.4.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.4.1 is free to download.


Today's update likely includes a fix for a vulnerability that allowed hackers to create a jailbreak for the iOS 12.4 update. Apple actually addressed the vulnerability in iOS 12.3, but then accidentally unpatched it in the iOS 12.4 update.

After hackers discovered that the vulnerability was once again available, it didn't take long for a jailbreak to be created. The security issue also left iOS devices vulnerable to hacking attempts, which is why Apple likely worked quickly to correct it.

According to Apple's release notes, the update includes "important security and stability updates" and is recommended for all users.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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iOS 12 Adoption Hits 88%, Continues to Outpace iOS 11

Apple this week disclosed that 88 percent of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices are running iOS 12, as measured by the App Store on August 6, 2019. iOS 12 adoption continues to outpace iOS 11, which was installed on 85 percent of active devices as of September 3, 2018, according to Apple.


The updated stats, highlighted by Rene Ritchie, also reveal that seven percent of active devices continue to run iOS 11, with five percent using an earlier version. This includes older devices that are incompatible with the latest iOS versions.

iOS 12 outpacing iOS 11 in adoption is not much of a surprise, as iOS 11 was plagued by several problems last year, including at least three bugs that could crash the entire system, a HomeKit vulnerability, an iPhone camera autofocus issue, autocorrect bugs, the iPhone X glitching in cold weather, and more.

The high-profile iPhone performance management controversy also likely had an adverse impact on iOS 11 upgrade rates.

In January 2018, multiple reports claimed that Apple delayed several new features planned for iOS 12 to focus on performance, stability, and bug fixes, and the software update has indeed proven to be much more reliable.

Looking ahead, Apple is now in the latter stages of beta testing iOS 13, which will be publicly released in September.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Here’s How Apple’s New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud.

Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video.

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Setting up an iPhone using the new options uses the same Quick Start process that's been in place since iOS 11. When you get a new iPhone, you simply need to hold your existing iPhone nearby to initiate the setup process on the new device.

Quick Start confirms your Apple ID and then uses the camera to pair the two devices to one another by scanning an animation. After the pairing process completes (which includes the setup of Touch ID and Face ID), you'll see the new "Transfer from iPhone" option.

Transferring from iPhone, as the name suggests, bypasses iCloud and migrates data from one iPhone to another in a device to device capacity, which means it's done offline.

Prior to Apple's introduction of this feature, Quick Start only offered a "Download from iCloud" option which required an iCloud backup.

The new iPhone to iPhone option is a useful way to transfer data for those who only have 5GB of free Apple storage, as there's not always enough room to create an iCloud backup. It's also useful when Wi-Fi connection speeds are limited, and it will ultimately make it quicker to get a new iPhone up and running.

It works similarly to an iCloud backup or an iTunes backup, transferring over information like photos, app information, device preferences and settings, and more. App data is transferred over, but as with an iCloud backup, apps are downloaded directly from the App Store rather than from your existing iPhone.

The amount of time that it takes to transfer data from one iPhone to another will vary based on what's on the existing iPhone, but Apple provides a data transfer estimate on the main data transfer screen.

Using this method, it's faster to get photos, music, and other media from one iPhone to another because there's no longer a need to wait for that content to download from iCloud.

The new iPhone to iPhone data transfer process requires both devices to be running the release version of iOS 12.4 or later, and it won't work on devices running earlier versions of iOS 12.

iPhone to iPhone data transfers can be done over Wi-Fi, but there's also an option to transfer data using a wired connection by utilizing a USB3 Camera Adapter and a Lightning cable.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple’s Walkie-Talkie Apple Watch App Works Again Following iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 Release

Nearly two weeks ago, Apple disabled the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch after discovering a bug that could allow the feature to be used to eavesdrop on others.

At the time, Apple said that it had just learned of the vulnerability and was taking the app offline while working on a fix. That fix is ready today in both iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3, which means the Walkie-Talkie app is once again available for use.


When disabling the Walkie-Talkie app, Apple didn't pull it off of Apple Watches, leaving the app intact but rendering it non-functional. Today's software updates fix the vulnerability and bring the app back online.


Walkie-Talkie was one of the headline features in watchOS 5, released last September. Walkie-Talkie is designed to allow users to communicate with one another using a push to talk function, similar to a real walkie-talkie.

Apple said that it did not believe that the vulnerability in Walkie-Talkie was exploited to spy on anyone, but disabled the feature out of an abundance of caution.
We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible.

Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer's iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.
Apple was quick to take down the Walkie-Talkie app as it suffered from another eavesdropping bug recently that received major media attention. A serious Group FaceTime bug was discovered back in January, and when exploited, it allowed callers to hear a user's audio even when the call had not been accepted.

In that situation, Apple did not remove the Group FaceTime feature until it had been publicized, despite the person who discovered the bug having submitted a report days before. Apple fixed the Group FaceTime bug after a week and a half, addressing it in iOS 12.1.4.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6, iOS 12
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Releases iOS 12.4 With New Wireless Data Migration When Setting Up a New iPhone and Apple News+ Improvements

Apple will today release iOS 12.4, the fourth major update to the iOS 12 operating system that first launched in September 2018. iOS 12.4 comes more two months after the release of iOS 12.3, another major update that brought the new TV app.

The iOS 12.4 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.4 is free to download, but it may take some time for iOS 12.4 to propagate to all iOS users.


During the beta testing process, there were no outward-facing features or major changes discovered in iOS 12.4. According to Apple's release notes, the update introduces a new iPhone migration option to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, and it introduces enhancements to Apple News+. From Apple's release notes:
iOS 12.4 introduces iPhone migration to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, includes enhancements to Apple News+ and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad. This update:

iPhone migration
- Introduces the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup

Apple News
- Makes downloaded issues accessible in the My Magazines section, both offline and online
- Adds all publications in Apple News+, including newspapers, to the catalog at the top of the News+ feed
- Adds the ability to clear downloaded magazine issues by selecting History > Clear > Clear All

Other improvements and fixes
- Includes a security fix for the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch and re-enables Walkie-Talkie functionality

This release also includes support for HomePod in Japan and Taiwan.
The update was believed to include support for Apple Card, laying the foundation for Apple's new credit card, though the release notes make no mention of this. It could still add the underlying framework for Apple Card, which is set to be launching this summer and could come at any time.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple Seeds Seventh Beta of iOS 12.4 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the seventh beta of an upcoming iOS 12.4 update to developers, one week after seeding the sixth iOS 12.4 beta, and two months after releasing iOS 12.3, a major update that introduced a revamped TV app.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over the air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center. Public Beta testers can download the beta over the air.


There were no new features discovered in the first six iOS 12.4 betas, so it's not entirely clear what's coming in the update. As a more significant 12.x update, it's possible that the update is focusing on a feature that's not yet available -- the Apple Card.

Apple is planning to release the Apple Card in the summer, so iOS 12.4 could be the update that prepares the iOS operating system for that launch, adding hidden features that will be unlocked when the update becomes available to the public. If we find new features in the seventh beta of iOS 12.4, we'll update this post.

iOS 12.4 may be one of the last updates to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple transitions to iOS 13, set to launch this September, and as we are now at beta seven, the update could see a release in the very near future.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of iOS 12.4 to Developers

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.4 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the fifth iOS 12.4 beta, and nearly two months after releasing iOS 12.3, a major update that introduced a revamped TV app.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


There were no new features discovered in the first five iOS 12.4 betas, so it's not entirely clear what's coming in the update. As a more significant 12.x update, it's possible that the update is focusing on a feature that's not yet available -- the Apple Card.

Apple is planning to release the Apple Card in the summer, so iOS 12.4 could be the update that prepares the iOS operating system for that launch, adding hidden features that will be unlocked when the update becomes available to the public. If we find new features in the sixth beta of iOS 12.4, we'll update this post.

iOS 12.4 may be one of the last updates to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple transitions to iOS 13, set to launch this September.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 12.4 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.4 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the fourth iOS 12.4 beta, and over a month after releasing iOS 12.3, a major update that introduced a revamped TV app.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


There were no new features discovered in the first four iOS 12.4 betas, so it's not entirely clear what's coming in the update. As a more significant 12.x update, it's possible that the update is focusing on a feature that's not yet available -- the Apple Card.

Apple is planning to release the Apple Card in the summer, so iOS 12.4 could be the update that prepares the iOS operating system for that launch, adding hidden features that will be unlocked when the update becomes available to the public. If we find new features in the fifth beta of iOS 12.4, we'll update this post.

iOS 12.4 may be one of the last updates to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple transitions to iOS 13, set to launch this September.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Data Extraction Company Cellebrite Touts New Software for Cracking iPhones and iPads Running up to iOS 12.3

Israel-based software developer Cellebrite, known for breaking into mobile devices like the iPhone to obtain sensitive data, has announced that it can now unlock any iOS device running up to iOS 12.3, which was released only a month ago.


The firm revealed the capability in a tweet posted late Friday advertising UFED Premium, the latest version of its Universal Forensic Extraction Device.

On its UFED web page, Cellebrite describes the tool's ability to glean forensic data from any iOS device dating back to iOS 7, as well as from Android devices made by Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Xiaomi.

The Israel firm describes UFED Premium as "the only on-premise solution for law enforcement agencies to unlock and extract crucial mobile phone evidence from all iOS and high-end Android devices."

If the claims are accurate, Cellebrite's tool will enable authorities to potentially crack the vast majority of smartphones currently available on the market. As Wired notes, no other law enforcement contractor has made such broad claims about a single product, at least not publicly.

Apple continually introduces improvements to the security of its operating systems in order to keep ahead of companies like Cellebrite that are always searching for flaws and vulnerabilities to exploit in order to access the data on locked iOS devices.

For example, in October 2018 Apple's successfully thwarted the "GrayKey" iPhone passcode hack, sold by Atlanta-based company Grayshift, which had also been in use by U.S. law enforcement.

Cellebrite first garnered significant attention in 2016, when it was believed the company was enlisted to help the FBI break into the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook after Apple refused to provide the FBI with tools to unlock the device.

The FBI did not use Cellebrite's services for that particular case, but several United States government agencies do regularly work with Cellebrite to unlock iOS devices.

According to Wired's sources, Grayshift has developed tools to unlock at least some versions of iOS 12. If true, the firm is still keeping its cards close to its chest, but probably not for much longer.

Even as Apple works to increase the security of its iOS devices, Cellebrite's brazen announcement suggests the cat-and-mouse game of exploiting vulnerabilities in mobile device software will only become more competitive, as rival companies attempt to grab a bigger share of the market.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of iOS 12.4 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.4 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the third iOS 12.4 beta, and a month after releasing iOS 12.3, a major update that introduced a revamped TV app.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


There were no new features discovered in the first three iOS 12.4 betas, so it's not entirely clear what's coming in the update. As a more significant 12.x update, it's possible that the update is focusing on a feature that's not yet available -- the Apple Card.

Apple is planning to release the Apple Card in the summer, so iOS 12.4 could be the update that prepares the iOS operating system for that launch, adding hidden features that will be unlocked when the update becomes available to the public.

If we find new features in the fourth beta of iOS 12.4, we'll update this post.

iOS 12.4 may be one of the last updates to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple transitions to iOS 13, set to launch this September.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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