Apple’s iOS 11.2.6 update delivers a short but important list of changes to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.
iOS users recently discovered a serious iOS bug that simply couldn’t wait for iOS 11.3’s release this spring. Apple promised a quick bug fix update and it’s here in the form of iOS 11.2.6.
The company’s iOS 11.2.6 update is yet another maintenance release for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users though it’s much smaller than iOS 11.2.5, the previous version of iOS 11.
iOS 11.2.6 is small, but it’s an important release for Apple’s mobile devices. In this guide we’ll take you through the key things to know, right now, about the iOS 11.2.6 update’s changes, its performance on the iPhone and iPad, iOS 11.2.6 problems, and what’s coming next from Apple.
iOS 11.2.6 Reviews
If you’re currently running iOS 11.2.5, you should be able install iOS 11.2.6 on your device in less than 10 minutes.
The iOS 11.2.6 update is much smaller than iOS 11.2.5. It’s a tiny download (just 41MB on the iPhone X) for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11. If you’re connected to a fast Wi-Fi network, your iOS 11.2.6 download should take less than a minute.
The iOS 11.2.6 installation process took just about six minutes on Apple’s iPhone X. Mileage will of course vary from device-to-device.
If you’re running an older version of iOS 11 on your device, you’re looking at a larger download and a longer installation. For more on the download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the iOS 11.2.6 update for several weeks on the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and other iPhone and iPad variants. Here are a few quick notes about its performance.
iOS 11.2.6 battery life is currently stable. We haven’t noticed any weird drop after installing the software on our phones or tablets.
We haven’t noticed any connectivity issues. Wi-Fi speeds appear to be normal and we’re able to connect our devices to various Bluetooth devices including headsets and speakers. GPS and cellular data also appear to be functioning properly.
We haven’t noticed any major problems with core apps like Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, or Spotify. We also haven’t seen any UI lag on newer models though it continues to be a problem on older devices.
Most people should install iOS 11.2.6 to fix a crashing problem, but those of you using older devices and running older software need to be careful.
If you need feedback, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11.2.6 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today.
We’ve also published our mini iOS 11.2.6 reviews and you’ll find them at these links for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, and the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2.
iOS 11.2.6 Update: What’s New
iOS 11.2.6 is focused on fixing a springboard issue.
In February, iOS users discovered a rather nasty iOS 11.2.5 bug that allows people to send a specific character that crashes an iOS-powered device and blocks access to the Messages app. The bug can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
Apple promised a fix and said fix is on board the iOS 11.2.6 update. If you’re concerned about this issue, we recommend upgrading to iOS 11.2.6 immediately.
iOS 11.2.6 also fixes an issue where some third-party apps could fail to connect to external accessories.
iOS 11.2.6 Problems
The iOS 11.2.6 update is causing a variety problems for iPhone and iPad users.
iOS 11.2.6 users are complaining about severe battery drain, problems with connectivity (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular data), Touch ID, Face ID, first and third party apps, missing battery indicators, and user interface lag. It also looks like smart punctuation is broken.
If you’re noticing iOS 11.2.6 issues on your phone or tablet, take a look at our list of fixes for common iOS 11 problems. We’ve also released tips to improve iOS 11 performance and tips to improve iOS 11 battery life on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
If you do run into an iOS 11.2.6 issue and you’re unable to fix the problem yourself, you’re stuck until Apple releases the next version of iOS 11.
Apple is no longer signing off on iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2, or any of its older iOS updates. This is a permanent change and the company won’t open these downgrades up again.
Fortunately, the next iOS 11 update is right around the corner.
iOS 11.2.6 Jailbreak
Jailbreak users should avoid the iOS 11.2.6 update for now.
The iOS 11 update has been jailbroken for devices running iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, or iOS 11.1.2. The LiberiOS jailbreak is for advanced users only and it currently doesn’t include Cydia.
There isn’t a working jailbreak for iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.5, or iOS 11.2.6 and we aren’t sure when one might arrive.
For more about the iOS 11 jailbreak, take a look at our roundup.
The next iOS 11 update will most likely be iOS 11.3.
The iOS 11.3 update is official and it’ll bring a nice list of changes to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch including new battery features, new Animojis for the iPhone X, health records in the Health app, and more.
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 11.3 release date, but the update is expected to be out sometime this spring, probably sometime in late March. The company is currently on its sixth, and perhaps final, iOS 11.3 beta.
Apple’s also confirmed a media event for March 27th where it’ll discuss “creative new ideas for teachers and students.” iOS 11.3 features ClassKit so we could see the iOS 11.3 update released in and around that date.
Apple’s also working on an iOS 12 update and it’s expected to bring new emojis and more to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Our first glimpse of iOS 11’s successor will likely come in June at WWDC 2018. Apple has yet to announce dates for its annual developer conference.
Install iOS 11.2.6 for Better Security
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose is to patch up this issue.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.2.6 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.2.6.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.2.6 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.2.6 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.2.6 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with additional security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.2.6 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.2.6. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your version of iOS 11.2.6.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.2.6 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.