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5 Things to Know About the iOS 12.3.1 Update

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Apple’s iOS 12.3.1 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch brings bug fixes for a trio of issues.

The iOS 12.3.1 release came without warning. iOS updates typically go through a beta testing period, but the fixes on board iOS 12.3.1 apparently couldn’t wait for iOS 12.4.

Unlike iOS 12.3, iOS 12.3.1 is a maintenance release which means it’s focused on fixing problems within the operating system. It doesn’t bring any new features to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch models.

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If you’re currently running iOS 12.3, you just get bug fixes with your upgrade. If you’re running an older version of iOS, your iOS 12.3.1 update is more substantial because you’ll get the features and fixes from the iOS updates you skipped.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything you need to know about Apple’s newest version of iOS 12.

In this guide we’ll take you through iOS 12.3.1’s known changes, iOS 12.3.1 problems, some places to look for feedback about the software’s performance, and our impressions of the update so far.

iOS 12.3.1 Reviews

The iOS 12.3.1 update requires a small download.

If you’re upgrading from iOS 12.3, your download should be right around 80MB. The iOS 12.3.1 update is a 77.9MB download for iPhone X owners and it’s similar download size for other iPhone models.

If you’re running an older version of iOS 12, you’re going to see a larger download size because, again, the features and fixes from updates you skipped are baked into your update.

If you’re currently running iOS 12.3, installing the iOS 12.3.1 update should take less than 10 minutes. It took about five minutes to install on an iPhone X.

For more on the iOS 12.3.1 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using the iOS 12.3.1 update on our iPhones and iPads for an extended period of time and here’s what we’ve found thus far:

Connectivity

  • Battery life is stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is stable and fast.
  • Bluetooth is working normally.
  • GPS and cellular data are both stable.

Apps

  • Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are all working normally.
  • First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are working fine.

Speed

  • iOS 12.3.1 feels as fast as iOS 12.3. iOS 12.3 was fast on all of our devices.

If you’re dealing with bugs or performance issues on iOS 12.3 or another version of iOS 12, you’ll probably want to install iOS 12.3.1 right away.

If you need help making a decision, check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 12.3.1 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch right now.

We’ve published our iOS 12.3.1 reviews for the iPhone X, iPhone 7, iPhone 6siPhone 6, iPhone 5s, and iPhone SE so check those for additional feedback if you need it.

If you’re having a great experience on iOS 12.3 or an older version of iOS, make sure you dig into additional feedback before jumping up to iOS 12.3.1.

iOS 12.3.1 Problems

iOS 12.3.1 users are reporting a variety of bugs and performance issues.

The current list of iOS 12.3.1 problems includes download and installation issues, connectivity issues, data issues, issues with Exchange, abnormal battery drain, random reboots, crashes, UI lag, and issues with first and third-party apps.

If you run into an issue while running iOS 12.3.1 have a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 12 problems. We’ve also released some tips to improve iOS 12 performance and tips to improve iOS 12 battery life.

If you can’t stand iOS 12.3.1’s performance on your phone or tablet, you can try downgrading to the previous version of iOS 12. It might help.

Apple is still signing on iOS 12.3 which means you use a loophole to downgrade to the previous version. If iOS 12.3 was running well on your device, this is a solid option.

You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 12.3. Apple has closed up the iOS 12.2 downgrade path.

If you own an iPhone 8 Plus, you should try upgrading to iOS 12.3.2.

iOS 12.3.1 Update: What’s New

The iOS 12.3.1 update is a small release and it carries a few fixes for issues with the Messages app and VoLTE calls. Here’s the full change log:

  • Fixes an issue that could prevent making or receiving VoLTE calls.
  • Fixes issues in Messages that could cause messages from unknown senders to appear in your conversation list even though Filter Unknown Senders is enabled.
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent the Report Junk link from appearing in Messages threads from unknown senders.

iOS 12.3.1 doesn’t carry any new security patches for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

iOS 12.3.1 Jailbreak

You can’t jailbreak iOS 12.3.1 right now.

If you want to jailbreak your device you can jailbreak using the Chimera tool, but only if you’re running iOS 12.0-iOS 12.1.2. It’s a semi-tethered jailbreak and it supports newer models like the iPhone XS.

You can also use the unc0ver jailbreak tool. Unfortunately, devices that use the A12 processor (like iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max) aren’t supported.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to any of these versions of iOS 12. So if you’re running iOS 12.3.1, iOS 12.3, iOS 12.2, iOS 12.1.4, or iOS 12.1.3 you’ll have to wait for developers to release a new tool.

What’s Next

Again, if you own an iPhone 8 Plus, you can upgrade to iOS 12.3.2. The iOS 12.3.2 update is exclusive to the iPhone 8 Plus and isn’t available for other iPhone models. iPad and iPod touch models also remain on iOS 12.3.1.

For more on the iOS 12.3.2 update for iPhone 8 Plus, please take a look at our guide. It goes over everything you need to know about the firmware.

Unless Apple releases a surprise iOS 12.3.3 update, and this point that’s unlikely, the next version of iOS 12 for iPhone (including the iPhone 8 Plus), iPad, and iPod touch will be iOS 12.4.

Apple’s confirmed iOS 12.4 and the update is in beta testing ahead of a release later this year. We expect the software to launch sometime this summer alongside the Apple Card credit card. Apple is currently on iOS 12.4 beta 6 which means an official release is close.

Like iOS 12.3, iOS 12.4 is a milestone update which means it will carry a mix of bug fixes, security patches, enhancements, and features.

If you’re struggling on iOS 12.3.1 or simply want to give iOS 12.4 a try before its official release date, you can do so via the iOS 12.4 beta.

You can also try the iOS 13 beta or iPadOS 13 beta.

Apple’s confirmed new operating systems for iPhone and iPad and the first betas are available to developers and the general public right now.

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 come with performance improvements and a slew of new features including Dark Mode, a swipe keyboard, and much, much more.

For more on iOS 13, take a look at our walkthrough. For more on iPadOS 13, take a look at our guide to the beta.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12.4.3 & 9 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12.4.3 for Better Security

Install iOS 12.4.3 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, this is one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.4.3.

If you value your device's security, you'll want to download iOS 12.4.3 in the near future because it brings important security patches for your device. You can read about them (when Apple posts them) right here

If you missed iOS 12.4.2, you get an additional patch with your upgrade. You can read about the security contents of iOS 12.4.2 here

If you skipped iOS 12.4.1, you'll get its security patch with your iOS 12.4.3 update. You can read about that patch right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4, you get its patches with your iOS 12.4.3 update. 

iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on Apple's security site

If you skipped iOS 12.3, your iOS 12.4.3 update carries iOS 12.3's security patches on board. The iOS 12.3 update brought 23 patches and you can read about all of them right here on Apple's site. 

If you skipped iOS 12.2, you'll get its security patches with your version of iOS 12.4.3.

iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in March. You can read more about the iOS 12.2's patches over on the company's website

It's important to note that Apple's iOS 12.2 update patched up an exploit that allowed websites to use motion sensors to "fingerprint" devices.

The exploit, discovered by researchers in Europe, uses JavaScript to snag data from a device's accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer when the user visits an infected website. If the attack is successful, a device can be tracked around the internet. 

Fortunately, Apple's patched up the issue. If you skipped it, you'll probably want to move to iOS 12.4.3 soon.

If you skipped iOS 12.1.4, you get four important security patches including fixes for a widespread FaceTime eavesdropping bug that lets you call someone via FaceTime and hear the audio coming from their phone before they pick up the phone.

If you skipped iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.4.3. Again, they're baked into your upgrade.

Apple lists a grand total of 23 patches on board iOS 12.1.3 and you can read about all of them over on Apple's website. 

If you skipped iOS 12.1.1, you'll want to install the iOS 12.4.3 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today. 

The iOS 12.1.1 update brought 17 patches for potential security exploits. They'll will help protect your phone. You can read about them here.

If you skipped iOS 12.1, you'll get the 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.4.3. If you skipped iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.4.3 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.

If you skipped iOS 12.0, and you're still running iOS 11.4.1 or below, your iOS 12.4.3 update comes with a longer list of security updates. 

The iOS 12.0 update delivered 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's security page.

In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:

  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device 

Long story short, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.4.3 today.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Jorge Gallo

    05/31/2019 at 10:14 am

    Terrible!! It’s the third iPhone that apple break me with the update,
    I have updated my iphone 7 plus and now the icon of the speaker disappeared and I can not hear or the other person does not listen to me, the camera does not work, the headphones jack don’t work damn it! at the beginning of ios 12 apple broke me two iphone 6 these auto turns on and off impossible to use, there are lying in a drawer.
    I’m very upset with apple

  2. John IL

    06/03/2019 at 6:48 am

    I can’t say I have ever had significant problems with IOS updates. I don’t usually seek out the updates I typically just wait for a notification. I see more problems when updates come out and you see a lot of people trying to download it. Seems to be a correlation between this high demand and issues.

  3. Glenn

    06/04/2019 at 4:24 am

    Since loading the 12.3.1 update this weekend both my wife’s iPhone 6s and my iPhone X have had huge battery drain issues with the Calendar app using the vast majority of power.

  4. David

    06/14/2019 at 10:42 pm

    Why does “fixes three bugs” have to be rendered as “brings bug fixes for a trio of issues”?

  5. Petra

    06/19/2019 at 3:58 am

    I don’t actively seek for updates, but when the notification comes up I usually go along without further investigation. I wish I didn’t with this, though.
    – After the update my phone is sucking up battery life with a speed I haven’t experienced before.
    – My phone forgets the auto lock (that I’ve set on 30 seconds).
    – It also forgets to wake me up in the morning… Alarm is on, phone doesn’t say a thing and I wake up and see the screen stuck in a mode where you normally stop it or snooze it. No sound, nothing.

    Might be something else I’ve not noticed yet.

  6. Cathy

    07/10/2019 at 12:33 pm

    Hi, just an FYI, after the 12.3.1 upgrade, one iPhone XR on our 2 phone and one Apple Watch plan with AT&T decided to start misbehaving. I can no longer send pics via message from phone a to phone b (gets stuck in downloading state), and phone b keeps ‘changing to primary’ whenever a text is sent to anyone. Pics can be sent and received to and from any other phone, iPhone or not. Phone b is also attached at the hip with the watch. :-(

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