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5 Things to Know About the iOS 12.4.2 Update

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Apple’s released a surprise iOS 12.4.2 update for iPhone and iPad models that weren’t updated to the company’s new iOS 13 operating system.

iOS 12.4.2 is another maintenance update which means it’s a tiny release for phones like the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus and tablets like the original iPad Air and iPad mini 2.

If your phone or tablet is currently running iOS 12.4.1, you get the smallest version of iOS 12.4.2. If you’re moving your device up from an older version of iOS 12, your iOS 12.4.2 update will be bigger because you get the features and fixes from any updates you skipped along the way.

With that in mind, we want to walk you through the most important things to know, right now, about Apple’s new iOS 12.4.2 release.

Our guide goes over the iOS 12.4.2 update’s performance, iOS 12.4.2 problems, the places to look for feedback about iOS 12.4.2’s performance on your iPhone or iPad, the iOS 12.4.2 jailbreak, and more.

We’ll start with our quick impressions of iOS 12.4.2’s performance on the iPhone and iPad.

iOS 12.4.2 Reviews

If you’re moving your phone or tablet from iOS 12.4.1, your iOS 12.4.2 update requires a tiny download. It’s only a few megabytes.

If you’re running an older version of iOS 12, your download will be larger because, again, the features and fixes from the updates you missed are included in your iOS 12.4.2 update.

If you’re currently running iOS 12.4.1, the iOS 12.4.2 installation should take less than 10 minutes. It took about six minutes to install on an iPhone 5s.

For more on the iOS 12.4.2 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using the iOS 12.4.2 update on our iPhones and iPads for a short time and here’s we’ve found thus far:

Connectivity

  • Battery life is stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is currently fast and reliable.
  • 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 stable right now.
  • First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are also working fine.

Speed

  • iOS 12.4.1 feels as fast as iOS 12.4. iOS 12.4 was fast on all of our devices.

If you’re dealing with bugs or performance issues on iOS 12.4.1 or another version of iOS 12, you might want to install iOS 12.4.2 right now.

If you need help making a decision, check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 12.4.2 update on your iPhone or iPad right now.

We’ve published our mini iOS 12.4.2 reviews for iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s so check those for additional feedback if you need it.

iOS 12.4.2 Problems

iOS 12.4.2 is already causing problems for some iPhone and iPad users.

We’re hearing about installation problems, issues with first and third-party apps, battery drain, connectivity issues, UI lag, and random reboots.

It’s still early so we expect the list of iOS 12.4.2 problems to grow as more users transition from their current version of iOS 12 to the latest firmware.

If you run into an issue on iOS 12.4.2 check out our list of fixes for the most common iOS 12 problems. We’ve also released tips to help improve iOS 12’s performance and tips to help improve iOS 12 battery life.

If you can’t handle iOS 12.4.2’s performance on your phone or tablet, you’re on your own. There’s no way off the update once you move to it.

Apple is no longer signing on the iOS 12.4.1 update which means you can no longer use a loophole to move your device back down in an effort to improve performance.

Unfortunately, you can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 12.4.1 either. Apple’s closed up the downgrade path to iOS 12.4 and below.

iOS 12.4.2 Update: What’s New

The iOS 12.4.2 update doesn’t bring any new features to these devices (that we know of). As of right now, it looks like the update contains a single security patch which you can read about on Apple’s security page.

iOS 12.4.2 Jailbreak

You can jailbreak iOS 12.4, but you can’t jailbreak iOS 12.4.2 or iOS 12.4.1.

Jailbreak developers have released a public iOS 12.4 jailbreak tool that’s compatible with Apple A7 through A11 devices. That means you can jailbreak an iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X running iOS 12.4, but you can’t jailbreak a newer model.

If you own an iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max, you can jailbreak iOS 12 using the Chimera jailbreak tool. However, your device needs to be running iOS 12.0-iOS 12.1.2.

What’s Next

The iOS 12.4.2 release was a surprise because Apple typically stops releasing updates for older operating systems after a new version rolls out.

The company could decide to release an iOS 12.4.3 update or iOS 12.5 update down the road, but we wouldn’t count on it at this point.

If you’re dealing with issues, you’ll probably be on your own for awhile. And if you want the latest iOS features, you’ll need to upgrade to an iPhone model that’s compatible with iOS 13.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12.4.2 & 9 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12.4.2 for Better Security

Install iOS 12.4.2 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, this is one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.4.2.

If you value your device's security, you'll want to download iOS 12.4.2 in the near future because it brings an important security patch for your device. You can read about it right here

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

If you skipped iOS 12.4, you get its patches with your iOS 12.4.2 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 12.4.2 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 12.4.2.

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 12.4.2 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 12.4.2. 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 12.4.2 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 12.4.2. If you skipped iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.4.2 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 12.4.2 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 12.4.2 today.

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