Apple’s released its long-awaited iOS 12.4 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and the new milestone update brings some big changes to the company’s mobile devices.
It took several months, but Apple’s pulled the iOS 12.4 update out of beta and the software is now available for all devices capable of running iOS 12.
If your device is currently running iOS 12.3.1 or iOS 12.3.2, you get the shortest change log. If you’re running an older version of iOS 12, your iOS 12.4 update will be much bigger because the features and fixes from the updates you skipped are baked into your upgrade.
With that in mind, we want to take you through everything you need to know about Apple’s newest, and perhaps final, version of iOS 12.
In this guide we’ll take you through iOS 12.4’s known changes, iOS 12.4 problems, some places to look for feedback about the software’s performance, and our impressions of the update thus far.
iOS 12.4 Reviews
The iOS 12.4 requires a pretty large download.
If you’re upgrading from iOS 12.3.1 or iOS 12.3.2, your download will probably check in around 350-400MB. The iPhone X’s iOS 12.4 update is a 385MB file and it’s around the same for other models.
If you’re currently on an older version of iOS 12, you’ll see a larger download size because, again, you’ll get the features and fixes from any iOS updates you skipped.
If you’re currently running iOS 12.3.1 or iOS 12.3.2, the iOS 12.4 installation should take less than 10 minutes. It took right around seven minutes on the iPhone X.
For more on the iOS 12.4 download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the iOS 12.4 update on our iPhones and iPads for several weeks now and here’s how it’s performing as we push into September:
- Battery life is currently stable.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
- Bluetooth is working normally.
- GPS and cellular data are both stable.
- Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are all working normally at the moment.
- First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are also working fine.
- iOS 12.4 feels as fast as iOS 12.3.1. iOS 12.3.1 was fast on all of our devices.
If you’re dealing with bugs or performance issues on iOS 12.3.1 or another version of iOS 12, you’ll probably want to install iOS 12.4 right now.
If you need help making a decision, check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 12.4 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch right now.
iOS 12.4 Problems
iOS 12.4 users are reporting numerous bugs and performance issues.
The current list of iOS 12.4 problems includes download and installation issues, weird battery drain, UI lag, crashes, random reboots, issues with Touch ID and Face ID, and connectivity issues
If you run into an issue while running iOS 12.4 please take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 12 problems. We’ve also released some tips to improve iOS 12’s performance and tips to improve iOS 12 battery life on both the iPhone and iPad.
If you can no longer tolerate iOS 12.4’s performance on your device, you’re on your own.
Apple is no longer signing on iOS 12.3.2, iOS 12.3.1, and iOS 12.3 which means you can no longer use a loophole to downgrade to one of those versions.
Unfortunately, you can’t downgrade to anything older than that either. Apple’s closed up the downgrade path to iOS 12.2, and below, as well.
iOS 12.4 Update: What’s New
iOS 12.4 is a milestone upgrade which, again, means it carries new features.
Specifically, the iOS 12.4 update brings a new iPhone migration method and some changes to Apple News. Here’s the update’s full change log:
- Introduces the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup
- 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
iOS 12.4 also includes support for HomePod in Japan and Taiwan and 19 security patches.
iOS 12.4 Jailbreak
There are a couple of ways to jailbreak iOS 12.
The unc0ver jailbreak now supports Apple A7 through A11 devices running iOS 12.4 and below. That means means you can jailbreak iOS 12.4 if you’re using 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.
If you own a newer iPhone model, you can jailbreak iOS 12 using the Chimera tool. However, your device needs to be running iOS 12.0-iOS 12.1.2.
Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to downgrade to any of those updates.
- 11-Inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with Promotion true Tone, and wide Color
- A12X Bionic chip with Neural Engine
- Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
- 12MP back camera, 7MP True Depth front camera
- Four speaker audio with wider stereo sound
iOS 12.4 may or may not be the last version of iOS 12.
The company hasn’t confirmed iOS 12.4 or iOS 12.5 and with the iOS 13 release getting closer, there’s a chance the company jumps right to iOS 13.
If that’s the case, iOS 12.4 will be the last update for devices like the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. None of them will get upgraded to iOS 13.
That said, Apple accidentally unpatched a vulnerability in iOS which in turn led to the release of an iOS 12.4 jailbreak tool. We expect Apple to patch this up soon so there’s a chance we see iOS 12.4.1 arrive before iOS 13.
iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 will bring performance improvements and a tons of new features including Dark Mode, a swipe keyboard, and much, much more.
We expect Apple to pull iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 from beta sometime in September, shortly after the company launches its 2019 iPhones.
Install iOS 12.5.3 for Better Security
If you're on the fence, here's one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.5.3 right away.
The iOS 12.5.3 update includes two security patches that will protect you and your device from harm. Both patches are related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, head on over to Apple's security site.
If you skipped iOS 12.5.2, you'll get its security patch with your upgrade. You can read more about it over on Apple's website.
If you also skipped iOS 12.5, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. Apple's outlined the update's patch in detail on its security site.
If you missed iOS 12.4.9, you'll get its four security patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those right here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.7, you get the update's three security patches (two for the Mail app and one for Wi-Fi) with your upgrade to iOS 12.5.3.
If you're running software that's older than Apple's iOS 12.4.4 update, you'll want to download iOS 12.5.3 in the near future because it brings iOS 12.4.4's security patch to your device. You can read about it right here.
If you're running software older than iOS 12.4.2, you get an additional patch with your upgrade. You can read about the security contents of iOS 12.4.2 right here.
If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.4.1, you'll get its security patch with your iOS 12.5.3 update. You can read about that patch right here.
If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.4, you get its patches with your iOS 12.5.3 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're running software older than iOS 12.3, your iOS 12.5.3 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're on software that's older than iOS 12.2, you'll get its security patches with your version of iOS 12.5.3.
iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. 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.
Fortunately, Apple's patched up the issue. If you skipped it, you'll probably want to move to iOS 12.5.3 soon.
If you're on software older than 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're on software older than iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.5.3. 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're on software older than iOS 12.1.1, you should install the iOS 12.5.3 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're running software older than iOS 12.1, you'll get 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.5.3.
If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.5.3 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.
Long story long, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.5.3 today.
Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.