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5 Things to Know About the iOS 12.5 Update

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Apple’s released an iOS 12.5 update and the software is available for iPhone and iPad models that didn’t make move to iOS 13, iPadOS 13, iOS 14, or iPadOS 14.

iOS 12.5 is a milestone update (x.x), but it’s a very small upgrade for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, original iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch sixth-gen.

If your iPhone or iPad is currently running iOS 12.4.9, you’ll see a short change log and a small download. If your iPhone or iPad is running an older version of iOS 12, your iOS 12.5 update might be larger because the changes from updates you skipped are baked into your version of iOS 12.5.

With that in mind, we want to walk you through the most important things to know about Apple’s new iOS 12.5 update for iPhone and iPad.

Our guide goes over the iOS 12.5 update’s performance, the current state of iOS 12 problems, places to find feedback about iOS 12.5’s performance, the iOS 12.5 jailbreak situation, and more.

We’ll start with some quick impressions of iOS 12.5’s performance.

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iOS 12.5 Review

If you’re moving your iPad or iPhone from iOS 12.4.9 to iOS 12.5, iOS 12.5 requires a pretty small download. If you’re running an older version of iOS 12, your iOS 12.5 download could, again, be larger.

If you’re currently running iOS 12.4.9, the iOS 12.5 installation should take less than 10 minutes. It took about seven minutes to install on an iPhone 5s.

For more on the iOS 12.5 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using the iOS 12.5 update for a few days now and here’s we’ve noticed about the software’s performance thus far:

Connectivity

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

Speed

  • iOS 12.5 feels as fast as iOS 12.4.9.

If you’re running into bugs or performance issues on iOS 12.4.9 or an older version of iOS 12, you’ll probably want to install the iOS 12.5 update on your device right now.

If you need help making a decision, check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 12.5 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

We’ve published our mini iOS 12.5 reviews for iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s so check those roundups for additional feedback if you need it.

iOS 12.5 Problems

iOS 12.5 is a small upgrade, but it could have a big impact on your device’s performance.

We’re hearing about an assortment of problems including installation issues, weird battery drain, issues with connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS), issues with first and third-party apps, abnormal amounts of lag, random reboots, and more.

If you run into an issue on iOS 12.5, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 12 problems. We’ve also released tips to help improve performance and tips to help improve iOS 12 battery life.

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
  • This phone is unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice on GSM and CDMA networks (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, Cricket, Metro, Tracfone, Mint Mobile, etc.).
  • Please check with your carrier to verify compatibility.
  • When you receive the phone, insert a SIM card from a compatible carrier. Then, turn it on, connect to Wi-Fi, and follow the on screen prompts to activate service.
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a generic (Mfi certified) charger and charging cable.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.

If you’re frustrated with iOS 12.5’s performance on your iPhone or iPad, note that you can downgrade to iOS 12.4.9. Apple is currently signing on the firmware.

Apple isn’t signing on older versions of iOS 12. This means that once you move your iPhone or iPad to iOS 12.5, there’s no getting back to anything older than iOS 12.4.9.

Keep that in mind before you start the installation.

iOS 12.5 Update: What’s New

The iOS 12.5 update brings support for COVID-19 exposure notifications. This is a huge change and here’s what it means:

  • iOS 12.5 lets you opt-in to the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications system for your iPhone. System availability depends on support from your local public health authority.

iOS 12.5 also includes one security patch which you can read about on Apple’s security website.

iOS 12.5 Jailbreak

You can jailbreak newer versions of iOS 12, but it’s unclear if you can jailbreak iOS 12.5 right now.

The developers behind the “unc0ver” jailbreaking tool for iOS have released a new version, dubbed 5.0.0, that’s compatible with iOS 13.5 and most versions of iOS that fall between iOS 13.5 and iOS 11.0.

The jailbreak tool isn’t compatible with iOS 12.3-12.3.2 and iOS 12.4.2-12.4.5. So if you want to stick around on one of those versions, you’ll need to go another route.

For now, you’ll want to stay put on whatever version of iOS you’re currently running on your device(s).

What’s Next

We don’t know what’s next for iOS 12 users.

Apple hasn’t confirmed iOS 12.5.1 and there’s no guarantee the company will continue to provide owners of these devices with new software in the months ahead.

If you decide you want the latest features, you’ll need to upgrade to an iPhone or iPad model that’s compatible with iOS 13/iOS 14 or iPadOS 13/iPadOS 14.

For more about iOS 14, have a look at our walkthrough. For more about iPadOS 14, check out our guide.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12.5.4 & 10 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12.5.4 for Better Security

Install iOS 12.5.4 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, here's one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.5.4 right away.

iOS 12.5.4 includes three important security upgrades for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If you're interested in the particulars, head on over to Apple's website for more.

If you skipped iOS 12.5.3, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. Both of its patches were 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 also 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 also 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 also get its four security patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4.7, you also get the update's three security patches (two for the Mail app and one for Wi-Fi) with your upgrade to iOS 12.5.4.

If you're running software that's older than Apple's iOS 12.4.4 update, you'll want to download iOS 12.5.4 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'll get an its 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 iOS 12.4.1's security patch with your iOS 12.5.4 update. You can read about that patch right here

If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.4, you get iOS 12.4's patches with your iOS 12.5.4 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 12.5.4 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 iOS 12.2's security patches with your version of iOS 12.5.4.

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.

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 12.5.4 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 12.5.4. 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 12.5.4 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 12.5.4.

If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.5.4 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 12.5.4 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

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