Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.2 release date, but the company’s second milestone upgrade will likely be released before the end of the year.
iOS 11.1 is still in beta though a release could happen any day now. When it clears beta, Apple’s first milestone iOS 11 update will deliver new emoji characters, crucial bug fixes, and important security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.
Once iOS 11.1 arrives, attention will start to shift to the company’s next major iOS 11 update. The iOS 11.2 update is confirmed and it will also bring some exciting changes to iOS 11 users.
Apple’s iOS 11.2 update is currently without an official release date though we do have one clue to help us narrow down a potential release window for iOS users.
iOS 11.2 introduces SiriKit for HomePod. SiriKit allows iOS apps and watchOS apps to work with Siri and the HomeKit via natural voice interaction.
Apple is encouraging developers to optimize their apps for HomePod’s arrival. Developers can test “the voice-only experience by using Siri through headphones” that are connected to an iOS device running the iOS 11.2 beta.
The HomePod is still without an official release date, but the company says the smart speaker is still on track for release in December. Apple hasn’t confirmed, but given the tie-in with HomePod, the iOS 11.2 update is probably on track for a December release as well.
Apple’s iOS updates typically go through a month of beta testing before they’re released to the public so the timing of the first iOS 11.2 beta release makes a lot of sense.
The release gives developers a month (or so) to prepare for the HomePod release and it gives the company several weeks to test the iOS 11.2 update for bugs and performance issues. Apple will likely release several iOS 11.2 betas before it releases the software to the public.
In addition to SiriKit for HomePod, Apple’s iOS 11.2 update includes several other changes including bug fixes for lingering iOS 11 issues.
The first iOS 11.2 beta includes a fix for the iOS 11 calculator bug, a new animation when tapping the top right corner of music panel in Control Center, and several cosmetic changes including new camera emojis.
iPhone and iPad users looking to try the iOS 11.2 update and its changes ahead of the official release date can do so via the iOS 11.2 beta.
Apple’s iOS 11.2 release date is still weeks away, but iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users will get a substantial upgrade ahead of its release.
The company’s iOS 11.1 update will deliver 50+ new emoji characters to iOS users including a zombie, a genie, an elf, an exploding head, a mage, a coconut, a sandwich, and a vampire.
The iOS 11.1 update will also bring back the 3D Touch App Switcher gesture, deliver a fix for an annoying Reachability bug, and provide a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack).
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 11.1 release date though a roll out for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch could be imminent.
Install iOS 11.3 for Better Security
iOS 11.3 also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
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 was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.
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 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3 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 11.3. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3 update.
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 11.3 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.