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Apple Releases iOS 12.4 With New Wireless Data Migration When Setting Up a New iPhone and Apple News+ Improvements

Apple will today release iOS 12.4, the fourth major update to the iOS 12 operating system that first launched in September 2018. iOS 12.4 comes more two months after the release of iOS 12.3, another major update that brought the new TV app.

The iOS 12.4 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update. As with all iOS updates, iOS 12.4 is free to download, but it may take some time for iOS 12.4 to propagate to all iOS users.


During the beta testing process, there were no outward-facing features or major changes discovered in iOS 12.4. According to Apple's release notes, the update introduces a new iPhone migration option to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, and it introduces enhancements to Apple News+. From Apple's release notes:
iOS 12.4 introduces iPhone migration to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, includes enhancements to ‌Apple News‌+ and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad. This update:

iPhone migration
- Introduces the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup

‌Apple News‌
- 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

This release also includes support for HomePod in Japan and Taiwan.
The update was believed to include support for Apple Card, laying the foundation for Apple's new credit card, though the release notes make no mention of this. It could still add the underlying framework for ‌Apple Card‌, which is set to be launching this summer and could come at any time.

Top Rated Comments

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17 weeks ago
The wireless migration feature was probably introduced to reduce crowds in Apple Stores.

When people upgrade to a new phone, they tend to hang around in the store until their new device restores from an iCloud backup, which could take 15-20 minutes or more. A direct transfer from the old phone to the new will allow this step to be skipped, moving along customers more quickly.

This is just a hunch; I wouldn't be surprised if it was the main driver behind the feature though.
Rating: 15 Votes
17 weeks ago
I want that dang Card to go live today
Rating: 10 Votes
17 weeks ago

Very disappointed that there's no mention of Apple Card in this update... I'm eagerly waiting for that to debut and I was hoping that 12.4's release would see a side-by-side launch of the card :(

This is extremely disappointing. There has been zero info since the keynote. Apple releases are getting less and less exciting.
Rating: 5 Votes
17 weeks ago

Why are people queuing up for something that can get you into debt? Why is Apple creating something that can get you into debt?

Apple is creating the credit card because it helps them keep existing users tied to their ecosystem by making it harder to switch to another platform such as Android, and may even yield them some profits too. As to why people queue up for it, I think that's just a result of all the hype Apple creates around everything they do.

Also note that a credit card by itself doesn't necessarily get anyone in debt. People get themselves in debt because they don't use their credit cards responsibly.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago
Also disappointed to here the card isn't launching along side it. Perhaps it does add full support, and later this week they will announce card availability. Or we will have to wait for another update to iOS later this year and the card launch is being delayed.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago
I am extremely disappointed that the summary makes no mention whatsoever of new emoji.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago

The wireless migration feature was probably introduced to reduce crowds in Apple Stores.

When people upgrade to a new phone, they tend to hang around in the store until their new device restores from an iCloud backup, which could take 15-20 minutes or more. A direct transfer from the old phone to the new will allow this step to be skipped, moving along customers more quickly.

Sure, but it's useful for everyone else, too. Transfer your data in the car on the way home, without wifi! Transfer data from your broken phone to a working one while on vacation, without wifi! Give a new corporate-owned phone to an employee and transfer all the data, without wifi!

Now the bottleneck at the Apple store and everyone else will just be people who don't know/remember their own passwords, as has and will always be the case.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago
Very disappointed that there's no mention of Apple Card in this update... I'm eagerly waiting for that to debut and I was hoping that 12.4's release would see a side-by-side launch of the card :(
Rating: 3 Votes
17 weeks ago
Hah, this wireless upgrading thing will be great for the person or two who actually upgrades to the 2019 iPhone. Restoring from iCloud is really slow.

I've been on vacation and come back to see fugly hands-on mockups and lackluster specs compared to the 2020 model leaks. Hopefully they get their crap together.

I'm just glad the walkie-talkie functionality will be restored. My wife and I use it all the time and I find it hilarious that it was essentially broken only during my vacation when I needed it most.
Rating: 3 Votes
17 weeks ago
Just give me the CARD.
Rating: 3 Votes

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