Apple Releases iOS 12.5.1 With Exposure Notifications Bug Fix for Older iPhones

Apple today released iOS 12.5.1, an update that is available for older iPhones unable to install the iOS 14 update. The update features an Exposure Notifications bug fix.

exposure notification cartoon
The iOS 12.5.1 update can be downloaded all on eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Apple in December released iOS 12.5 alongside iOS 14.3, bringing support for Exposure Notifications to older devices for the first time.

According to Apple's release notes, today's update addresses a bug that could cause Exposure Notifications to incorrectly display logging profile language.

Apple's Exposure Notifications system is now available in a wide range of countries, and many states have also adopted it, including North Dakota, Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, Alabama, Colorado, Wyoming, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut, Nevada, the District of Columbia, and California.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

nutmac Avatar
43 months ago

This stuff is so creepy. What an unnatural use for technology. Booo. Boooo.
Can you explain what's so creepy about it?

I am a developer and my developer friends and I did a deep dive on how this feature is implemented on the iOS side. Nothing at all strikes me as even remotely creepy.

Logging randomized Bluetooth ID of nearby devices (within 33 feet), which changes every 15 minutes and cannot be traced back to a specific user, and storing only on your device and not on the cloud is certainly private enough. And the feature only notifies you if those tested positive manually and voluntarily logs the positive test results.

Where is the privacy concern here?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peneaux Avatar
43 months ago
A constant-on bluetooth to track who I meet with? As a sex worker I find this does not respect my privacy.

NO THANKS!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
43 months ago

I believe that technology should be used as vehicle for increased social liberation not as a mechanism for increased social control.
How is Exposure Notification increasing social control?

At no point the information is transmitted to the server. It is only when a person tested positive voluntarily logs test data that any potentially identifiable data is transmitted to the server. Even then, the data is completely anonymized so it is technically impossible.

And to general public, only the database of infected randomized and anonymized Bluetooth IDs is transmitted to the phones.

At every steps, there's zero location information. Zero identifiable information. Only the randomized Bluetooth IDs that changes every 15 minutes. Apple (and I presume Google) does not store your location or any other information, whether it be on your phone or on the server.

My only quibbles are that (1) the feature can decrease your battery life (between 3-10%), (2) it is not super easy to enable it, (3) it is not widely promoted, hence many people have false information on what it does and how it works, and (4) not enough states and countries support it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xpxp2002 Avatar
43 months ago
That's great and all for the 14 people who live in a state that actually authorized and released a compliant COVID app.

But meanwhile after waiting through the entire holiday season, there's still no iOS 14.3.1 release to fix the myriad of issues plaguing iOS 14.3 is disappointing. Still waiting on a fix for:

* Mail app badge and mail list don't update consistently
* MagSafe cases cause lock sound to "glitch" intermittently
* Cellular modem crashes and loses connectivity when connected to a 5G network that uses DSS, needs firmware update
* Swipe up to unlock sometimes stutters and doesn't work, and swiping up to go home often stutters and opens app switcher
* Display issues: yellow screen tint and/or dark glow when displaying black areas on screen
* Volume issues: system sounds like keyboard clicks and lock sounds are intermittently quieter or louder than volume setting
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
43 months ago
I question the value of this - has a single infection been discovered thanks to this API? It seems so neutered as to be utterly useless.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
43 months ago

I question the value of this - has a single infection been discovered thanks to this API? It seems so neutered as to be utterly useless.
If you are skeptical, go to Settings | Exposure Notifications | Exposure Notification Status (not available unless you are participating), then Exposure Checks. Look through each log entry.

If you step outside at least few times a week and live in a decently sized city, you will probably note at least a handful of "Matched Key Count" here and there. "Match Key Count" corresponds to ANY exposure to those tested positive within 2 weeks. These timestamps correspond to when the database is updated, not when you were exposed. iPhone scans and logs Exposure Notifications enabled devices within 33 feet and when the database matches, "Match Key County" is incremented.

You will be notified according to the state/country's notification threshold. In California where I live, the threshold is within 6 feet and 15 minutes or longer. CA derives these values after months of testing, as to reduce false positives (e.g., you are in a car next to infected or would-be-infected).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Apple's First AI Features in iOS 18 Reportedly Won't Use Cloud Servers

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:52 am PDT by
Apple's first set of new AI features planned for iOS 18 will not rely on cloud servers at all, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "As the world awaits Apple's big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device," said Gurman, in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter today. "That means there's no cloud processing component to the...