Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,009
17,391


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-Notifications-W-People-and-Text.jpg

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.

Article Link: Apple Releases iOS 12.5.1 With Exposure Notifications Bug Fix for Older iPhones
 
Last edited:
  • Angry
Reactions: Mike_Trivisonno

xpxp2002

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2016
600
1,046
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
 

sw1tcher

macrumors 68030
Jan 6, 2004
2,567
5,207
Apple today released iOS 12.5.1, an update that is available for older iPhones unable to install the iOS 14 update.

Looks like those who have older iDevices that are on iOS 12 that can be updated to iOS 14 don't get the iOS 12.5.1 update. Only seeing iOS 14.3 update for my 1st gen iPhone SE that I use as a spare and for listening to music while I go running.

I don't want iOS 14 on it. At least not yet. Maybe when the bugs are worked out.

Then again, maybe not having iOS 12.5.1 update isn't such a bad thing. * shrug *
 
  • Sad
Reactions: JosephAW

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,359
4,965
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?
 
Last edited:

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,359
4,965
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).
 
Last edited:

Robert.Walter

macrumors 68020
Jul 10, 2012
2,151
2,651
Looks like those who have older iDevices that are on iOS 12 that can be updated to iOS 14 don't get the iOS 12.5.1 update. Only seeing iOS 14.3 update for my 1st gen iPhone SE that I use as a spare and for listening to music while I go running.

I don't want iOS 14 on it. At least not yet. Maybe when the bugs are worked out.

Then again, maybe not having iOS 12.5.1 update isn't such a bad thing. * shrug *
I’m running latest 14 on 2x 6S and an iPad Air 2 and all run fine.
 

Mike_Trivisonno

Contributor
Jul 11, 2015
359
870
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?
I believe that technology should be used as vehicle for increased social liberation not as a mechanism for increased social control.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,924
2,186
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.
Yes, I discovered via our local app that my neighbours got infected a few days ago. Though I don't know whether its the neighbours on the left or the right.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: TrowaNY

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,359
4,965
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.
 

Dangermen

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2017
32
29
Why? Why even do this? Phones only capable of running 12.X code are a cesspool of unfixed bugs, that’s why they are EOL. Why give anyone a false sense of usability when they can be powned and now you’re re-encouraging more medical data be stored on an insecure device?
 
  • Disagree
  • Like
Reactions: hagar and xpxp2002

hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,891
1,943
Northern California, USA
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.
The collective marketing of it was also too confusing and overly technical. IDK why the industry keeps thinking average people understand the separation between Apple's system APIs and apps that use them. And I understand how it works in theory but have lost track of how to actually use it. There needs to be one well-recognized app you download.
 
Last edited:

hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,891
1,943
Northern California, USA
What’s funny is that they bothered to add this to older devices but the Corona app in Germany requires iOS 13 something and therefore i still can’t put it on my mum’s iPhone 6
Yeah, for random annoying reasons, building apps targeting new iOS versions usually means non-support for older ones, and it's not obvious how to target old versions.
 

xpxp2002

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2016
600
1,046
Roughly half the country is 14 people?
I was being hyperbolic, but still...last I heard there were only 2 or 3 states that released an app that utilizes the COVID exposure API. IIRC North Dakota and one other state. Maybe there's a third by now.

Regardless, it was months of effort on the part of Apple and Google, and virtually no one implemented it. It would be a lot more useful if it were actually usable everywhere.

Apple and Google should've just developed their own app rather than leaving that responsibility to states whose leaders either won't spend the money to develop the app or outright believe the entire pandemic is a political hoax. Meanwhile, the COVID exposure API and all that work is effectively useless to most of the country.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,452
  • Like
Reactions: ArtOfWarfare

xpxp2002

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2016
600
1,046
Apps aren't necessary:
This is intriguing, but the explanation is very confusing. It's not clear whether this will work everywhere. Best I can tell, this works without an app but it appears that it still only works in states where an app exists/the API is supported.

If true, I guess that's better. But until you can use it anywhere and everyone understands this, it's still not going to be very effective. Like myself, I believe most people have long since understood that their state was not planning to develop a COVID tracking app, and have long since forgotten that this is something they could even do and given up on it.

Personally, I haven't even looked at the exposure notification settings referenced in this article since the day 13.5 came out and I found out that I couldn't even turn it on where I live.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.