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iOS 12 gets an update, but it’s not good news for older iPhone and iPad owners

If you own an iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 series handset, the days of regular software updates are over. However, if one does drop, you can guarantee it’s essential.

That’s the case with the first update to 2018’s iOS 12 in around a year, but unfortunately the update doesn’t come bearing the gift of new features. Apple has today released iOS 12.5.6 in order to patch a security vulnerability that may have been used against iPhone and iPad users in the wild.

The webkit vulnerability which, as is often the case, “may lead to arbitrary code execution” and, like the more concerning iOS 15 update issued earlier this month, Apple says it is “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.” The “out-of-bounds write issue” has been rectified in iOS 12.5.6 by the “improved bounds checking”.

The update is for the aforementioned iPhones 5S/6/6 Plus as well as the iPads and iPod touch models also stuck on iOS 12. They include the original iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3 and iPod touch 6th gen.

While iOS has changed quite a lot in recent years, the means of updating devices has not really altered. You’ll still be able to get up to date via Settings > General > Software Update on iPhone and iPad, and do so over-the-air.

Just like the iOS 15.6.1 update last month, the bug fixing updates are common, but the admission they it have been exploited in the wild is much less so. With that in mind we’d echo Apple’s recommendation that everybody install this with a quickness.

The iOS 15 update a couple of weeks ago caused a bit of panic among iPhone and iPad users because of the prospect of targeted attacks. The story actually made it to the national news, which reflected the level of concern. Given only a fraction of the user base will still be using iOS 12-based devices, this story won’t generate as much publicity. However, it’s an essential update nonetheless.

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