Updated:08:45 AM EDT Aug 21


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Apple releases iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, macOS 10.14.6 - [briefly]
03:12 AM EDT - Jul,23 2019 - post a comment

As it often does, Apple has released updates for all of its device operating systems at once. iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, macOS 10.14.6, and tvOS 12.4 all arrive on supporting devices today. iOS 12.4's tentpole feature is the ability to directly and wirelessly transfer all your data from one iPhone to another when setting the latter up. Onlookers are also speculating that it includes yet-to-be-activated support for the Apple Card credit card. This Goldman Sachs-driven consumer credit card will have a number of smart features and iPhone tie-ins, and, per Apple's announcement earlier this year, is due to launch by the end of the summer. There are also some quality-of-life and UX improvements for Apple News+. These are Apple's iOS 12.4 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 online and offline
  • 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.

That last item is more relevant for watchOS 5.3, which also landed today. A couple of weeks ago, an eavesdropping vulnerability prompted Apple to disable the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch units that supported it. Apple claimed to not be aware of any instance of anyone actually exploiting the vulnerability before disabling the feature but promised it would be re-enabled when a fix was ready. The company says that the fix is included in watchOS 5.3, and today's updates re-enable the feature. Additionally, the ECG app and irregular heart-rhythm notifications are now available in Canada and Singapore.

As for the Mac, the emphasis is on some of the same Apple News+ improvements seen above in iOS 12.4. The macOS Mojave 10.14.6 update improves the stability and reliability of your Mac and is recommended for all users. It also includes a number of bug fixes, including one that precluded creating Boot Camp partitions on Fusion Drive Macs and a couple of graphics bugs.

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