Apple iOS 6.1.2 released for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch: Summary of the change and bug fix of iOS 6.1.2
iOS 6.1.2 release changelog
iOS 6.1.2 release
On February 19, 2013, Apple issued the release of iOS 6.1.2 for their iDevices. This release arrived less than two weeks after the release of iOS 6.1.1 on February 6, 2013. However, while iOS 6.1.1 was released only for the iPhone 4S to fix a critical bug introduced in iOS 6.1, this latest update by Apple applies for all devices that supports iOS 6, i.e., the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2 and the iPod Touch of fifth and fourth generations. This article will highlight and summarize the bug fix made in the iOS 6.1.2 release and also discuss how it affects the users in terms of functionality and jailbreak potential.
The purpose of the present iOS 6.1.2 release is to address a bug for users using the calendar function in Microsoft Exchange that was introduced with the release of iOS 6.1. The official changelog from Apple states the following:
"Fixes an Exchange calendar bug that could result in increased network activity and reduced battery life."
This Microsoft Exchange bug caused devices which communicated with a Microsoft Exchange server to sometimes get stuck in an endless loop which significantly increased the network activity (data traffic) and therefore also severely deteriorated the battery life. In fact, the bug is so severe that some companies and corporations, such as AOL, even restricted or throttled the use of Microsoft Exchange for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users due to the heavy load on the servers that the bug introduced.
The bug fix for Microsoft Exchange Calendar is apparently the only change made in the iOS 6.1.2 release. As it turns out, this is both good and bad news. The good news is that an untethered jailbreak for iOS 6.1.2 exists through the evasi0n tool, while the bad news is that the passcode security exploit still remains. These two aspects will be further discussed below.
Status of the critical passcode exploit in iOS 6.1.2
The release of iOS 6.1 was not completely trouble free. So far, two critical issues have been found. The first issue was a bug affecting only iPhone 4S users which resulted in very poor connectivity and subsequently battery life. This issue was fixed with iOS 6.1.1 as described here.
While the first issue is more function related, the second issue is perhaps even more critical as it is classified as a security exploit. This exploits allows anyone to bypass the iPhone passcode lock and in this way gain direct access to the Phone app which means that unauthorized users can edit the contact list and also place any calls they wish without knowing the passcode. The description of the exploit itself is beyond the scope of this article, but briefly, it is based on fiddling around with the emergency call function on an iPhone which eventually opens up the Phone app itself.
When iOS 6.1.2 was first released, rumors circulated that it in addition to fixing the Exchange Calendar bug also fixed the passcode exploit. However, this unfortunately turned out to not be the case, and the passcode exploit has been verified to still exist in iOS 6.1.2. Therefore, it is also for this reason expected that Apple will release iOS 6.1.3 in the near future.
Untethered jailbreak status in iOS 6.1.2 using the evasi0n tool
With every single new iOS release, the jailbreak community is always nervous that Apple may patch up exploits that allow a device to be jailbroken. This was the case for the release of iOS 6.1.2 as well. Fortunately, it turned out that iOS 6.1.2 did not carry any patches for the jailbreak exploits and the evasi0n untethered jailbreak tool was quickly updated to support this version as well. This means that users on jailbroken devices can safely upgrade to iOS 6.1.2 and subsequently use the evasi0n untethered jailbreak tool to jailbreak their devices again. A guide of the jailbreaking process can be found here.
Even if you do not use Microsoft Exchange, it is still recommended to upgrade to iOS 6.1.2. The reason is that experience has shown that having the highest jailbreak capable iOS version means that your device will support all jailbreak tweaks instead of being iOS version limited. In addition, as the passcode exploit is still not fixed, it is expected that Apple will be quick to release the iOS 6.1.3 version which very well may render the current jailbreak methods useless.
Words of caution for users who upgrade to iOS 6.1.2: If you are on a jailbroken device or plan to jailbreak your device after an upgrade to iOS 6.1.2, do not use the over-the-air (OTA) upgrade function found in the Settings app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Instead, connect your device to your computer and do a full upgrade using iTunes, making sure that you do a full backup either to iCloud or to your computer first. OTA upgrades are known to cause all kinds of problems for jailbreakers and the evasi0n tool does not support devices upgraded through the OTA function.
Recommended iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch gadgets
Related iOS 6 articles for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
- Untethered jailbreak guide for iOS 6.0.x, 6.1, 6.1.1 and 6.1.2: The untethered jailbreak process is thoroughly described in this article using the evasi0n untethered jailbreak tool.
- General iOS jailbreak guide for newbies: The basic terminology and methods are introduced in this general jailbreak guide aiming to provide the interested users with the required background information to understand the jailbreaking process.
- iOS 6.1 release highlights: iOS 6.1 brought some significant changes and added additional features for its users, in particular enhanced 4G and LTE support for iPhones and iPads. This and other important changes are discussed in this article.
- iOS 6.1.1 release summary: iOS 6.1 introduced a critical bug affecting only iPhone 4S users. This article summarizes the iOS 6.1.1 release and discusses why the bug fix is important for affected users.
iOS 6.1.2 conclusions and summary
iOS 6.1.2 is once again a relatively small update carrying only one change to the system. However, for users who are dependent on Microsoft Exchange, the release is surely critical and of high importance. It is just unfortunate that Apple did not manage to fix the passcode exploit in it as well. For now, all we can do is to hope that Apple will fix the passcode exploit in iOS 6.1.3 and hopefully not patch up the jailbreak exploits used by the evasi0n untethered jailbreak tool.