Apple urges older iPhone and iPad users to update to avoid GPS bug


Apple is to roll out software updates to some older devices in order to avoid a bug that could prevent them from using GPS.

The company has told users of some iPhone and iPad models introduced in 2012 or earlier to update the software on their devices before the beginning of November to ensure they can continue to use GPS accurately.

The issue is linked to what is known as the GPS time rollover – the time and date settings that help power the positioning technology and which resets approximately every 20 years and took place on April 6.

The reset can prevent some devices from accurately pinpointing a user’s location, and some other features which rely on the correct date and time, such as email, could also be affected.

Apple said its devices in question would not be impacted until November 3 this year, but have urged owners of the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 and the first-generation iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad 3rd generation and iPad 4th generation to update their software to the latest version available to them to avoid any issues.

“Starting November 3 2019, some iPhone and iPad models introduced in 2012 and earlier will require an iOS update to maintain accurate GPS location and keep the correct date and time,” the company said in a post to the support page of its website.

“This is due to the GPS time rollover issue that began affecting GPS-enabled products from other manufacturers on April 6 2019. Affected Apple devices are not impacted until November 3 2019.

“If you don’t update to the newest version of iOS available for your device before November 3 2019, some models might not be able to maintain an accurate GPS position. And functions that rely on the correct date and time — such as syncing with iCloud and fetching email — might not work.

“The updated software version number should be 10.3.4 or 9.3.6, depending on your device.”

The technology giant added that the issue “doesn’t affect iOS devices newer than those listed”.

Chris Price
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