In addition to releasing iOS 12.4, Apple has also announced that it’s patching older versions of the platform for devices that can’t run the latest rollouts. We’re talking about models as old as the iPhone 4s and the first-generation iPad mini. Not to teach those old devices new tricks, but to fix a bug that prevents them from using GPS.
See, GPS technology needs to keep an eye on the date and time to tell your location — it tracks the date by counting the number of weeks and storing the values as 10-bit figures. Around every 20 years, that 10-bit week number goes back to zero, causing issues for older devices not designed to handle the change. The most recent rollover happened on April 6th, which means Apple devices that can’t install the latest iOS versions could be affected by the issue.
Apple’s patched mobile OS will roll out on November 3rd. For the iPhone 5 and fourth-generation iPad, the update will show up under About in Settings as iOS 10.3.4. Meanwhile, the update will show up as iOS 9.3.6 for the iPhone 4s, first-gen iPad mini, iPad 2 and third-gen iPad. Check out Apple’s newly posted instructions right here.