While the eyes and ears of the iPhone world are singularly fixated on iOS 13 and its suite of over 200 new features, Apple was actively piloting iOS 12.4 in tandem with the big iPhone update, in preparation for the release Apple Card. Today, Apple has finally seeded iOS 12.4 stable, 116 days after its first beta version, and there's still no concrete evidence that Apple Card itself will show its face.
The iOS 12.4 firmware came out at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT), Apple's go-to for software updates. From the release notes, Apple has a new migration tool that'll let you transfer data from an old iPhone to a new one wirelessly. There are also a few Apple News+ features, like accessing downloaded issues in the My Magazines section, clearing all downloaded issues, and including all publications into the News+ feed.
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:
- Introduces the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup
- Makes downloaded issues accessible in the My Magazines section, both offline and online
- 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.
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
Throughout iOS 12.4's beta cycle, we've known Apple Card support to be the software's shining feature. Overall, though, the beta testing was a bit disappointing since it doesn't bring much else to the table, and the Apple News+ and iPhone migration tool weren't noticed. Unless you are one of the Apple employees and retail employees who are testing Apple Card right now, beta testing 12.4 didn't offer you a glimpse into many changes over iOS 12.3.2.
Apple Card is more than an exciting feature, however. The fully-functional Goldman Sachs credit card has APRs from 13.24% to 24.24% based on your credit, as well as "Daily Cash" back on purchases you make with Apple Card. But still, there is no official word when Apple Card will be ready, so it still may take another iOS update to bring it to the masses. The underlying groundwork has been laid, at least, so it can't be too far off now.
Older iPhones and iPads aren't left out here, however. While incompatible devices cannot be updated to 12.4, Apple released new versions of iOS 9.3.6 and 10.3.4 today, to address a GPS bug fix. Cellular models of the original iPad Mini, iPad 2, and iPad 3 are compatible with 9.3.6, and 10.3.4 is ready-to-go for the cellular versions of the iPad 4 and iPhone 5.
To download iOS 12.4, head over to Settings –> General –> Software Update. If the update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install 12.4 to your iPhone. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you can let your iPhone update overnight.