Apple iOS 12.3 Release: Should You Update?


Millions of iPhone and iPad users may have just had a nasty surprise from the latest iOS 13 leak, but on iOS 12 Apple has upped its game following several serious blunders. So does iOS 12.3 continue the good run or it is a return to more troubled times? Here’s everything you need to know… 

Who Is It For?

iOS 12.3 is for all iOS 12 compatible devices. This means iPhone 5S or later, iPad mini 2 or later and 6th generation iPod touch or later. Upgrade prompts are typically automatic, but you can trigger them manually by going to: Settings > General > Software Update. At the time of posting, there is currently no new beta, so beta testers won’t have to unroll their devices first.

As for the size, iOS 12.3 is quite substantial at 500MB, but the size can vary dramatically depending on your model of iPhone or iPad.

The Deal Breakers

Yes, iOS 12.3 breaks jailbroken devices. There has been some progress jailbreaking recent iOS updates, but you’ll need to stay away from this one for now.

As for initial feedback, iOS 12.3 is off to a solid start. Some problems are being reported: Face ID issues, a calculator bug, muddled camera rolls, glitches in the new Apple TV app (more next) and a cellular issue which was widespread in iOS 12.1.2. That said, all these problems are extremely isolated at the present time.

So What Do You Get?

Following in the footsteps of iOS 12.2 (which was solid enough not to require a dedicated iOS 12.2.1 dedicated bug fix), iOS 12.3 again focuses on new features.

Overhauled TV app – the headliner. This app has been completely redesigned with machine learning at its core to make content recommendations based on your viewing preferences and history. There’s also a new dedicated kids’ section and a focus on subscription services through the new ‘Channels’ feature. HBO, Starz, Showtime and many more can be subscribed to directly inside the app and shared with up to six family members on different devices.

Apple iOS 12.3’s new Apple TV app

David Phelan

AirPlay 2 – iOS 12.3 brings support for new AirPlay 2-enabled TVs from LG, Samsung, Visio and others which enables you to share your videos and photos as well as TV shows, movies and music to them with one tap playback. Intelligent recommendations have been added here as well.

Apple News+ – you can now follow a magazine from the browsing view.

Apple Music – the ‘For You’ tab now updates with suggestions several times a day.

There are also fixes for the Apple TV Remote (lock-ups), WiFi calling (drops), CarPlay (missing song information) while Apple’s official security page lists over 20 security patches in iOS 12.3 for Contacts, Lock Screen, Mail, Photos and multiple WebKit vulnerabilities.

Apple iOS 12.3 Verdict: Cautious Thumbs Up

Right now the signs look good for iOS 12.3 and that will be enough for most people to update immediately. That said, only a tiny fraction of the 1BN+ active user base has done so so far which means bugs may yet appear or an existing bug may become more widespread than it currently appears.

So if you decide to hang fire (usually I advise waiting a week), bookmark this article as I’ll keep it updated with any developments.

The Road Ahead

Expect a new iOS beta from Apple in the next 24/48 hours. If it’s iOS 12.4 then Apple is feeling confident about this update from the detail it is receiving. If iOS 12.3.1 pops up instead, then dodge iOS 12.3 because a) Apple has found something, and b) minor point upgrades have fast turnaround times.

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