iOS 12.4 brings Apple News improvements, iPhone migration and more

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iOS 12
This could be the last update for iOS 12
Photo: Apple

The long wait for iOS 12.4 is finally over after Apple made the software update available to all iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners this morning.

In what will likely be the last major upgrade for iOS 12, the iOS 12.4 update brings a number of big improvements, including the ability to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new one. There are also tons of bug fixes and other changes, but the most notable thing about iOS 12.4 might be what it’s missing: Apple Card.

iPhone and iPad owners can download iOS 12.4 via an over-the-air update. To install it, just go to the Settings app, tap General and then go to the Software Update option. Apple also released tvOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3 which brings back the walkie-talkie feature on Apple Watch.

What’s in iOS 12.4?

With the launch of Apple Card slated for this summer, many Apple followers believed iOS 12.4 would add support for the new consumer-friendly credit card. The update could still contain all the necessary software tools to use Apple Card when it launches, but the release notes don’t make any mention of it.

During the beta testing period, there didn’t appear to be any major outward-facing changes in the software update. Apple’s release notes for iOS 12.4 reveal there are some major new additions though, including a data migration feature that makes it easier to switch to a new iPhone.

Here are the full release notes:

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:

iPhone migration
– Introduces the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup

Apple News
– 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.