Apple patches security bug on Macs, plus older iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches

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iPhone 6s colors
If you’re still rocking an iPhone 6S, Apple has an iOS update for you.
Photo: Apple

Apple introduced iOS 12.4.2 to fix a security bug that was found by Google Project Zero. After Tuesday’s launch of iOS 13.1, now seems an odd time to be updating last year’s version, but this patch is for iPhones and iPads made in 2014 and before that can’t upgrade to the new version.

In addition, the company released watchOS 5.3.2 for early Apple Watch models. Plus there’s a fresh security update for macOS Mojave 10.14.6. All take care of the same bug.

iOS 13 won’t nerf your older iPhone

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iOS 13
iOS 13 is often quicker than its predecessor, and won‘t drain your iPhone battery.
Screenshot: Apple

Head-to-head tests show that models as old as the iPhone 6S run iOS 13 at least as fast as iOS 12, and some devices see a performance boost.

The same is true for battery life: testing indicates Apple’s latest operating system puts no additional strain on the battery of older models.

iOS 13 flaw exposes all your contacts data

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Find My Friends
Keep your iPhone close by.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A newly-discovered flaw in iOS 13 lets anyone access your contacts without your passcode.

It takes just a few simple steps to bypass your iPhone’s lockscreen and see every phone number, email address, and physical address you have saved. But a fix is already on the way.

iOS 12.4.1 locks out iPhone jailbreakers

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iOS 12 jailbreak
iOS 12.4 really can be jailbroken, but Apple apparently just removed the necessary security hole.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple just introduced an update to iOS 12.4 that likely fixes a security flaw that allowed a jailbreak to be created for this version — the first in years.

There don’t appear to be any other changes in iOS 12.4.1.

88% of iOS devices are running iOS 12

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iOS 12
This is probably the last time Apple will release iOS 12 adoption figures.
Photo: Apple

Weeks before the official public debut of iOS 13, Apple says that 88% of users are currently running iOS 12.

Those figures are impressive in their own right. They get even more impressive when considering only devices released in the past four years — of which 90% are upgraded to iOS 12.

PSA: Resist the urge to install iOS 13, iPadOS betas for now

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iPadOS gets a new home screen design.
They’re just not ready for everyone.
Photo: Apple

Apple just dropped its first public beta builds of iOS 13 and iPadOS, making it easy for anyone to try them out months ahead of their official launch. But you should really resist the urge to install them right now.

Don’t assume these betas are ready for everyone just because they’re available to the public now. If you upgrade your primary iPhone and iPad early, you’re almost certainly going to run into frustrating problems.

I’ve suffered all kinds of issues since upgrading — and I’m not the only one.

Skype brings new screen sharing feature to Android and iOS

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Skype screen sharing
Screen sharing can be useful for all kinds of things.
Photo: Microsoft

Skype’s new screen sharing feature is now officially available on Android and iOS.

The update makes it possible to share a view of your device’s screen over a Skype video call — and to see someone else’s. It’s great for collaborating with colleagues or helping friends troubleshoot a problem.

Take advantage of limited-time sales on gadgets, software and eLearning

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AirBase Charging Dock
Charge your iPhone, Watch, and AirPods in this compact wireless dock.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The savings haven’t stop yet this long Memorial Day weekend! In addition to some well-deserved time off, why not shop without breaking the bank? We’ve got limited-time deals on a three-in-one wireless charging dock and more. Check these deals out:

You can no longer downgrade from iOS 12.2

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Don’t install iOS 12.2 unless you plan to stick with it. The only way through is forward.
Don’t install iOS 12.2 unless you plan to stick with it. The only way through is forward.
Photo: Pexels

Anyone who upgrades an iPhone or iPad to iOS 12.2 can’t change their mind. Apple ceased digitally signing the previous version so it can’t be installed anymore.

This is normal. Apple always stops allowing people to downgrade a few weeks after a newer iOS version is released.

iOS updates might drain your battery faster

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iOS 10 wins in a battery life comparison with iOS 11 and iOS 12.
iOS 10 wins in a battery life comparison with iOS 11 and iOS 12.
Photo: iAppleBytes

A side-by-side test of four iPhones running current and older iOS versions found that the more recent ones drain batteries more quickly.

This result is likely to feed the concerns of people who refuse to upgrade their iPhone’s operating system for fear that doing so will render the device useless.