iOS 11.2.5 out for iPhone and iPad, patches annoying 'text bomb' bug

Bug fixes, new Siri tricks, and support for the upcoming release of the HomePod smartspeaker.

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Time for the second iOS 11 update of 2018. Yes, iOS 11.2.5 is out.

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No, you haven't missed an update -- iOS 11.2.2 was released on Jan. 8 (which patched the Spectre bug in Safari's WebKit), and now, Apple is releasing iOS 11.2.5, skipping over a couple of minor build numbers in the process.

So, with the version numbering cleared up, what's new in iOS 11.2.5?

Here's the brief rundown according to Apple's release notes:

iOS 11.2.5 includes support for HomePod and introduces the ability for Siri to read the news (US, UK, and Australia only). This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Support for HomePod will allow users to set up and automatically transfer their Apple ID, Apple Music, Siri, and Wi-Fi settings to their new HomePod (landing Feb. 9).

On the Siri front, the update allows the voice assistant to read the news, which can be activated with a simple "Hey Siri, play the news." Users can also request for specific news categories such as sports, business, or music.

Other improvements and fixes:

  • Addresses an issue that could cause the Phone app to display incomplete information in the call list
  • Fixes an issue that caused Mail notifications from some Exchange accounts to disappear from the Lock screen when unlocking iPhone X with Face ID
  • Addresses an issue that could cause Messages conversations to temporarily be listed out of order
  • Fixes an issue in CarPlay where Now Playing controls become unresponsive after multiple track changes
  • Adds ability for VoiceOver to announce playback destinations and AirPod battery level

The update also patches 10 security vulnerabilities, which include three kernel vulnerabilities that could allow applications to access restricted memory, another kernel bug that could allow an application to run arbitrary code, a bunch of audio, Core Bluetooth, and QuartzCore bugs that could lead to code arbitrary code execution, a WebKit bug that could lead to code arbitrary code execution, and a bug in the way iOS handled certificates.

There's also a fix for the annoying "text bomb" bug that allowed people to lock up your iPhone with a single text message.

To download the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update (the preferred way, and this way the patch is only about 175MB), or connect your iPhone to a computer running iTunes and then carry out the update (this is slower and downloads the entire iOS 11.2.5 package, which is several gigabytes, as opposed to just the smaller update).

There are also updates for macOS and watchOS users that include important security updates, too.

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