​Apple re-releases iOS 9.3 to fix 'Activate iPhone' freeze bug for all affected iPhones, iPads

Apple has rolled out a fix for all iPhone and iPad devices caught by the iOS 9.3 activation bug. But there's no sign of a fix for apps crashing when opening a link.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple's iOS 9.3 reissue fixes the flaw for older iPads and iPhones including the 5s.

Image: Apple

Apple has released a new version of iOS 9.3 just for the older iPhones and iPads that became locked due a flawed activation procedure in the setup.

The new version, which is still called iOS 9.3, addresses the so-called "activation bug" that left some older devices unable to proceed beyond the step to confirm the Apple ID and password linked to a device, if the user had forgotten the password.

Apple last week suspended iOS 9.3 for the iPhone 5s and earlier, and iPad Air and earlier, due to the activation issue but on Monday released a new version for these older models, differentiated by the build number 13E237.

The version is available as an over-the-air update or can be installed via iTunes on the desktop.

It follows last week's release of iOS 9.3 with the build number 13E236 just for the iPad 2, which had a similar activation glitch. Build 13E237 fixes the activation bug for other affected iOS devices.

Apple explained in an updated support document addressing that glitch that owners of affected devices may have been required to enter the Apple ID and password to set up the device and complete the software update.

If the user couldn't recall the password, the device could be stuck at that phase of the setup, leaving it inaccessible.

Additionally, Apple notes that some users may have seen a hint on the Activate iPhone screen that does not match their current Apple ID.

Apple's recommended workarounds include signing into iCloud.com from a computer to either reset the password or to remove the Activation Lock. Another method involves connecting the device via USB to iTunes on a computer and activating it from there.

Despite the fix for the activation bug, iPhone owners may still want to defer iOS 9.3 until Apple addresses another frustrating bug that causes some apps to crash when attempting to open links from Mail, Messages and Safari as well as Google's Chrome browser.

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