Apple releases iOS 12.1.4, fixes iPhone FaceTime spying bug

Apple's promised patch for the iOS bug that allowed users to eavesdrop on others using group FaceTime calls has been released.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple has released iOS 12.1.4. It's a patch that fixes a bug that allowed users to spy on others by activating a group FaceTime call without the user's consent. What made this bug so serious was how trivial it was to leverage, and it forced Apple to pull the plug on the feature at the server end while it developed a fix.

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Following the rollout of iOS 12.1.4, Apple will switch group FaceTime calls back on, but only for those who have applied the update. Group FaceTime will remain disabled for all iOS users running iOS 12.1.3 or earlier. So, if you like group FaceTime calls, this update is a must-have for you (and those you called).

This bug, likely the most serious to hit iPhone and iPad users, has already resulted in at least one lawsuit

In December, Apple fixed another FaceTime bug -- this one was just an annoyance, and not a major privacy risk -- with iOS 12.1.1.

How to update your iPhone or iPad

The recommended way to update your devices is to tap Settings > General > Software Update and carry out the update from there. You will need Wi-Fi access and your battery to be charged above 50 percent, or the device will need to be connected to a charger.

Alternatively, if you have Automatic Updates enabled (you can find this setting in Settings > General > Software Update), then you can just wait for it to automatically download and install.

Or, if you like doing things the long, hard way, you can connect the iPhone to a PC or Mac running iTunes and do the upgrade from there. (Keep in mind that this makes the download much bigger.)

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