If you're starting to get FaceTime withdrawals, I've got some good news. Apple has been working overtime to come up with a fix after users revealed that there was a FaceTime glitch that reportedly let callers eavesdrop on conversations without the person picking up, and the update is finally here. If you're ready to resume FaceTiming away, here's how to get Apple's iOS 12.1.4 update so you can call your friends without worrying about your privacy.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, Apple rolled out the iOS 12.1.4 update, which mainly contains fixes to current bugs, especially the FaceTime glitch which caused a media firestorm when it was revealed that callers could tune into the audio (and video, in some cases) of any iPhone with iOS 12.1 or later — all without detection. This basically allowed people to "spy" on others without their knowledge through the group FaceTime feature. All someone had to do was start a FaceTime call with one of their contacts and then add themselves to the call. Believing that a group FaceTime was going on, the feature would then start transmitting audio from the other end without the recipient even pressing a button.
In addition, per the Verge and several other news sources who tried this out, the caller would get audio as well as video from the device's front-facing camera if the recipient either hit the power or volume button to ignore the call. The problem was exacerbated in Mac computers, as the longer ringing time on FaceTime allowed potential callers to spy on unsuspecting recipients for even longer.
Needless to say, it was a pretty big privacy breach, and Apple quickly disabled the group FaceTime feature when it was made aware of the glitch.
At the time, the tech giant issued a statement to Elite Daily, saying:
We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.
Now, it looks like your days of going without FaceTime are over. According to the Apple support page, iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation can all download the iOS 12.1.4 to update and remove the bug. If you don't have automatic updates set up, all you have to do to access the feature is to go into Settings, select Software Update in General, then choose to download and install iOS 12.1.4, and voila, your FaceTime should be bug-free
While the update doesn't fix the glitch on your Mac computer, Bloomberg reported that users can make sure that their FaceTiming is completely private on all their devices by downloading the macOS Mojave 10.14.3 update that was released in conjunction with the latest iOS update.
Although iOS 12.1.4 doesn't come with any fancy new features, it's a practical precursor to iOS 12.2. According to reports from Tech Radar, the update will include four new Animoji characters (a shark, giraffe, owl, and warthog, in case you were wondering), an Apple TV Remote Control Center that takes over the full screen of your device, as well as an Air Quality Index reading feature, and a new Screen Mirroring icon.
Considering that we also have a host of new Emojis to look forward to sometime in the coming months, it seems like the rest of 2019 is definitely looking up for iOS users.