Group FaceTime bug prevents adding more users to an existing one-on-one call

Posted:
in iOS edited February 18
Apple's patch to close an exploit in Group FaceTime is only partially successful, as some users are reporting the service is preventing them from adding more contacts to a FaceTime call that is already in progress, an issue that Apple seemingly knows about.




Apple's iOS update to 12.1.4 largely consisted of a bug fix for a widely-publicized Group FaceTime exploit. While the update effectively re-enabled the feature, with iPhone and iPad users able to set up Group FaceTime calls once again, not everything appears to have been solved by the patch.

It has been found that, while users can commence both standard two-person FaceTime calls and Group FaceTime calls of three or more people, in some cases it is not possible to switch from a FaceTime call to a Group FaceTime version. In some cases, the option to "Add Person" is not available during a FaceTime call, preventing the addition of more participants to a call.

Affected users are still capable of commencing a Group FaceTime call with multiple other contacts, but shifting from a one-to-one call to one with more than three people taking part is seemingly failing.

A reader of MacRumors has reportedly received a confirmation from Apple Support that it is a known issue, but with no timescale for a fix. Posts from Apple's Twitter-based support also mention the limitation switching between FaceTime and the Group version.

As the issue doesn't directly prevent Group FaceTime from being used and is less severe in nature, unlike the exploit, it is probable that Apple will release an update for iOS resolving the issue, albeit at a less urgent speed. It is plausible a fix could arrive as part of iOS 12.2, which is currently undergoing the beta testing process.

The exploit, discovered in January, enabled users to eavesdrop upon a contact using the Group FaceTime system, without any need for the extra participant to pick up the call before audio and even video is transmitted. Apple quickly disabled the feature before creating the patch, and has rewarded the teenage discoverer of the bug via the company's bug bounty system.

The emergence of the bug has prompted lawsuits, including one claiming a lawyer was taking a deposition.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    I actually had this same problem with iOS and Mojave but then I realized the iPads I was trying to add were not on iOS 12.1.4 and rather on 12.1.2. Upgraded the iPads and all devices we able to do Group FaceTime just fine from Mojave and iOS. Wonder if that’s the issue people are seeing and if so that would be by design.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,184administrator
    I actually had this same problem with iOS and Mojave but then I realized the iPads I was trying to add were not on iOS 12.1.4 and rather on 12.1.2. Upgraded the iPads and all devices we able to do Group FaceTime just fine from Mojave and iOS. Wonder if that’s the issue people are seeing and if so that would be by design.
    Nope. We can reproduce it with all of us on 12.1.4.
    o4blackwrx
  • Reply 3 of 12
    I’ve been having problems adding a third party to an audio only call. My Max winds up ending the call instead of merging them. 
    edited February 18
  • Reply 4 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,082member
    Well, that’s a fail! Adding a 3rd person to an existing 2 person call is probably the singe most importion function of Group FaceTime.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,754member
    Oh boy...better take this to CNN and make a world crisis out of it!
    lolliver
  • Reply 6 of 12
    arlorarlor Posts: 486member
    macxpress said:
    Oh boy...better take this to CNN and make a world crisis out of it!
    What is the added value of a comment like this? It's a bonafide bug that AI itself has managed to reproduce. Should an Apple news site not report on news about Apple?

    There are vastly more fake or preemptive "Apple is Doomed" posts on these forums than there are actual "Apple is Doomed" posts. 
  • Reply 7 of 12
    macxpress said:
    Oh boy...better take this to CNN and make a world crisis out of it!
    As they should. Far too many bugs in iOS 12. Can’t even wake up my screen when pressing the power button because Siri pops up asking questions.

    And before anybody says it...I’m not long-pressing the button.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,754member
    arlor said:
    macxpress said:
    Oh boy...better take this to CNN and make a world crisis out of it!
    What is the added value of a comment like this? It's a bonafide bug that AI itself has managed to reproduce. Should an Apple news site not report on news about Apple?

    There are vastly more fake or preemptive "Apple is Doomed" posts on these forums than there are actual "Apple is Doomed" posts. 
    What is the added value of you replying? 
  • Reply 9 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,082member
    macxpress said:
    arlor said:
    macxpress said:
    Oh boy...better take this to CNN and make a world crisis out of it!
    What is the added value of a comment like this? It's a bonafide bug that AI itself has managed to reproduce. Should an Apple news site not report on news about Apple?

    There are vastly more fake or preemptive "Apple is Doomed" posts on these forums than there are actual "Apple is Doomed" posts. 
    What is the added value of you replying? 
    He’s just calling out a worthless post.

    At at least this bug, while it does make Group FaceTime less useful, is just a usability bug and not a security issue. 
    edited February 18
  • Reply 10 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,754member
    MplsP said:
    macxpress said:
    arlor said:
    macxpress said:
    Oh boy...better take this to CNN and make a world crisis out of it!
    What is the added value of a comment like this? It's a bonafide bug that AI itself has managed to reproduce. Should an Apple news site not report on news about Apple?

    There are vastly more fake or preemptive "Apple is Doomed" posts on these forums than there are actual "Apple is Doomed" posts. 
    What is the added value of you replying? 
    He’s just calling out a worthless post.

    At at least this bug, while it does make Group FaceTime less useful, is just a usability bug and not a security issue. 
    By making another worthless post?
  • Reply 11 of 12
    So a teenager, his mother and clickbait media turned a theoretical privacy problem into a real bug and an inconvenience for all of us. Great.


    edited February 18
  • Reply 12 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,146member
    I'm not sure what the purpose of this story is. When you have a leak in your roof and it's raining, you patch the roof first, then once you have stopped the immediate crisis, you work on a permanent fix. That is precisely what is going on here. Why would that surprise anyone?
    jas99
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