Apple releases iOS 12.4.2 for older iPhone & iPad, alongside watchOS 5.3.2

Posted:
in iOS edited September 26
Apple has unexpectedly released an update of iOS for older iPhone and iPad models that cannot be updated to iOS 13.1, with the legacy hardware now able to update to iOS 12.4.2, at the same time as updating the Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2.

iOS 12.4 running on an iPhone XS
iOS 12.4 running on an iPhone XS


While the majority of iPhone and iPad users are updating to iOS 13.1 from iOS 12.4.1 or iOS 13, users of older models not supported for the operating system upgrade are able to download an update that brings iOS 12.4.1 to iOS 12.4.2. Released without betas or fanfare on Thursday, the update is available to download now by a selection of older devices.

The list of compatible hardware for the iOS 12.4.2 update includes the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6 family of smartphones, the first-generation iPad Air, the second and third-generation iPad mini, and the sixth-generation iPod touch.

Older models, including the fifth-generation iPod touch, the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5, and the iPad 4, are currently not able to update, and have to remain on earlier iOS releases at this time.

At the same time, Apple has issued updates for the Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2. The updates, firmware updates for watchOS 5.3.2, are available for both 38mm and 42mm variants of both Apple Watch generations.

It is unclear exactly what Apple is including as part of the update releases, but it is likely to include a variety of performance and bug fixes, as well as updating apps to work with other services Apple provides.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    I guess I'm lucky, because I have already updated all of my devices (iPhone/iPad/Watch) to iOS 13/iPad OS and currently have no older devices that would need this update.

    It's a good thing though that Apple released this for those people who still use older devices and want to have the newest security updates etc. Apple devices are useful and function well for a far longer time than anything else out there. It's not even close.

    Every single Apple user out there is on their own update schedule, and there are many, many people out there still using older Apple devices. And why shouldn't they, as long as the devices still function well and the user is happy?




    jahblade
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I am on the fence about the 13.1 update on my iPhone SE, and I almost wonder if remaining on iOS 12 would have been better in the end.  Despite the claims of many reviews, I've found that the update has impacted the performance of the device.  The UI and scrolling have taken a hit, and even swiping between the home screen pages causes noticeable judder.  While most of the native Apple apps seem to work fine, some third party apps exhibit significant slowdown (i.e. the NHL app).  I wonder if the additional OS memory and multitasking overhead has finally overwhelmed the SE's specs.
    zroger73jahbladedysamoriawilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 15
    iOS works beautifully on my SE. Sure, there are a few minor bugs, like any other OS.
    bonobob
  • Reply 4 of 15
    iOS works beautifully on my SE. Sure, there are a few minor bugs, like any other OS.
    I wish I could say the same.  It works beautifully on my iPad Pro, but not as much on my phone.  Hopefully future updates to the OS and apps alleviates this concern.  But right now it almost feels like my SE is running in "Low Power Mode" for the battery.  Will keep my hopes up!
    dysamoriawilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 15
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    atomic101 said:
    iOS works beautifully on my SE. Sure, there are a few minor bugs, like any other OS.
    I wish I could say the same.  It works beautifully on my iPad Pro, but not as much on my phone.  Hopefully future updates to the OS and apps alleviates this concern.  But right now it almost feels like my SE is running in "Low Power Mode" for the battery.  Will keep my hopes up!
    I have an iPhone SE too, and iOS 13 works fine on mine. I'm liking the new dark mode.

    What's your battery health at? Mine's at 93%

    If yours is 80 or below, then that might explain your issue.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    I have no current plans to update to iOS 13 on my SE. My iPad Air never recovered from its first big update, becoming a clumsy, irritating device to use ever after.
    dysamoriawilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 15
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    I have no current plans to update to iOS 13 on my SE. My iPad Air never recovered from its first big update, becoming a clumsy, irritating device to use ever after.
    Could it be because the Air only had 1 gb RAM?

    Tha SE has twice that amount.

    Either way, if you're happy with your current OS, and don't want to upgrade, then that's your choice.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    I bought one of the last new 32 GB iPhone SE's through Apple's Clearance section earlier this year. I updated it to iOS 13.1 and found the scrolling and swiping to be every bit as smooth as iOS 12 with no perceivable judder. I only run a few of the most popular third-party apps such as Facebook and Netflix, but these run great. I've even contemplated making it my primary phone instead of my Xs Max, which is too big and heavy. Using the SE is such a nostalgic delight. The better cameras are the primary feature that would keep me from downgrading.
    bonobob
  • Reply 9 of 15
    apple ][ said:
    atomic101 said:
    iOS works beautifully on my SE. Sure, there are a few minor bugs, like any other OS.
    I wish I could say the same.  It works beautifully on my iPad Pro, but not as much on my phone.  Hopefully future updates to the OS and apps alleviates this concern.  But right now it almost feels like my SE is running in "Low Power Mode" for the battery.  Will keep my hopes up!
    I have an iPhone SE too, and iOS 13 works fine on mine. I'm liking the new dark mode.

    What's your battery health at? Mine's at 93%

    If yours is 80 or below, then that might explain your issue.
    My Battery Health is 85%, but still at "Peak Performance Capability".  I've been contemplating a complete restore of the phone to see if that has any benefit.

    To be clear, it's not as if the phone has become crippled, it's just that I have noticed that the scrolling is no longer a buttery smooth 60 frames per second, and some third party apps have really taken a nosedive.  My guess is that Apple's apps are specifically optimized to work within the overhead constraints of the new OS, whereas some third parties haven't yet optimized for older devices (and may never).

    Also, has anyone noticed a lag/delay in deleting or archiving messages from the Mail app?  Sometimes I end up pressing the icon twice.... and I'm not certain if it's just a delay, or if the hitbox has actually changed and the initial press was not registered.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    zroger73 said:
    I bought one of the last new 32 GB iPhone SE's through Apple's Clearance section earlier this year. I updated it to iOS 13.1 and found the scrolling and swiping to be every bit as smooth as iOS 12 with no perceivable judder. I only run a few of the most popular third-party apps such as Facebook and Netflix, but these run great. I've even contemplated making it my primary phone instead of my Xs Max, which is too big and heavy. Using the SE is such a nostalgic delight. The better cameras are the primary feature that would keep me from downgrading.

    Agreed - I have an 8 (work) and an SE (personal), and I simply enjoy the feel and balance of the smaller phone more.  I think that many iPhone users have forgotten what it was like to use the smaller form factor, and now immediately dismiss it as obsolete.
    zroger73bonobobdysamoria
  • Reply 11 of 15
    So, I updated my iPhone 6 Plus to the new 12.4.2 release, and then I tried to update my Series 4 watch.  No go - it said that I need a newer version of software on my iPhone.  I just got off the phone with Apple Support (what a joke), and they confirmed it.  So, to refresh, if I had an older watch (Series 1 or 2), then I'd be able to upgrade from 5.3.1 to 5.3.2 using my old iPhone 6, but since I have a NEWER Series 4 watch that is capable of running iOS 6, then I can't update it until I buy a newer phone.  Like I told the support person, I've owned Macs since the 128K Macintosh - more than I can remember.  I just think that this pretty much sucks.  My wife and I have perfectly good iPhone 6 phones and newer Series 4 watches, but because we don't have newer phones, our watch OS is stuck in time at 5.3.1.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 12 of 15
    So, I updated my iPhone 6 Plus to the new 12.4.2 release, and then I tried to update my Series 4 watch.  No go - it said that I need a newer version of software on my iPhone.  I just got off the phone with Apple Support (what a joke), and they confirmed it.  So, to refresh, if I had an older watch (Series 1 or 2), then I'd be able to upgrade from 5.3.1 to 5.3.2 using my old iPhone 6, but since I have a NEWER Series 4 watch that is capable of running iOS 6, then I can't update it until I buy a newer phone.  Like I told the support person, I've owned Macs since the 128K Macintosh - more than I can remember.  I just think that this pretty much sucks.  My wife and I have perfectly good iPhone 6 phones and newer Series 4 watches, but because we don't have newer phones, our watch OS is stuck in time at 5.3.1.
    iPhone 6 released in late 2014.

    I guess it makes sense that you wont be able to update your series 4 watch to newest watch OS, since the watch is basically an extension of the phone, and they both need to be on latest OS version to work properly and sync together.

    The iPhone 6 got cut off this year from getting iOS 13. I think it had a pretty good lifespan.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 15
    apple ][ said:
    So, I updated my iPhone 6 Plus to the new 12.4.2 release, and then I tried to update my Series 4 watch.  No go - it said that I need a newer version of software on my iPhone.  I just got off the phone with Apple Support (what a joke), and they confirmed it.  So, to refresh, if I had an older watch (Series 1 or 2), then I'd be able to upgrade from 5.3.1 to 5.3.2 using my old iPhone 6, but since I have a NEWER Series 4 watch that is capable of running iOS 6, then I can't update it until I buy a newer phone.  Like I told the support person, I've owned Macs since the 128K Macintosh - more than I can remember.  I just think that this pretty much sucks.  My wife and I have perfectly good iPhone 6 phones and newer Series 4 watches, but because we don't have newer phones, our watch OS is stuck in time at 5.3.1.
    iPhone 6 released in late 2014.

    I guess it makes sense that you wont be able to update your series 4 watch to newest watch OS, since the watch is basically an extension of the phone, and they both need to be on latest OS version to work properly and sync together.

    The iPhone 6 got cut off this year from getting iOS 13. I think it had a pretty good lifespan.
    I'm writing this from a MacBook Pro "Early 2013" model, which soon will be upgradable to Mac OS Catalina (it will run on MacBook Pros from 2012 on).
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 15
    The availability of upgrades seem to be patchy.
    Here in the UK, my I-Pad Mini (2016) is at 12.4.1 but can't get 12.4.2 or 13.1
    My I-Pad PRO (2018) can't get anything beyond 12.4
    and my I-Phone 8 (12.4.1) is only offered 13.1.

    A bit of a dogs breakfast if you ask me.

    I think I'll hold off trying to upgrade anything for another week.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    So, I updated my iPhone 6 Plus to the new 12.4.2 release, and then I tried to update my Series 4 watch.  No go - it said that I need a newer version of software on my iPhone.  I just got off the phone with Apple Support (what a joke), and they confirmed it.  So, to refresh, if I had an older watch (Series 1 or 2), then I'd be able to upgrade from 5.3.1 to 5.3.2 using my old iPhone 6, but since I have a NEWER Series 4 watch that is capable of running iOS 6, then I can't update it until I buy a newer phone.  Like I told the support person, I've owned Macs since the 128K Macintosh - more than I can remember.  I just think that this pretty much sucks.  My wife and I have perfectly good iPhone 6 phones and newer Series 4 watches, but because we don't have newer phones, our watch OS is stuck in time at 5.3.1.
    I thought the same, but knowing that the 6/6+ was being dropped from support, I upgraded to an iPhone 7 (my grandson's hand-me-down).   And I couldn't be more pleased.   There is a huge difference between my 128Gb 6+ (which was actually only a year old due to it being replaced by Apple) and the iPhone 7.  Huge!

    If you can, I suggest upgrading -- even if only to a 7 or 8.   It's well worth it.
    edited September 27 williamlondon
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