Apple releases iOS 12.5, bringing Exposure Notification to older devices

in General Discussion
Apple has released iOS 12.5, an update that brings coronavirus Exposure Notification and security updates to older iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple

The iOS 12.5 update, released alongside iOS 14.3, brings the opt-in Exposure Notification system to older iPhone models. Additionally, it also provides security patches that patch known vulnerabilities in flaws in the previous update.

Apple last updated iOS 12 with the release of iOS 12.4.9 in November. With the latest update on Monday, the company is expanding the number of devices that can be added to regional exposure notification networks.

The Exposure Notification system, developed by Apple and Google, will send an alert to users if they've come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It relies on anonymous, short-range Bluetooth identifiers and doesn't collect any location data or personally identifiable information.

The system is completely opt-in and must be activated by a user. A local health authority must also support the system, so users should check if their state or region has exposure notification capabilities in place.

Although the iOS 14 update supports all of the same devices that iOS 13 did, it still leaves out older models like the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and sixth-generation iPod touch.

The iOS 12.5 update should now be available as a free-over-the-air update on compatible devices. Users can find it by heading to Settings > General > Software Update.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member

    It would be kind of useful, if you could get into the habit of listing build number along with version numbers.

    This is important, because sometimes Apple sneaks in a minor revision, only noticeable by looking at build numbers, and developers and others with access to prerelease builds often get release candidates no longer marked as beta software. It’s then key to know if one has actually the released version installed, and not just something “relatively close to it”

    So, please!
  • Reply 2 of 4
    I got rid of my original iPad Air with the new iPad air, so I can't test these old updates anymore...
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Hope they fix the bug for those who turned off exposure tracking in iOS 13.7. Be nice to be able to turn it on again 
  • Reply 4 of 4
    Great! I mothballed my iPhone 5s after upgrading to the new SE. But, nice to know that I can activate this feature on a 7-year old phone if I ever take it out in public on a regular basis again.
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