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iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8

In response to the recent kerfuffle surrounding the way its mobile devices collect and store location data (see “Apple Addresses Location Controversy Questions,” 27 April 2011), Apple has released the promised update to iOS that limits the location information the operating system gathers and caches. The new release is available in two versions: iOS 4.2.8 for the CDMA iPhone that operates on Verizon Wireless’s network, and iOS 4.3.3 for all other compatible iOS devices; these latter devices include the GSM iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, the iPad and iPad 2, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch. (Older devices limited to iOS 3 don’t suffer the same problems.) When updated, the iOS device retains a shorter history of location data than it previously did, and it does not back up that data to the user’s computer when the device syncs with iTunes. In addition, the device no longer collects any location information at all when Location Services is turned off. The updates are installed via iTunes. (Free)


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Comments about iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8
(Comments are closed.)

Tonya Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-05 00:53
The iPhone 3G runs iOS 4, right? But at some point recently, I believe that Apple stopped including it in new iOS releases. ?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-05 18:08
Yes, the iPhone 3G is stuck at iOS 4.2.1, so it (and the second-generation iPod touch) can't take advantage of this update but presumably suffers from the bugs fixed by 4.2.8 and 4.3.3.

As our full coverage notes, however, the fixes to these bugs should be important only for the few people who have reason to be extremely concerned about there being very generalized location data (nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, not GPS-level data) about their whereabouts stored on the phone and in their iTunes backups. For such people, an upgrade to a newer iPhone might be prudent.
Chadwick  2011-05-05 01:40
After I updated my iPhone 4, my home button stopped working. I'm in the process of doing a full restore at the moment. Hope it helps! Yikes!
Apple have an ethical duty to upgrade those of us stuck on 4.2.1 with the iPhone 3G. It is not THAT old & companies like Apple are getting stingier with their support than ever they were. After all, the iPhone 5 was already being touted about when the the 4 was just coming out. Soon Apple will stop supporting one model when another one is rumoured to take over! I think owners of the 3G have every right to complain. I don't have the money to keep upgrading every time Apple decides to bring out a new model. My 3G does the basics (albeit incredibly slow because of the updates) so i cannot justify spending extra $$ for a new plan/handset payments etc. My annoyance is not so much about having the same capabilities as those who have newer models, as that my choice for updating due to SECURITY reasons has been taken away by Apple. This is the ugly side of Apple, that by omission Apple chooses to deny those with 3G phones the right to be safe - just to force them to upgrade. This is ethically wrong. Whether or not this location problem is of greater or lesser magnitude, the point is CHOICE for those that have supported Apple in the past - after all, it is through loyal support that Apple has got to where it is now.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-05-05 18:12
While I agree that Apple should release an update for the iPhone 3G given the bugs in question, it should be noted that Apple has said absolutely nothing official about the iPhone 5. Apple cannot be held accountable for whatever wild flights of fancy rumor sites use to gin up traffic. We assume there will be an iPhone 5 because there was an iPhone 4, but that's merely informed speculation at this point.
It is true that it was not Apple that started the iPhone 5 talk. I was merely making the point that Apple has been cutting back on support for their own products over the years. Not that many moons ago, Apple was still supporting old Macintoshes & not necessarily due to concerns about security. But this approach, which showed a healthy respect for their market, is vanishing - ironically, in proportion to their profits, ie they get stingier as they get fatter.

Any working phone that is currently in circulation made by Apple should be supported when it comes to SECURITY issues. As for other, more sophisticated, upgrades to do with add-ons & features, of course, that is up to Apple. When hardware becomes outdated due to more advanced software demands, that is a whole other ball game. But security should not be an area where they can refuse a section of their market purely because they think a phone is old - heck, I'M still alive & it is MY security i'm talking about, not the phone's!