Released with a typically perfunctory description, Apple has pushed out iOS 6.0.2 for the iPhone 5 and iPad mini to fix “a bug that could impact Wi-Fi.” With such a blank slate to divine from, it’s hard to know what problems iOS 6.0.2 might address. However, there’s a lengthy and vitriolic discussion thread (3,155 posts and 485,390 views) at Apple Support Communities that suggests this fix is meant to patch a problem with the iPhone 5 that gives the appearance of a connection to a Wi-Fi network while receiving no data over Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, another long thread (2,587 posts and 371,438 views) detailing Wi-Fi woes seems to point its finger at iOS 6 itself, given that the problem started at its release and occurs on numerous devices other than the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.
If you have workable Wi-Fi connectivity, we recommend going the over-the-air update route (go to Settings > General > Software Update on the device) as this method downloads only the deltas that are much smaller and faster to install (a 51.4 MB download for the iPhone 5 and a 32.9 MB download for the iPad mini). You can also grab the full image of iOS 6.0.2 through iTunes on your Mac (which downloads a heftier 819 MB).
All that said, some people have experienced significant battery drain after updating to iOS 6.0.2 (see “iOS 6.0.2 May Impact Battery Life,” 19 December 2012), and while toggling Wi-Fi off and back on may help, it’s worth holding off on iOS 6.0.2 unless you’re experiencing Wi-Fi problems that it might fix.
Unless otherwise noted, this article is copyright © 2013 TidBITS Publishing, Inc.Published in TidBITS on 2012-12-18.
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