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iOS 16.1.2 Optimizes Crash Detection, Improves Wireless Carrier Compatibility

Last week, Apple released iOS 16.1.2 to improve compatibility with wireless carriers and provide Crash Detection optimizations for the iPhone 14 lineup. (Perhaps it no longer goes off in amusement parks; see “Roller Coasters Can Trigger Crash Detection in the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch,” 10 October 2022.) The update also contains security fixes that Apple promises to document soon, in case you’re looking for some light reading.

iOS 16.1.2 release notes

Should you upgrade? I can’t see any reason to delay, especially if you’re planning to be in a car anytime soon.

No other Apple operating systems were updated, though I wonder if the next update to watchOS 9 will include the Crash Detection optimizations.

(In the original version of this article, I asked if readers found coverage like this valuable, even when Apple notifies all users and when I don’t know anything more about the update than Apple publishes in the release notes. The poll results and subsequent comments strongly favored continuing, so I’ll keep calm and carry on.)

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Comments About iOS 16.1.2 Optimizes Crash Detection, Improves Wireless Carrier Compatibility

Notable Replies

  1. I find these software update announcements very helpful. My iOS software updates never show up on my iPhone until maybe a week later, if then. Oh, if I go looking for them they’re listed, but I don’t go looking for them unless I hear they exist in the first place. A kind of Catch 22. Same thing with the App Store updates, which always seem to be shown to me days after the listing states they were actually released.

    So yes, especially for zero-day exploit remediation updates, these announcements are very helpful.

  2. I didn’t need TidBITS to tell me what the update does…but I do like the short articles you write about such updates since I send them to my mother to forestall her inevitable question, “Should I install now or wait?”

  3. I don’t get prompt notification of updates on my iPhones, but these updates are widely reported in the blogs and websites, so TibBits notifications aren’t necessary. And, this was posted several days after the update release, so I wonder how informative it was.

  4. Not everybody. At least not yet. My phone is running 16.1.1. I have not yet gotten the notification and badge that a new update is available.

    But when I click on Software Update, there it is. And now the badge has appeared.

  5. I voted yes. I live under a rock and don’t have the update on my phone yet.


  6. Right, one of the things that Josh did was trawl the net looking for news items like this so we could be faster in our coverage. I have no desire to continue that—I find the vast majority of news an unnecessary distraction from, well, everything. (In the case of OS updates, I think I see how to automate being notified of new ones in a timely fashion, since Apple doesn’t always notify right away.) And news coverage that appears in lots of other places is one of the main things I want TidBITS to do less of in the future, particularly when I don’t feel that we have anything substantive to add beyond what Apple says.

    The question of update notifications is an interesting one. Clearly, Apple spaces out how quickly people are notified of new updates, presumably to spread out the load on the update servers. But I would imagine that Apple could also change that schedule to ensure that security updates that block zero-day vulnerabilities are distributed more quickly. And even with such important security updates, the likelihood of any regular person having a problem because they didn’t update for a week or two seems vanishingly small.

    In other words, although we could likely post an article before you’d get an automatic notification, is that important? Apple presumably doesn’t think so or it would change the update schedule or mechanism to ensure faster distribution.

    @mcohen’s situation with his mother is a different story. It’s unfortunate that some updates have caused problems such that many people are leery about installing them. So perhaps there is value in saying that I see no reason not to update, even when that advice is based more on a gut feeling or on a search within the security notes to see if any of the fixes are for expoits in the wild.

  7. I almost never update until Tidbits says it’s okay to do so. While I occasionally read other sources of Apple info, here is where I come for the definitive info. A brief statement like the first part of this article is more than sufficient without being a waste of your time to write it and my time to read it.

  8. Yes, I did need TidBITS to tell me that. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it until, in this case, my devices started nagging me about it.

    I realize that some of the news TidBITS publishes is also available elsewhere, but I don’t look elsewhere because I find the news I need to know focused and curated in TidBITS.

  9. I answered Yes, but I would add that trying to discern the why and wherefores of Apple’s updates is a task I wouldn’t wish on anyone. If you prefer to keep these posts short and sweet, Adam, I’m right with you. :fist:

  10. MR

    I find these short articles about OS updates extremely useful. I absolutely rely on TidBITS to find out about software updates and much more. You do a fantastic job of helping me keep current with all things Apple (and other tech, as well). It’s why I have been a member/contributor for 5+ years, and will continue to be as long as TidBITS exists.

  11. It might be worth running a poll separate to this news item. The folks who read these updates are more likely to see this and therefore vote yes, and that may not be representative of the larger tidbits audience.

  12. I like getting the announcements and always check these comments to see if anyone else has something to say about the update. It’s very convenient to get a reality check regarding the risk of updating from knowledge people.

    So, it’s good to read your article, but what I value is the stub it creates for others to comment.

  13. Yes, I expect you to pass on info like this with any insights you may have, because who else is going to do it? It may seem trivial to you, but I believe most of us find it reassuring.

  14. +1 for update notices. TidBITS is a reliable source among sites filled with rumor reports, concept videos, scaremongering, how-tos (for things I never do), sales pitches, and “who wants to buy what” polls. I’ve whittled my Apple news sources down to a minimum, and when I finally get sick of the hype and take it down to just one, it will be you.

  15. It is useful to see the notification of upgrades/updates like this…but they may not all need a full page of coverage. Maybe just a 1-liner to acknowledge the event. Something like NMUG recently did with the News Bites section of their web page…to clean up their messaging board.

  16. I would find them useful if you had extra information compared to Apple’s terse (to say the least) so-called “release notes”. But if you do not have any such to report, I don’t need the TidBITS notification.

  17. I also had not received any notification about the update. I don’t let iOS install them automatically, but I like to know when they arrive. When I received your announcement and checked, sure enough the update was waiting on my iPhone 13 Pro. I appreciate the update announcements and hope you’ll continue to provide this service!

  18. Once I am out beyond the second decimal point on a version, the update seems unworthy on being urgent news. If this would have been 16.2 rather than 16.1.2 I would really appreciate hearing about it from TidBITS immediately. We never seem to hear from Apple in a timely manner.

  19. After successive softwares updates made Homekit unreliable for me I am cautious about installing iOS updates straight away.
    Tidbits’ take on updates is helpful for deciding on whether to proceed.

  20. I’m really the opposite. The second decimal point updates almost always are important security patches or fix something that may have broken badly with the last first decimal point upgrade.

  21. Yes – this is exactly the kind of thing I rely on TidBITS for.

  22. FWIW, I still use an RSS reader (Feedly) for most of my tracking news. Apple has a page of RSS feeds you can subscribe to. I subscribe to their “Newsroom” and “Developer News” feeds. This covers most of Apple’s press releases.

    But it generally only announces major OS updates (e.g. Ventura’s release and iOS 16), not minor/bug-fix updates.

    They need to have (I think they used to have) a feed for the downloads page, especially the OS-updates sub-pages (e.g. About iOS 16 Updates) which get updated with each update they release.

  23. There are apps and services that can watch pages for changes—I’ll bring one of them to bear on the update pages. Those aren’t necessarily updated before the updates actually go out, but it’s usually close.

  24. Was this useful? Yes it was - thanks.

    I have RSS feeds from three Mac-oriented sites and review them daily. TidBITS, of course. MacStories, but I rarely do more than glance at their articles. And AppleInsider. Well, while they’re fast, they’re too click-baity for my taste, increasingly trying to be all things to all readers of late. I glance over them and read some of their short articles - but the important issues often get no more than a glance if I can anticipate that I’ll get the proper TidBITS coverage, even if I have to wait a day or two.

    But it’s not just your coverage. It’s the community responses that make up the whole TidBITS experience.

    In this instance, I have a vague feeling I may have seen something about this iOS update but, if I did, I parked it, pending reading a little more about it here - and any associated reactions from the community. My iPhone has still to trigger the red badge of its own volition. I’ve just plugged a USB cable into my iPhone and gone to the iPhone window in Finder, where it tells me that “your Mac will automatically check for an update again on 08/12/2022” - ie not until tomorrow. Having just done a backup and a sync, I’m pushing it through right now.

  25. Was this particular instance useful? No, but I had already made up my mind to install the latest update as the 16.1.1 update resulted in both our iPhone 8’s chewing through the batteries at an alarming rate. Did check Tidbits talk but no one else had mentioned the quick discharge of batteries. Btw way 16.1.2 seems to have fixed the problem.

    I would be very sorry to see the community’s comments on updates go away - they give a good indication whether to hold off or not. I voted yes - the articles are normally very useful!

  26. I often find out about updates first in TidBITS, not my devices, so the articles are helpful in that way. There are a number of people who rely on me to tell them if an update is ready for prime time, and I rely on TidBITS to give me that assurance, so yes again.

  27. I apparently need TidBITS to tell me these things because I didn’t realize there was an update!

  28. “Should you upgrade? I can’t see any reason to delay, especially if you’re planning to be in a car anytime soon.”

    That’s the text I like to see–here you are adding value. Your added value is valuable.

  29. Something in this update nobody mentioned: there’s a new setting for notifications at the top of the App Store section where your updates get displayed. I was alerted to it because of a splash screen when checking for updates to an app.

    This is an example for the kind of information I’d like to read about, ideally right after the update comes out and before I choose to install. Apple’s “release notes” are mostly useless as they’d never point out a detail like this. And I don’t need the 934th announcement that there’s an update for some Apple doohickey I have. What I do need is a summary of all the little changes.

  30. Yes, this short article was useful. I didn’t know about the update. And I usually wait until someone here on Tidbits tells me it’s Ok to update.

  31. FWIW, I upgraded my iPhone 13. It didn’t seem to break anything.

  32. The notice about improving Crash Detection was vague, but I think the issue being worked on was the prevention of false positives from roller coasters and other non-crash activities that also have sudden decelerations. I seem to remember that it has also been reported that various skiing activities might also send false positives.

  33. That must have been an iOS 16.1 change since I have it on my iPad, which hasn’t updated to iPadOS 16.1.1 yet. I don’t remember getting that alert on my iPhone, but when I went into the App Store app on the iPad, it popped right up.

    Things like this are maddening since I had no idea what you were talking about until I went to try it. Perhaps I’m just blanking on not getting the alert on the iPhone because the concept of getting notifications from the App Store fills me with horror. I’m really, really uninterested in having my devices constantly trying to push more apps on me.

  34. I’m totally with you. I guess this is just more of the “services push” that Apple (and Wall Street) is so obsessed with lately.

    The reason I noticed it right with 16.1.2 on my iPhone (and my wife’s) is actually because of the big flashy splash screen they shoved in my face. None of those shenanigans before (16.1).

  35. I make a small automatic donation every month and one of the things I always look for are the version update articles and your recommendations. It’s your choice whether to delete or not but if the replacement isn’t of equal or more value to me, next year’s monthly donations will reflect that decision.

  36. I think I would be fine seeing things like this appear in the watchlist with app updates, but I do find it useful.

  37. Thanks for all the votes and opinions on whether I should keep covering updates even when I don’t have much to add beyond what Apple says. It seems that such articles are highly popular on the whole, so I’ll keep doing them, though I may try to have some fun writing them to keep things fresh.

  38. We probably don’t need TidBITs to tell us that there’s a new iOS version available as my iPhone told me already. What my iPhone didn’t tell me, and I would appreciate some insight (if you have one) is why wasn’t there a matching upgrade to the iPadOS version. Forget crash detection, that’s not an iPad thing, but what about wireless carrier compatibility?

  39. Exactly my response as well.

  40. Yeah, that’s the thing—I just don’t know why there’s no iPadOS 16.1.2. I suspect the answer is just that it’s not a big deal. The engineers changed something so wireless connectivity is better than before in some small way; it’s not like it was a problem before.

    It may also just be a schedule thing, where those changes will be in iPadOS 16.2 or whatever is next, but it wasn’t worth releasing an update for the iPad for just them.

    We could speculate all day, but I think it’s just a waste of CPU cycles to read much into it. There isn’t an iPadOS update because Apple didn’t release one. :slight_smile:

  41. Well, since the main part of this update is crash detection optimization for iPhone 14s and I have an iPhone 12, I don’t see a need to update. I’ll wait to see if iOS 16.2 is worth it.

  42. Thanks Adam, and TidBits. I appreciate getting this update information from you.

  43. But there is an unspecified, as of yet, security update to 16.1.2, which may be way more important a reason to update than the feature fixes.

    Also note that there may be some new features issues when 16.2 is released which could cause you to wish you could stick with 16.1.2 but find it to be unsigned by the time you make that decision.

  44. Well how’s that for subjunctive phrasing and vagueness? :laughing:

    I’ll go out on a limb here and claim that if Apple can’t be bothered to tell us what security patches they’re including and why, we shouldn’t be too concerned about updating hastily and on their schedule.

    This whole obscurity thing with their updates is grating. Tell people why the should be updating so they can make an informed decision for themselves, they’re neither children nor Soviets for crying out loud.

  45. Apple never reveals a security vulnerability until all OSs that contain that vulnerability have been patched. Since there wasn’t an iPadOS 16.1.2, I would hazard a guess that it contains this same vulnerability and for whatever reason Apple is not ready to release updates for iPadOS and any other OS that needs a security update. One theory is that it’s not that severe, an exploit has not been found in the wild yet and 16.2 is close enough to release (tomorrow?) that it’s OK to wait. In that case the primary reasons for 16.1.2 release last week was, in fact, just the two bug fixes listed.

    But you are right in faulting Apple for lack of transparency that extends to many areas.

  46. yes. This is where I go to determine when or if to upgrade. Keep it up and thanks for this.

  47. The security patch for iOS 16.1.2 can now be read at About the security content of iOS 16.1.2 - Apple Support, for those still interested in that update. Note that:

    Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS released before iOS 15.1.

    The same vulnerability (CVE-2022-42856) was also patched today in:

    • macOS Ventura 13.1
    • iOS/iPadOS 15.7.2
    • tvOS 16.2
    • Safari 16.2
  48. The responses to your announcement might warn of a problem.
    Having the announcement be brief is fine.

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