Exchange server admins, Apple iPhone/iPad owners, and anyone who read my post from earlier this month on the problems iOS 6.1 was causing with Exchange will all be delighted to learn that last week the team from Cupertino released iOS 6.1.2 for Apple iPhones and iPads. Available to download for iPhone 3GS and later, iPad 2 and later, iPod touch 4th generation and later, and iPhone 5, the download was made available to install on compatible iOS devices on February 19th. iOS version 6.1.2 is identified on the Apple site as DL1639, and has one of the most underwhelming descriptions of any update I have ever seen!
Specifically, this is the entire “About” text on the page that describes the iOS 6.1.2 update.
Fixes an Exchange calendar bug that could result in increased network activity and reduced battery life.
Now, I’m not paid by the word either, but I do have certain minimum word counts I try to meet, and I also try to let my readers know all the salient details. The terseness of this update description was surprising, considering many Exchange admins went so far as to completely block iOS devices from connecting to their CAS servers because the bug this update fixes was so bad! Many non-Apple sites are reporting that in addition to the “calendar bug” that has plagued Exchange systems, causing multi-Gigabyte log files in some cases, it also fixes a recently disclosed passcode bypass vulnerability that was reported publicly earlier this month. That bug enabled someone who had physical access to your phone, and a good sense of timing, to bypass the lock code so that they could make phone calls, access contacts, call history, and voicemail (if you don’t also PIN protect that.) The “About” text for iOS 6.1.2 makes no comment about this. By press time, I was unable to confirm whether or not this potential vulnerability is fixed or not but a number of reputable sites indicate that it is. Even if that is confirmed, I urge you not to leave your iPhone laying around where anyone can get to it. There’s a growing rash of iPhone thefts being reported, and while it would be bad to lose your phone, it would be worse to lose your privacy.
The update weighs in at rougly 12.8MB, and can be installed directly to devices running iOS in the 6 train. When you go to install it you will be warned by your device if you are on battery. Apple recommends that you only update devices when you are connected to external power, to ensure that your device cannot run out of juice mid-update. It’s good advice you should heed, even though there is an option to proceed anyway.
Exchange admins who have seen increased loads on their servers, especially with growing log files on their CAS, should encourage all their iOS users to update to 6.1.2 as soon as possible. A quick way to dump a list of all EAS devices including the OS version is to run this Exchange Management Shell command.
get-activesyncdevice –resultsize unlimited | ft identity, deviceos –auto
This will display the user’s CN, and the DeviceOS. You may need to format wide if you have narrower display or a longer path to your user objects. Check it out and get those users upgraded!