This week, Apple rolled out iOS 8.1.1, the latest firmware update for iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad owners. The release mainly fixes bugs and aims to improve user experience on older generation devices.
However, according to a support document released by Apple a few hours after the launch of iOS 8.1.1, the update additionally contains important security fixes that everyone should apply at the first opportunity.
Stability and performance for older generation devices
The short changelog accompanying yesterday’s release read, âThis release includes bug fixes, increased stability, and performance improvements for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. For more information about the security content in this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.
At the time Apple released the update, the security side of iOS 8.1.1 was not yet available. Now it is (more details below).
Replacement of iOS 8.1
The new firmware is derived from iOS 8 and iOS 8.1 respectively, which means it replaces those two updates and includes everything Apple has added to it. For those who have not yet applied either of these updates, the new features include Apple Pay, new features and improvements for photos and messages, Wi-Fi performance improvements, tons fixes and tweaks, accessibility updates, etc.
The software allows iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages from their iPad and Mac, provides alerts when running out of space before shooting Time Lapse videos, allows HealthKit apps to access data in the background, improves stability and audio quality when using MFi hearing aids (designed for iPhone) with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and more. The full changelog can be found below.
The security content of iOS 8.1.1
As previously stated, this information was not available (at least not in this part of the world) at the time iOS 8.1.1 was rolled out to the masses. As of now, we have access to the 8.1.1 firmware advisory, which states that Apple has addressed security issues – some more serious than others – in areas such as CFNetwork, dyld, Kernel, Lock Screen, Sandbox Profiles, Spotlight, and WebKit.
A rather interesting fix is ââdescribed as follows: “Impact: Someone with physical access to the phone may be able to access photos in the photo library.” Description: The Leave Message option in FaceTime may have enabled you to view and send photos from the device. This problem was solved by better management of the state.
This issue would have affected all iDevice models from iPhone 4S, fifth generation iPod touch, and iPad 2.
Compatible devices and download links
iOS 8.1.1 is supported on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad second generation, iPad third generation, iPad fourth generation, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 and fifth generation iPod touch.
IOS 8.1.1 compatibility chart
Readers can manually download the appropriate IPSW for their device from our website – download iOS 8.1.1 – or they can install the update via iTunes, as well as over the air (OTA) via the Settings menu of their iDevice. It is recommended that users take a backup of their iDevice before installing iOS 8.1.1, just in case.
Jailbroken users should note that iOS 8.1.1 breaks compatibility with the Pangu jailbreak tool. If they want to keep their jailbreak, iOS 8.1.1 should be avoided. However, jailbreaks are to be avoided even more.