iOS 12.4 released with wireless iPhone data migration tool & Apple News+ improvements

Apple has released iOS 12.4 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with a new wireless data migration tool, Apple News+ improvements, security fix for Walkie Talkie and more. The update is available via iTunes as well as an over-the-air update.

iOS 12.4

iOS 12.4 had been in beta testing since a few months now. Apple had not shared a lot of details regarding what was being tested. It was widely expected that Apple Card launch will coincide with iOS 12.4, since it includes some of the framework for its functionality. However, not that the update is out, there is no mention of Apple Card in the release notes.

Apple has included a new tool that should allow wirelessly transferring data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone. This should work with other iOS devices too. This tool will save a lot of time and remove the need to back up and restore data when setting up new devices. Apple has also added some improvements for Apple News, which clear indication of downloaded magazines, moves Apple News+ magazines and newspapers to the top of News+ feed, and adds the ability to clear downloaded magazines with a single tap.

The company had recently disabled Walkie-Talkie functionality for Apple Watch due to a security flaw. Apple has also re-enabled that after delivering security fixes for both iOS 12.4 and watchOS 5.3.

Here are the complete release notes by Apple:

iOS 12.4 release notes

iOS 12.4 introduces iPhone migration to directly transfer data from an old iPhone to a new iPhone, includes enhancements to Apple News+ and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad. This update:

iPhone migration

  • Introduces the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup

Apple News

  • Makes downloaded issues accessible in the My Magazines section, both offline and online
  • Adds all publications in Apple News+, including newspapers, to the catalog at the top of the News+ feed
  • Adds the ability to clear downloaded magazine issues by selecting History > Clear > Clear All

Other improvements and fixes

  • Includes a security fix for the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch and re-enables Walkie-Talkie functionality

This release also includes support for HomePod in Japan and Taiwan.

To update your iOS device to iOS 12.4, simply go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Moving forward, all focus would be on iOS 13 and iPadOS, which are currently in beta testing and will be released this fall to all users. The new updates will have major improvements like system-wide dark mode, improved multitasking for iPad and much more.

Apple has also released macOS Mojave 10.14.6, tvOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3 and iOS 9.3.6 and iOS 10.3.4 today.