iPhone 5 owners have started being warned by Apple to update their devices from their current iOS version to iOS 10.3.4 by November 3 if they want to stay online.
In July, Apple issued an update bringing some older models of iPhone and iPad to iOS 10.3.4, including the iPhone 5 with the release fixing an issue with GPS. A GPS time rollover issue started to affect products from other manufacturers equipped with GPS on April 6, but Apple’s affected devices are not impacted by the problem until just before midnight on November 3, 2019. The GPS time rollover issue will throw off features that require the correct date and time, Apple said.
Apple is so worried that the company has taken to sending out full-screen alerts and even posting a big note on its support website to remind iPhone owners that they’ll need to upgrade their iOS. The alert also offers links to update immediately or to find out more information.
In the alerts, the company warns of the need to update to iOS 10.3.4 before the cutoff date to “continue using App Store, iCloud, email, web, and other services.”
If updates are not performed in time, users “will be required to back up and restore using a Mac or PC in order to update, because over-the-air software updates and iCloud Backup will not work.”
Other devices that are affected and require to be updated to iOS 10.3.4 are the aforementioned iPhone 5 and the fourth-generation iPad with Wi-Fi and Cellular, which is only expected to lose GPS functionality. The iPhone 4s, first-generation iPad mini Wi-Fi and Cellular, iPad 2 with Wi-Fi and CDMA Cellular, and the third-generation iPad with Wi-Fi and Cellular should be updated to iOS 9.3.6.
Despite listing multiple models that are affected, the issue is only really a problem for the iPhone 5, as Apple explains it needs the update to “maintain an accurate GPS location and to continue to use functions that rely on the correct date and time.” It also appears the iPhone 5 is the only model to be affected in such a way that an update post-November 3 would mandate using the PC and Mac-based back up and restore procedure.
It’s good to also note that this issue does not affect iPod touch models or iPad models with Wi-Fi only, nor newer iOS models. Meaning that there won’t be too many people affected by this considering that Apple discontinued the iPhone 5 in Sept. 2013 and classified it as “vintage” on Nov. 2018.
Apple says that 9% of all iOS device users are running software earlier than iOS 12 as of October 15th, and many of those are using newer hardware.
Nevertheless, it’s not often that a company has to urge people to update a device seven years after it launched.
But if you still rock the 5, well, now you know, and to update to the bug-fix release, simply go to Settings -> Software Update.