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iOS 12.4: iPhone update includes support for two major new features

Apple’s latest iPhone software update brings one notable new feature – and hints at another.

The newest iOS update, numbered 12.4, does not bring a host of changes or any fundamental alterations to the way the operating system works. That is not expected to happen until iOS 13, which was unveiled earlier this summer and will be fully released in September, but is available in an early version now.

Instead, the new update brings a host of small tweaks and security updates intended to make iPhones and iPads safer.

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However, hiding beneath those relatively mundane updates are two features that could change the way iPhone users interact with their phones.

First among them is a new “iPhone migration” tool, which is intended to help people when they get a new phone. The feature allows a new phone to be placed next to the old one and have all the data transfer over, allowing devices to be quickly set up.

leftCreated with Sketch.
rightCreated with Sketch.

The new feature is described as a tool aimed at giving users “the ability to wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup”, according to the release notes.

But perhaps the most significant change is completely hidden to users. References to the Apple Card have been found in the beta version of iOS 12.4, and so the release of this version is expected to bring those same changes.

That could mean that the card – which was unveiled in March without a release date – could finally be coming to the public. Until now, Apple has only offered the option to sign up to receive updates in the future.

As well as the new changes, the latest update also brings back the Walkie-Talkie feature to the Apple Watch. That was pulled earlier this month when it was discovered that the Watch could be used to listen in on people, but that problem appears to have been fixed.

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