Apple launches iOS 12.5.1 to fix covid-19 tracking system

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Even not attending CES 2021, Apple decided to choose the opening day of one of the greatest achievements in technology to launch its iOS 12.5.1 update for older iPhone models. According to the company, it “corrects an issue in which exposure notifications could incorrectly show the language of the registration profile”.

IOS 12.5 was released last December together with iOS 14.3, and both brought support for notifications of exposure to the new coronavirus. These systems send an alert from anonymous short-range Bluetooth identifiers.

These are the devices that should receive the update released today:

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6
iPhone 5s
iPad mini 3
iPad mini 2
iPad Air
iPod touch (6th generation)
To install the update, go to Settings> General> Software update, choosing “Download and install.” You can also do this via iTunes, connecting the device to a computer.

Tracking the coronavirus

For those who don’t know what an exposure notification system is, it was created by Apple and Google as a way to use cell phones to alert the user to a contact with a person infected with covid-19.

The system depends on a tracking application (Brazil has one, the Coronavirus – SUS), for which cell phones generate their own anonymous identification. When two people with cell phones meet, they exchange this code via Bluetooth, that is, each smartphone generates its own code and stores those sent by the devices of the people with whom it had contact.

When testing positive for covid-19, the patient uploads these anonymous codes to a server. This, in turn, will send this code list to all smartphones that have the tracking application. If someone recognizes their own code in that list, the user is warned that they have been close to a person infected with SARS-CoV-19 for sufficient time and distance to allow contamination.

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