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I have confirmed a bug in iOS 12.1 on my iPhone Xs Max (and iPad Air 2). I use keyboard text replacements for things like Instagram and Twitter hashtags, and replies to some emails. Some of my text replacement shortcuts are quite long (a paragraph or so). I noticed that some stopped working after updating to 12.1 yesterday.

I have confirmed that if a text replacement shortcut is longer than 128 characters, it is no longer recognized for auto-replacement. These all worked fine in iOS 12.0.1 (before the update). I've reported this to Apple and have a case open.
 


I have confirmed a bug in iOS 12.1 on my iPhone Xs Max (and iPad Air 2). I use keyboard text replacements for things like Instagram and Twitter hashtags, and replies to some emails. Some of my text replacement shortcuts are quite long (a paragraph or so). I noticed that some stopped working after updating to 12.1 yesterday.

I have confirmed that if a text replacement shortcut is longer than 128 characters, it is no longer recognized for auto-replacement. These all worked fine in iOS 12.0.1 (before the update). I've reported this to Apple and have a case open.
Thanks for this! I just checked as I have several large text replacements well over 128 characters and, sure enough, they do not work. I use them for things I need to repeatedly state for my clients. I hope that is fixed soon.
 


This may help someone. Updated my iPhone 7 Plus to iOS 12.1 via Apple Configurator on High Sierra, but got an error and the iPhone was bricked. Would not start up and hung with just the Apple logo and no progress bar. I followed all the support documentation on Apple Support, hard restart, use iTunes to update, then to recover, but nothing worked. Same hang. I then chatted with Apple Support and they told me to do all the same things I just did. No fix, of course. I scheduled an appointment with the Apple Store in 4 days (ouch!).

Then, I thought more about it and figured it out myself. Since the update to iOS 12.1 from iOS 12.0.1 was done via Apple Configurator, when the iPhone was bricked, the instructions on Apple's site and from the advisor was to use iTunes to update or restore. That won't work. So I tried the recovery via Apple Configurator; it worked. I saw no mention of this on Apple Support or from the advisor. So I gave feedback to Apple on it.

Very bad integration, Apple. Was that a test case you tried? Guessing it wasn't, but it was important. It is not mentioned anywhere and the advisors don't seem to know about it. Why don't iTunes and Apple Configurator work better together? I'm a very unhappy customer dealing with such basic bugs. Clearly all use cases are not being considered and software is rushed out. Wishing even more for less features and more it-just-works.

Hope this does help someone who updates apps via Apple Configurator, but has to sync data via iTunes and gets offered functionality for backups and updating iOS that looks the same between them, but apparently isn't.
 


So I read the Forbes article by Gordon Kelly regarding iOS 12.1. It mentions WiFi connectivity issues, but doesn't mention any specific models that are affected by said issues. Here, I see specific references to the XS. I have a 6 Plus. Is there a broader issue causing WiFi problems, or is my device simply not affected? I'm trying to decide whether I should make the jump from 12.0 to 12.1, having skipped 12.0.1 entirely. Thanks!
 


So I read the Forbes article by Gordon Kelly regarding iOS 12.1. It mentions WiFi connectivity issues, but doesn't mention any specific models that are affected by said issues. Here, I see specific references to the XS. I have a 6 Plus. Is there a broader issue causing WiFi problems, or is my device simply not affected? I'm trying to decide whether I should make the jump from 12.0 to 12.1, having skipped 12.0.1 entirely. Thanks!
WiFi using my iPhone 5SE works just fine. iOS 12.1
 


A weird one ... since the IOS 12.1 update, audio on CarPlay is a pain ... audio cuts out, but the timer bar keeps moving. I've restarted my iPhone XS Max, set the car (Acura 2018 TLX) back to factory defaults and re-enabled CarPlay. Changed USB cables ... still happening. Any ideas?
 


... since the IOS 12.1 update ... audio cuts out, but the timer bar keeps moving...
No issues with my CarPlay, but I have a different make. Try an Acura forum to see if other drivers have any issues, as it's most likely a compatibility issue, not a complete CarPlay-is-broken issue. If others have the issue, definitely submit a bug to Apple. If it's just you, you can still submit a bug, but it's not likely to get looked at...
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
But will it (or any other app) let you load those backed up apps onto a new iPhone if the apps are no longer available in the App Store?
iMazing may (though I haven't specifically tested this):
iMazing said:
Manage and Download Apps (.ipa) without iTunes

iMazing's app library contains the following:
  • Apps that are on your device. Installed apps display a checkmark in the Installed column.
  • Apps that have been on the device at one time. These apps display a cloud icon in the Download column; you can click this icon to quickly download an app.
  • Apps that iMazing has downloaded. If you've already downloaded any apps with iMazing, they are stored on your computer so you can re-install them, if you need to, on the current device or on another device.
 



I finally got sick of the incessant nagging and upgraded both my iPhone and my iPad to iOS 12. Only afterward did I discover that this "upgrade" rendered both devices incapable of syncing with my mid-2012 MacBook Pro running High Sierra 10.13.6. This has left me with no viable choice but to "upgrade" my laptop to Mojave, something I was loathe to do because the mandatory concomitant transition from HFS+ to APFS would have a significant adverse impact on the performance of its aftermarket 1TB hard drive. So now, having been roped into making the switch, I'm going to buy an aftermarket 1TB SSD and transition to Mojave so that I can continue to use my other devices without limitation. While SSDs are much less expensive than they were even a couple of years ago, it was money I wasn't intending or expecting to spend as I was completely satisfied with the performance of my existing combination of hardware and software.

I began using Apple products when I first got my hands on a Mac IIx at work in 1990, and it was nothing short of a revelation. I have used Apple products at home exclusively ever since. For years I was happy to pay more for something that was truly better than the competition, but in my opinion that is no longer the case. While Apple products remain significantly more expensive, they no longer offer the unparalleled quality and ease-of-use that once distinguished them from the rest of the field. I'm sorry that it's come to this, but I've bought my last Apple product. I guess the Kool-Aid has at long last been purged from my system.
 


I finally got sick of the incessant nagging and upgraded both my iPhone and my iPad to iOS 12. Only afterward did I discover that this "upgrade" rendered both devices incapable of syncing with my mid-2012 MacBook Pro running High Sierra 10.13.6. This has left me with no viable choice but to "upgrade" my laptop to Mojave.
Since September I have been syncing an iPhone 6S, iPhone XS, and iPad Pro 10.5", all with iOS 12 installed, using iTunes 12.6.5 on a Mac Mini running High Sierra 10.13.6. What message did you receive when you attempted to sync after installing iOS 12? Have you tried installing iTunes 12.6.5, which retains App Store functionality?
 


What message did you receive when you attempted to sync after installing iOS 12? Have you tried installing iTunes 12.6.5, which retains App Store functionality?
The exact wording of the alert: "A software update is required to connect to your iOS device. Would you like to download and install this update now?"

My MacBook Pro is running iTunes 12.8.0, not 12.6.5, so that would seem to be the cause of my problem. It's not clear what the nature of the aforementioned software update is, but it certainly sounds like a macOS upgrade rather than an iTunes or other individual software component update. I did not want to chance being led down a path from which I could not deviate after discovering that I had no choice but to proceed with an unwanted update.

I am tired of having to play games (like downgrading iTunes) to get my computer and my other Apple devices to play nice with each other. It shouldn't be this difficult. Apple's ease-of-use once separated them from the rest of the pack—now, not so much. Windows and Linux are pretty darn easy to use, too, and I don't have to jump through hoops with either of them to get them to work correctly.

I've been a software engineer for nearly 40 years, and while I'm certainly capable of spending an inordinate amount of time getting my Apple consumer products to work together seamlessly, it's beyond ridiculous that I should have to do so. I have far more important things in my life to spend my time and attention on. As I said before, the drug in Apple's Kool-Aid has finally worn off—the scales have at long last fallen from my eyes.
 



The exact wording of the alert: "A software update is required to connect to your iOS device. Would you like to download and install this update now?"

My MacBook Pro is running iTunes 12.8.0, not 12.6.5, so that would seem to be the cause of my problem. It's not clear what the nature of the aforementioned software update is, but it certainly sounds like a macOS upgrade rather than an iTunes or other individual software component update. I did not want to chance being led down a path from which I could not deviate after discovering that I had no choice but to proceed with an unwanted update.
That dialog box is generated by the MobileDeviceUpdater framework. Allowing it to proceed updates the underlying framework without installing other software on the Mac. I encounter this issue while running iTunes 12.6.5, and based on previous mentions on MacInTouch here and here, I allowed the update to proceed. Afterwards my iOS devices were able to connect to iTunes without issue.

In the interest of providing complete info regarding this issue for others who may run across it, Apple's not-particularly-informative support article says:
Apple said:
Click Install to download and install the software so your Mac can update or sync your iOS device.
And I found a Stack Exchange discussion that digs into the legitimacy of the alert dialog box, and eventually determines that it is generated by an Apple binary located here:
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileDevice.framework/Resources/MobileDeviceUpdater.app/Contents/MacOS/MobileDeviceUpdater
I can appreciate your frustration, but in this case the solution is to allow the software update to proceed, and the issue will be resolved.
 


That dialog box is generated by the MobileDeviceUpdater framework. Allowing it to proceed updates the underlying framework without installing other software on the Mac. I encounter this issue while running iTunes 12.6.5, and based on previous mentions on MacInTouch here and here, I allowed the update to proceed. Afterwards my iOS devices were able to connect to iTunes without issue.

In the interest of providing complete info regarding this issue for others who may run across it, Apple's not-particularly-informative support article says:


And I found a Stack Exchange discussion that digs into the legitimacy of the alert dialog box, and eventually determines that it is generated by an Apple binary located here:


I can appreciate your frustration, but in this case the solution is to allow the software update to proceed, and the issue will be resolved.
Once bitten, twice shy. A dozen times bitten... well, you get the picture. Apple software [now means] you never know what you’re going to get.
 


That dialog box is generated by the MobileDeviceUpdater framework. Allowing it to proceed updates the underlying framework without installing other software on the Mac. I encounter this issue while running iTunes 12.6.5, and based on previous mentions on MacInTouch here and here, I allowed the update to proceed. Afterwards my iOS devices were able to connect to iTunes without issue.

In the interest of providing complete info regarding this issue for others who may run across it, Apple's not-particularly-informative support article says:

And I found a Stack Exchange discussion that digs into the legitimacy of the alert dialog box, and eventually determines that it is generated by an Apple binary located here:

I can appreciate your frustration, but in this case the solution is to allow the software update to proceed, and the issue will be resolved.
I, too, had problems syncing after updating to iOS 12. After some agonizing, I allowed the software update to proceed on my computer (running Sierra and iTunes 12.8), and when it finished, I still had iTunes 12.8 on my computer. There were newly installed files that appeared to be related to Books (the app), so my guess(?) is that Books was the reason for the update. After the update I was able to sync normally without upgrading to either High Sierra or Mojave.
 


Armed with the knowledge obtained here, I bit the bullet and allowed the mystery update to proceed.

After it completed, I connected my iPhone to my MacBook Pro via USB. Inexplicably, iTunes kept offering/insisting that I download and install the same version of iOS that was already present on the phone, the very version whose installation a few days earlier had precipitated this entire unfortunate process.

I tried to comply but found myself stuck in a loop for a while, one that it seemed I was going to be unable to break out of gracefully. When confronted with the same sequence of dialogs for about the sixth or seventh time, in frustration I hit the escape key instead of the Cancel button and was rewarded with a successful exit from that particular software merry-go-round. iTunes then allowed me to sync and back up my iPhone with no further misbehavior.

I haven't connected my iPad yet, but I have no reason to believe that it won't be a successful endeavor... if not immediately, at least eventually. Oh, Apple. The thrill is gone, it's gone away for good.
 


After it completed, I connected my iPhone to my MacBook Pro via USB. Inexplicably, iTunes kept offering/insisting that I download and install the same version of iOS that was already present on the phone, the very version whose installation a few days earlier had precipitated this entire unfortunate process.
A few days after the initial release of iOS 12.1.2 for iPhones, Apple released a new build of iOS, going from build number 16C101 to 16C104 without changing the iOS version number. That is what you ran into.

As has become a habit with Apple, Apple could've done a better job explaining to users exactly what was happening. The confusion is made worse when the "Software Update" panel in the iOS Preferences app reports that your "software is up to date," but then iTunes on a Mac offers to update your software to a newer version.

Similarly, Apple should do a better job with the "MobileDeviceUpdater" issue mentioned earlier in this thread than present an unusual, strange-looking dialog box pop-up to tell you that a "software update is required to connect to your iOS device" and asking if you'd like to install it. The dialog box does not look like other software update notifications, and users are rightfully hesitant to click on unexpected "Install" buttons in this age of malware.

Apple used to be a company that had superlative documentation and abided (for the most part) by its own interface standards. That company seems to have disappeared.
 


I am on Sierra and just updated my iPhone to iOS 12.1.2. Well, the short story is that my iPhone will not show up on iTunes but does show up in Photos. Since I do not really use the phone for music and such, it is not a problem. However. it is a small issue to eliminate the iPhone from something that it uses from time to time. Glad I still have my iPod.
 


I am on Sierra and just updated my iPhone to iOS 12.1.2. Well, the short story is that my iPhone will not show up on iTunes but does show up in Photos.
Has anybody experienced the same? My Mac Mini server is on macOS Sierra and iPhone on iOS 10.3.3. I backup and sync the iPhone using iTunes. If iOS 12.1.2 removes that capability, I'm staying put.
 


Has anybody experienced the same? My Mac Mini server is on macOS Sierra and iPhone on iOS 10.3.3. I backup and sync the iPhone using iTunes. If iOS 12.1.2 removes that capability, I'm staying put.
With iOS 12, iTunes running on macOS prior to Mojave needs a file to help the iOS device connect to iTunes. It doesn't always automatically download that helper file the first time one connects such a device.

This happened to me with a High Sierra Mac Mini 2011, and I had to re-install iTunes. Then, when I connected my phone, the helper file installed as it should. After that, no more connection/sync problems.
 


With iOS 12, iTunes running on macOS prior to Mojave needs a file to help the iOS device connect to iTunes. It doesn't always automatically download that helper file the first time one connects such a device. This happened to me with a High Sierra Mac Mini 2011, and I had to re-install iTunes. Then, when I connected my phone, the helper file installed as it should. After that, no more connection/sync problems.
Thanks Steven. Are you able to back up your apps on the iPhone using iTunes? What version of iTunes are you using?
 


Thanks Steven. Are you able to back up your apps on the iPhone using iTunes? What version of iTunes are you using?
iTunes 12.8.0.150. I have performed a manual local backup of my phone to this Mac (my main backup is iCloud). I discovered about a year ago that app backups from iTunes don't appear to work the same way as they used to.

Back in the day, if I restored from an iTunes backup, the apps would be functional as soon as I got to the home screen. Now, when first accessing the home screen after a restore, all the non-Apple apps load over WiFi to the phone directly. I'm not sure what happens if the app is no longer available from the store. However, somehow both iCloud and iTunes backups restore those apps. That being said, most no-longer-available apps eventually are broken by iOS updates.
 


When I use iTunes 12.6.5.3 to update my phone, I wonder if the apps are actually getting transferred to the phone over the USB connection. I think iTunes is just telling the phone to update them over WiFi. On many occasions the update process is finished on the computer, I unplug the phone and notice that the apps are still updating on the phone.
 


When I use iTunes 12.6.5.3 to update my phone, I wonder if the apps are actually getting transferred to the phone over the USB connection. I think iTunes is just telling the phone to update them over WiFi. On many occasions the update process is finished on the computer, I unplug the phone and notice that the apps are still updating on the phone.
To be clear, downloading app updates in iTunes 12.6 does not update the iPhone at the same time. All the iTunes update does is download the app file to the computer.

The iPhone gets updated when you sync the iPhone to iTunes. Any app files that are newer than what is currently on the phone get transferred as part of the sync.

This assumes that you have iTunes set to update the apps on the iPhone during the sync. But even if you do, there's another thing that can happen: when you download a new app in iTunes, that can immediately tell the iPhone to download the same app, depending on your iTunes settings. So the iPhone can start downloading the app even before you do a sync.
 


To be clear, downloading app updates in iTunes 12.6 does not update the iPhone at the same time. All the iTunes update does is download the app file to the computer.

The iPhone gets updated when you sync the iPhone to iTunes. Any app files that are newer than what is currently on the phone get transferred as part of the sync.

This assumes that you have iTunes set to update the apps on the iPhone during the sync. But even if you do, there's another thing that can happen: when you download a new app in iTunes, that can immediately tell the iPhone to download the same app, depending on your iTunes settings. So the iPhone can start downloading the app even before you do a sync.
I rarely if ever download a new app in iTunes, so that is definitely not the issue.

And yes I understand the difference between updating apps in iTunes and syncing the phone. When I sync the phone, once the sync is done (well at least according to iTunes), the phone is still updating the apps. It can take several minutes for the process to finish. This happens even if I disconnect the sync cable, leading me to believe that the phone is actually doing the updating over wifi and that iTunes has merely told the phone to update the apps, and they haven't actually been transferred via USB. Of course I could be completely mistaken, but that is certainly how it looks.
 


I rarely if ever download a new app in iTunes, so that is definitely not the issue. And yes I understand the difference between updating apps in iTunes and syncing the phone. When I sync the phone, once the sync is done (well at least according to iTunes), the phone is still updating the apps. It can take several minutes for the process to finish. This happens even if I disconnect the sync cable, leading me to believe that the phone is actually doing the updating over wifi and that iTunes has merely told the phone to update the apps, and they haven't actually been transferred via USB. Of course I could be completely mistaken, but that is certainly how it looks.
In that case, I think what's going on is that the sync has transfered the .IPA package to the phone, and now the phone is working on the installation, such as unpacking, code signature verification, etc. This process seems to be especially time-consuming on older iDevices, in my experience.
 
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In that case, I think what's going on is that the sync has transfered the .IPA package to the phone, and now the phone is working on the installation, such as unpacking, code signature verification, etc. This process seems to be especially time-consuming on older iDevices, in my experience.
That is a very good thought, Michael. It troubles me that it would happen on an iPhone 8.
I think this behavior started after I upgraded to iOS 11 (and continues in iOS 12), and it certainly never happened on my iPhone 6. However, I think your explanation is the correct one. I will test that theory by turning off wifi and cellular data on the phone during the sync.
 


I reinstalled iTunes 12.8. and it now shows again 12.8.0.150. Here's the wrinkle: If you connect your iPhone, it may not show up but will back up. To have it show up, quit and relaunch iTunes - it will back up again, but also the iPhone icon is back in the upper left corner.
 


A weird one ... since the IOS 12.1 update, audio on CarPlay is a pain ... audio cuts out, but the timer bar keeps moving. I've restarted my iPhone XS Max, set the car (Acura 2018 TLX) back to factory defaults and re-enabled CarPlay. Changed USB cables ... still happening. Any ideas?
I had the exact problem in my Ford with Sync 3. It started with CarPlay audio freezing as I drove away from the house each morning, but the progress bar was still going. That led me to think either the car or my iPhone weren’t accepting the fact that I was out of the wifi range of my house. So, before plugging the USB cable in to the phone and car, I now turn off the phone’s wifi in the Control Center. No problems now.
 


I'm seeing issues with contacts and calling on iOS 12.1.2 and older iPhones, specifically an iPhone 7 and SE, both on Verizon. Two different households.

The symptoms are:
  • Phone numbers lose the parentheses and dash formatting in contacts.
  • Contacts' names in "recents" are not displayed, only the number
  • Attempts to "add to existing contact" do not solve the problem.
  • If "dial assist" is enabled (supposedly to automatically prefix country code), it appears to do the opposite.
As result, Verizon refuses to connect, unless "1" is explicitly entered in contacts. VZW even tried to call Austria with a US number. Disabling dial assist allows calls, at least in the US. Contacts are still messed up.

An iPhone X with iOS 12.1.2 and Verizon are fine. An iPhone 5s on 12.1.1 does not show the contacts issues (but has been decommissioned as a cell phone).

Anyone else seeing this?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm seeing issues with contacts and calling on iOS 12.1.2 and older iPhones...
I have refused so far to update to iOS 12.1.2, staying at 12.1.1, and I haven't seen these problems on an iPhone 7 using Verizon Wireless. But I'd suggest trying the "+" format, which should work universally, so you'd enter the phone number like this in Contacts for a number in the U.S:
+1 800 555 1212
 


I have refused so far to update to iOS 12.1.2, staying at 12.1.1, and I haven't seen these problems on an iPhone 7 using Verizon Wireless. But I'd suggest trying the "+" format, which should work universally, so you'd enter the phone number like this in Contacts for a number in the U.S:
+1 800 555 1212
Thanks for the hint. But the issue is that current entries in Contacts were working just fine. And the workaround is to turn off dial assist. It doesn't fix the format, but at least you can make calls again. I don't feel like editing hundreds of contacts for a bug. This looks like an iOS 12.1.2 problem.

Working from phone recents reveals some bad behavior, if you select info on an entry from a known contact, then try either create new contact, or add to existing. On the edit screen, the number initially starts correctly formatted. When you hit "done," the format is lost.
 




This morning, the problem corrected itself....
I'm glad this problem cleared up for Gene. In case anyone else sees this, note that Adam Engst reported the same symptoms on TidBITS last week. The cause was that the phone had somehow lost track of the fact that it was in the US. What fixed it for him was to go into Settings > General > Language & Region > Region and change to some other region and then back to US.
 





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