Apple Releases iOS 12.1.4 and Updated Version of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 with Fix for Major FaceTime Bug

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 12.1.4 and an updated version of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 to the public. These releases address a recently discovered bug with the group messaging feature of FaceTime that allowed a user to hear the audio of the person they are calling before the receiving party accepted the call.

The Verge reports that this bug may have been introduced in iOS 12.1 when the Group FaceTime feature was initially launched, and that it has potentially allowed anyone to call a phone or Mac and listen in before the other person picks up:

The flaw works by adding yourself to a FaceTime call before the recipient picks up, tricking FaceTime into thinking it’s an active call and forcing the person you’re actually calling to start transmitting audio.

Apple disabled Group FaceTime completely last week as a temporary solution for preventing people from exploiting this vulnerability. Today's releases now address this bug and will allow Apple to reactivate Group FaceTime for users who are not running an affected version of iOS or macOS.

We strongly encourage anybody running iOS 12.1 or later - or the original release of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 - to update so as to protect themselves against this vulnerability.

As today's updates are likely to have been released to specifically address this bug, we do not anticipate that they will bring any fixes or changes for blind or low vision users. We will update this post if this proves not to be the case, and would ask you to please let us know in the comments if you find any additional changes in your own use of iOS 12.1.4 or the updated version of macOS Mojave 10.14.3.

iOS 12.1.4 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either in iTunes or iCloud, depending on personal preference). This will ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the update process, you will have a current backup on hand in case a device restore becomes necessary. Also, if using OTA update, we recommend plugging your device into a power source for the duration of the download/installation process, so as to prevent the unlikely event of your battery going dead during the update.

More information on how to update the software on your iOS device is available on this Apple Support page.

macOS Mojave introduced a new method of installing software updates - you now open System Preferences and select the "Software Update" option.

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Submitted by Ipadman on Saturday, February 9, 2019

I really want to update to iOS 12 but I’ve heard there is a particularly annoying safari bug when voice-over is used, that means that voice-over keeps saying reader available when navigating by heading.
Could anyone let me know if the bug has been fixed in this update.

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, February 9, 2019

If you are referring to safari saying reader available when you navigate back from a page, then I don't know if it's fixed. I've never come across the bug where it says that when navigating by headings. Go ahead and update to the latest iOS version.

Submitted by Aaron on Saturday, February 9, 2019


I know that the focus issue that causes Voiceover to move its focus to the "Back" button randomly while reading is not fixed in iOS 12.1.4. I believe other folks have experienced this issue in Safari and other apps as well, but for me it's only been happening in the Apple News app.

I would probably still update though. Intentionally keeping your device on an older version is unsafe and not sustainable long-term anyway. Worst case scenario, you might have to swap out some apps temporarily. I switched from using Apple News to SmartNews while the bug exists. If you end up experiencing the Safari bug, perhaps you could try Chrome, Firefox, or Edge for iOS instead.

Four iOS updates now since the bug was released and no resolution......*sigh*