iOS 9.3: Updated build released for Older devices

iOS 9.3Apple has re-released iOS 9.3 for users that were encountering the activation lock issue. The activation bug was first reported last week. The update’s version number is still 9.3 but, the build number has been changed to 13E5237. The activation lock issue was preventing some iPhone and iPad users from successfully completing the upgrading of iOS 9.3 and due to the bug, Apple stopped signing iOS 9.3 for older devices. The users that were experiencing problems can now download the firmware from iTunes store, which will allow them to upgrade to iOS 9.3.

Downloading of the firmware may require a USB cable and DFU mode if the device is currently stuck on the activation lock screen. For devices that are not stuck, all you need to do to upgrade to the latest build is to visit Settings and check for the new software update. Users that already have iOS 9.3 installed on their devices don’t have to do anything. Their device has been successfully upgraded.

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The latest iOS’s release has been a bumpy ride for many especially the users having the older iPhone devices. There have been reports  of multiple bugs affecting the Apple devices. A while back Apple released an update of iOS 9.3 for Apple iPad 2. The iPad 2 users were encountering a different issue with also related to activation.

In other related news, there have been several reports coming in about another crashing bug. The users affected by this issue are reporting that an application hangs, or the iOS 9 crashes when tapping links.  This issue is spanning over multiple iOS versions and not just the iOS 9.3.

Apple has recently commented on the problem, saying that they are working to fix the problem. They will release a software update, and it is assumed that it will be iOS 9.3.1.

“We are aware of this issue, and we will release a fix in a software update soon.” -Apple.

Currently, there is no temporary fix available either. Community investigations have discovered why the issue has arisen. The bug is based on what apps are installed on the device, and how those apps deal with universal links.

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For example, Bookings.com was pinpointed as the cause of the bug, noting that it affects other apps as well. It was discovered that their website association file, which was used by the app for the universal links features, was greatly oversized. This resulted in the daemon that parses this file to overload. The outcome was crashing of the app or the iOS.

Booking.com has now downsized the payload file to a reasonable 4 kilobytes. Users of Booking.com are advised to delete the application and then re-install it, in order to refresh the system caches for the URL association file.

However, there are other apps that are also misusing the API. Users might be still experiencing the issue because of other apps that they have installed if the apps have also registered thousands of URLs.  Apple is currently working with developers to help them understand and better use the universal links APIs. The upcoming software update will probably allow iOS to handle huge payloads files, and prevent crashing of the app and the iOS.

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Apple has only said that the update will be released soon. The issue is affecting a lot of Apple users and it is very widespread. Even eradicating all applications with huge payload files won’t help because you will also have to reset all cache to prevent the bad code from sticking around. Considering how many devices have been affected, it is presumed that Apple will release a bug fix within a few days.

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