Apple urges older iPhone and iPad users to update their operating system in order to avoid GPS bug
- Company has told users of old models to update their software by November
- Otherwise, they may find that they’re unable to use GPS mapping accurately
- Issue linked to time rollover which help to power the positioning technology
Apple is to roll out software updates to some older devices in order to avoid a bug that could prevent them from using GPS.
The company has told users of some iPhone and iPad models introduced in 2012 or earlier to update the software on their devices before the beginning of November to ensure they can continue to use GPS accurately.
The issue is linked to what is known as the GPS time rollover – the time and date settings that help power the positioning technology and which resets approximately every 20 years and took place on April 6.
Advice: Apple said its devices in question would not be impacted until November 3 this year, but have urged some customers to update their software to the latest version available to them
The reset can prevent some devices from accurately pinpointing a user’s location, and some other features which rely on the correct date and time, such as email, could also be affected.
Apple said its devices in question would not be impacted until November 3 this year, but have urged some customers to update their software to the latest version available to them to avoid any issues.
These include owners of the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 and the first-generation iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad 3rd generation and iPad 4th generation.
‘Starting November 3 2019, some iPhone and iPad models introduced in 2012 and earlier will require an iOS update to maintain accurate GPS location and keep the correct date and time,’ the company said in a post to the support page of its website.
‘This is due to the GPS time rollover issue that began affecting GPS-enabled products from other manufacturers on April 6 2019.
Affected Apple devices are not impacted until November 3 2019.
Warning: The reset can prevent some devices from accurately pinpointing a user’s location, and some other features which rely on the correct date and time could also be affected
‘If you don’t update to the newest version of iOS available for your device before November 3 2019, some models might not be able to maintain an accurate GPS position. And functions that rely on the correct date and time – such as syncing with iCloud and fetching email – might not work.
‘The updated software version number should be 10.3.4 or 9.3.6, depending on your device.’
The technology giant added that the issue ‘doesn’t affect iOS devices newer than those listed’.
HOW DOES GPS WORK?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of about 30 satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km (12,000 miles).
The system can pinpoint your location anywhere on Earth.
The system was originally developed by the US government for military navigation but now anyone with a GPS device, be it a SatNav, mobile phone or handheld GPS unit, can receive the radio signals that the satellites broadcast.
Wherever you are on the planet, at least four GPS satellites are ‘visible’ at any time.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of about 30 satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km (12,000 miles)
Each one transmits information about its position and the current time at regular intervals.
These signals, travelling at the speed of light, are intercepted by your GPS receiver, which calculates how far away each satellite is based on how long it took for the messages to arrive.
Once it has information on how far away at least three satellites are, your GPS receiver can pinpoint your location using a process called trilateration.
Trilateration is a sophisticated version of triangulation, though it does not use the measurement of angles in its calculations.
Data from a single satellite provides a general location of a point within a large circular area on the Earth’s surface.
GPS satellites have atomic clocks on board to keep accurate time. General and Special Relativity however predict that differences will appear between these clocks and an identical clock on Earth.
General Relativity predicts that time will appear to run slower under stronger gravitational pull – the clocks on board the satellites will therefore seem to run faster than a clock on Earth.