Apple has a rather impressive and laudable record when it comes to the adoption of its latest iOS and macOS updates. But while that mostly applies to newer iPhones, iPads, and Macs, the story doesn’t always look good for older ones as users feel less inclined to risk breaking their phones in an update. Now, however, Apple is doing the unusual and giving iPhone 5 users an ultimatum to update to iOS 10.3.4 before November 3 or risk losing access anything that connects to the Internet.
Strangely enough, this is actually due to GPS. A few months back, the Global Positioning System had its second-ever “week number rollover”, which basically meant that its time-keeping component would reset back to Week Zero. That, in turn, would wreak havoc on any service or app that used GPS not just for location but also for keeping time, and it turns out there are quite a lot.
Apple revealed last week that a second Week Number Rollover was actually going to happen on November 3, 2019 12:00 AM UTC but it would only be affecting older phones. While Verizon is using the opportunity to convince its subscribers to get new phones, Apple is only requiring that they update to the latest iOS version available to them. For the iPhone 5, that means iOS 10.3.4.
To really emphasize the need to update, Apple has released another warning that lays bare what will happen if they don’t. Basically, access to the App Store, iCloud, e-mail, Web, and more will be affected, which practically means they won’t be able to go online. Since most users are most likely to ignore the GPS-related warning under the presumption that they won’t use it, this is an almost sure-fire way to get them to update.
And they should update ASAP, before the rollover and not after. Since the rollover will force the iPhone 5 to go offline, they won’t be able to update via the regular over-the-air system anymore. That means they’ll have to go through the laborious backup and restore process using a Mac or PC to get back up and running.