Apple releases fix for worrying iPhone bug – update your phone now

Apple has pushed out an emergency software update to iPhones to fix a worrying bug that brings back previously deleted photos into your photo library. If you own an iPhone from 2018 or later, you can get it out now to download and install iOS 17.5.1, the latest version that will remedy the troublesome flaw. A similar update is available for your iPad, too.

The new software is a surprise as it comes just one week after iOS 17.5, an update that brought some background updates as well as new Pride wallpapers, new tracker detection alerts and offline access for Apple News+ subscribers.

The photo bug remains a concern despite it now apparently being fixed with this latest software update. Reddit users reported that after updating to iOS 17.5, photos appeared on their devices they deleted back in 2021, with others claiming snaps from as far back as 2010 had reappeared in their photo library as some of the latest images.

In Apple’s notes for iOS 17.5.1, the company said the update “addresses a rare issue where photos that experienced database corruption could reappear in the Photos library even if they were deleted.” But Apple has not commented on exactly what “database corruption” entails – it’s worrying for iPhone privacy that photos thought permanently deleted from both your iPhone – and presumably Apple’s servers – are reappearing.

When you delete a photo on an iPhone or iPad, it moves to a folder called ‘Recently Deleted’ where it sits for 30 days. After that, the photo disappears and is unrecoverable – photos from more than a decade ago should not be returning to people’s iOS devices.

Apple recently released brand new models of its iPad Air and iPad Pro tablets and is gearing up for its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), which is set to take place from 10-14 June. This is where the company typically shows off all the new features coming to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS, and is attended by app developers and media.

We expect the tech firm to detail what will be new in iOS 18, as well as find out which devices will be compatible with the new update when it launches later in the year, presumably with the expected iPhone 16.

For now, the iPhone models compatible with iOS 17.5.1 are: iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone SE (2nd generation) and iPhone SE (3rd generation).


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