Apple iOS 13.1 is here and it delivers a boatload of fixes for the serious problems in iOS 13. But don’t get too excited. In my iOS 13 upgrade guide, I warned it would take several updates to fix all these issues. And now Apple has confirmed this, issuing a serious new warning to millions of iPhone and iPad users.
In an official security post, Apple confirms that both iOS 13.1 and its new iPadOS 13.1 have a flaw which enables third-party keyboards to attain “full access” to your iPhones and iPads “even if you haven’t approved this access”. Ouch.
Apple states that the problem doesn’t affect its official iOS keyboard, but does admit that the exploit is public and it has yet to find a fix. The company does promise that “an upcoming software update will fix an issue” but it gave no details of when this update will arrive. As such, you can expect malicious iOS keyboards to try and make the most out of this while they still can.
Because the official iOS keyboard was so limited (until iOS 13), third party keyboards have been very popular. So if you’d like to see which, if any, third party keyboards you have installed on your iPhones and iPads go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards. If in doubt, uninstall them until Apple’s fix arrives.
All of which is a shame, especially for new owners of the iPhone 11 (guide), iPhone 11 Pro (guide) and iPhone 11 Pro Max (guide) because they ship with iOS 13 so there is no option to avoid it. As for overeager upgraders of older iPhones, you have not only opened themselves up to this but a multitude of other issues. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.
Expect an iOS 13.1.1 minor point update to be just the first of several updates Apple releases over the next 4-8 weeks, and I’d suggest you steer clear of iOS 13 until these further updates arrive. Until then, I’d suggest you take a look at my iOS 13: 25 Great Secret Features Guide because there’s a superb OS buried under there somewhere.