iPhone and Mac updates: Apple fixes FaceTime problem that stopped devices with newer versions of iOS and MacOS calling older ones

Andrew Griffin
General view of the Apple IPhone XR during the Covent Garden re-opening and iPhone XR launch at Apple store, Covent Garden on October 26, 2018 in London, England: Getty

Apple has released updates for many of its products to fix a major bug in FaceTime.

iPhones, Macs, iPads and Apple Watches have all received new software that will allow the video and audio calling app to go back to working properly.

The update fixes an issue that stopped newer devices from calling those with older software, leaving iPhones and Macs unable to communicate with each other.

The problems came as many people around the world rely on FaceTime to communicate with loved ones and colleagues through coronavirus lockdowns.

All of the new software updates are available now. They can be installed in the usual way, through the Settings app on iPhone and iPad, the App Store on Mac or in the devoted Watch app.

The issue meant that those on the latest software were unable to communicate with people who were using older versions of the software, such as iOS 9 or earlier. Both audio and video calls were affected.

The updates do not bring any new features or cosmetic changes. Any major updates are likely to be saved until the entirely new versions of the software, which is expected to be announced at Apple's developer conference this summer.

That conference will take place entirely online this year, for the first time ever. Apple has yet to fully detail how it will introduce the software without its usual in-person keynote presentation.

The new version of the software is usually revealed at that event in June, and made available to developers and other testers shortly after. It is then made publicly available around the same time as the new iPhones arrive, in September.

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