Apple releases iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3 with Walkie Talkie bug fix

You'll also find Mac, Apple TV and HomePod updates.

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Chris Velazco/Engadget
Chris Velazco/Engadget

The releases of iOS 13, watchOS 6 and macOS Catalina are likely just a couple of months away, but that isn't stopping Apple from giving the current versions a big sendoff. The tech behemoth has released iOS 12.4, HomePod 12.4, tvOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3 and macOS 10.14.6, most of which bring important tweaks. The iOS update is most useful if you're setting up a new iPhone -- you can wireless transfer data directly from an old handset to a new one instead of restoring from iCloud or iTunes. Apple News has also seen some refinements, with downloaded issues showing up in My Magazines and all News+ publications appearing in the catalog at the top of the feed.

The watchOS update could be more vital depending on where you live. It finally enables the ECG app on Series 4 Apple Watches in Canada and Singapore, providing a sign of possible heart trouble. Also, Walkie Talkie functionality is back after Apple fixed a vulnerability in the voice chat app.

As for other updates? The macOS upgrade largely parallels the Apple News updates on iOS alongside fixes for Boot Camp and graphics. The tvOS improvements aren't clear, but likely bring parity with iOS where relevant. The HomePod update, meanwhile, is expected to expand support for the smart speaker to Japan and Taiwan. None of these are earth-shattering, but they should ensure that your Apple gear is in tip-top shape before the bigger software revisions arrive in the fall.

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