Apple's iOS 6.1.2 Update Not Working for Some Users
Apple's release of iOS 6.1.2, which was designed to fix a calendar glitch working with Exchange 2010, seems to have unleashed problems for some device users.
The release last week was supposed to plug a software problem that caused excessive log activity on Exchange, as well as a battery-drain problem on iOS devices, because of the calendar glitch. Some press accounts have suggested that the patch worked for them on fixing the Exchange problem. However, users of iOS 6.1.2 devices have been filling Apple's support communities page with various complaints. The complaints range from the update not completing to descriptions of the battery-drain problem recurring, or that the sound or vibration features of their devices were knocked out.
At Microsoft's TechNet forums, the comments varied. Some threads suggested that iOS 6.1.2 does not fix the problem with Exchange, while others report seeing no problems after applying the update. Apple apparently hasn't issued any clarification one way or the other.
An iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 release is currently available, but only to registered developers. This beta appears to be designed mostly to patch a security flaw that could allow someone to bypass a device's lockscreen, according to a CNet story.
Microsoft has modified its Knowledge Base support article on the Exchange problem, noting that Apple issued iOS 6.1.2 to fix the problem. The article no longer advises changing the throttling settings on Exchange ActiveSync as one of the proposed workarounds.
It appears that Microsoft's Exchange team sees the issue as primarily a problem with Apple's patching efforts, and not with Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). At least, that's the view advocated by Tony Redmond, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional on Exchange.
"Even if Microsoft succeeds in making EAS relatively bullet-proof and also takes a more aggressive stance with ActiveSync licensees to make sure that their client code works as well as possible, I suspect that we will still have to be prepared to deal with client-provoked ActiveSync issues in the future (or on an ongoing basis, as some evidence suggests that the Exchange transaction log problem is not quite fixed in iOS 6.1.2)," Redmond wrote in a February 25 blog post.
Redmond has been tracking the glitch in a number of his blog posts. One post points to efforts by fellow Exchange MVP Paul Robichaux to lend Apple some help on Exchange ActiveSync. Robichaux has issued an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, pledging to contribute his expertise to help Apple avoid future problems.
"It's pretty clear that your EAS client team doesn't know how Exchange client throttling works, how to retry EAS errors gently, or all the intricacies of recurring meeting management (and how the server's business logic works)," Robichaux wrote in the letter. "If they did, the client wouldn't behave the way it has."
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.