There’s a bug lingering in the Group FaceTime app in iOS 12.1.4, the update that patched an eavesdropping flaw that forced Apple to temporarily shut down the feature.
Apple restored Group FaceTime for users who’d installed iOS 12.1.4 to patch the easily exploited eavesdropping bug. But some iPhone users on MacRumors forum have noticed that certain Group FaceTime features aren’t working the way they used to.
Specifically, if only two people are on a FaceTime call, it’s not possible to add a third person to the call. In this case, the button to add a person to the call is grayed out.
Apple Support has since confirmed the limitation, telling a user on Twitter that Group FaceTime needs to have at least three people on the FaceTime call to begin with to use the ‘Add Person’ button.
It’s not clear whether Apple is working on a fix. However, Apple has reportedly told a user that the ‘Add Person’ button isn’t working properly.
SEE: Apple iOS 12: An insider’s guide (free PDF)
So, for now, Group FaceTime might not work for some users for a number of reasons. First, all users on a Group FaceTime call need to be on iOS 12.1.4. Secondly, the ‘Add Person’ feature is not working the way explained in a Group FaceTime support document Apple published at the time it released iOS 12.1.4.
Apple will likely release a fix for the latest Group FaceTime bug, but unlike the patch for the eavesdropping attack, it might not be rushed out and may be bundled with iOS 12.2, which is currently in beta.
The eavesdropping bug allowed people on a Group FaceTime call to add a person and listen in on the recipient’s phone even if the call was never answered.
Apple faced criticism over the apparent slowness of its response to a bug report from the mother of a 14-year-old who was eventually rewarded for his discovery through Apple’s normally invitation-only iOS bug bounty program.
The company disabled the Group FaceTime feature after media reports about the issue surfaced at the end of January.
US lawmakers are expecting Apple to provide answers today about its handling of the Group FaceTime bug report and its patch.
Previous and related coverage
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The teen’s mother attempted to contact Apple with no success.
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