Latest official warning from Apple calls for immediate action on the older devices. Mainly the iPhone 5 and earlier models as well as the iPad 4 and earlier models. Users are advised to go in the settings of their devices and update the software to the latest available version prior to the November 3rd 2019. iOS 9.3.6 for some of these devices, and for the others iOS 10.3.4, depending on the year of manufacture.
The devices that will not be updated earlier then the Nov 3rd can face issues with GPS location as well as potential problems with the date and time. The latter could prevent the Apple gadgets from further updates over the air and syncing issues with certain inline services like the iCloud and email services. If the deadline is missed, then in order to bring the devices back to normal functioning, an update via the iTunes will be required.
Now before you start commenting with allegations like meager softaware Quality by Apple, you must first know what actually is happening here. The issue is much bigger then only a fault at Apple’s part and it could very much effect any device which has a GPS enabled in it and has not properly been patched to handle a Y2K like event when it comes to GPS.
Once again we think that this is a frightening comparison to make, but this one is a pretty accurate comparison. To explain what really is happening, one has to understand how the GPS system works in connection with the time and date. The GPS system works by using the ten bit variable or register when counting the weeks. Thus the values can only go from 0 upto 1023 weeks on a said counter. When a device clicks the 1024th week, and is not programmed rightly, it can restart or altogether rollover the said counter in such a way, that might corrupt it and leave it in a state in which it is unusable with the GPS and its precise timing data. For a GPS operation, precise time keeping is a must. You must be thinking, that why now? Well, the first GPS week counter started off on January the 6th 1980. Later on, on the 21st of Aug 1999, the week counter reached the end of its life cycle for the very first time and needed a restart. That was the end of the first lifespan for the GPS’s 1023 week limit. And counting forward, the end of the second lifespan was scheduled to end on the April 6th 2019.
And once again if you are thinking of pointing out in the comments that the 6th of April 2019 has already passed a few months back, the explanation for that is, that some of the manufacturers and software companies most probably would have restarted their GPS week counters at a later stage. And this might be the case with Apple and its precise time calculation and this is where Apple might have got its November 3rd deadline from.
To be on the safe side even if you don’t own an older version of the iPhone or an iPad, it is advisable to check the current status on any slightly older GPS-enabled gadgets you might have and try and update those aswell. This also includes specialized GPS devices like the hand held or car navigation devices.
Source : Apple