Why it matters: Apple release updates for all of its major platforms today. Among the updates include a fix for the Walkie Talkie vulnerability that allowed eavesdropping of conversations. Apple is also set to lay the groundwork for upcoming features this fall.
Today, Apple is rolling out updates for all of its major platforms. These updates lay the groundwork for upcoming features such as the Apple Card and of course, the future devices that will likely be announced later this year.
The iOS 12.4 release notes include a new migration feature to "wirelessly transfer data and migrate directly from an old iPhone to a new iPhone during setup". iPhone owners are already able to setup a new iPhone by holding their old iPhone next to the new one during setup. Perhaps this new capability uses Apple's Wireless Direct Link protocol (the tech behind AirDrop and AirPlay) to allow the two iPhones to directly communicate with each other.
The new iOS 12.4 also includes updates for Apple News to make it easier to find publications, including newspapers, at the top of the News+ feed. HomePod was updated to work in Japan and Taiwan.
WatchOS 5.3 further expands the Apple Watch's EKG support to Canada and Singapore. More crucially however, the update for watchOS (and iOS) reenables the Walkie Talkie feature that was disabled due to a serious vulnerability that could've allowed someone to covertly eavesdrop on another iPhone.
While the iPad will also get the iOS 12.4 update, it will likely be the last strictly iOS update as Apple shifts to iPadOS, the operating system forked out of iOS to further expand capabilities for the iPad. Apple's new iPad-centric OS will be released in the fall once iOS 13 comes out.
The Apple Card isn't set to release yet but the previous iOS 12.4 beta contained support for Apple's new credit card. We know this because Apple has been letting thousands of their retail employees sign up for the card using the iOS 12.4 beta according to a report by Bloomberg. This internal beta test will presumably allow Apple to work out any bugs prior to wider release. It also gives Apple's retail employees valuable experience in order to pitch the card to potential customers.
Updates for all of Apple's platforms are available now including tvOS 12.4 and macOS Mojave 10.14.6.