Apple says it is working to come up with a replacement iOS 8 update "in the next few days" to remedy a flawed update, iOS 8.0.1, that was briefly available on Sept. 24, but which caused serious device problems for many users of the company's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones.
New iPhone 6 devices that got the errant update lost the ability to make cellular calls and also lost their Touch ID functions, making life difficult for their owners. The update was quickly pulled back and removed from Apple's available downloads.
In the meantime, until a properly working update is soon released, Apple has unveiled a fix for devices that were disabled by the errant update by advising users to take several manual steps to undo the update's effects.
"We have a workaround for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who lost cellular service and Touch ID functionality today after updating to iOS 8.0.1," an Apple spokesman told eWEEK via email, in response to an inquiry about the ongoing issues. "Affected users can reinstall iOS 8 through iTunes. We apologize for the great inconvenience experienced by users, and are working around the clock to prepare iOS 8.0.2 with a fix for the issue, and will release it as soon as it is ready in the next few days."
The workaround, issued through Apple support, tells iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users that they can repair the loss of cellular service and the inability to log in to their devices through Touch ID by reverting back to the original, week-old version of iOS 8. First, users must connect their iPhone to a computer that is running the latest version of Apple iTunes, then back the phone's contents up to iTunes on a PC or Mac. Users should note that iCloud backups won't restore to earlier versions, including iOS 8.0, according to Apple.
Users must then download the proper file for iOS 8 onto their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus devices. Next, users must select the file they just downloaded by pressing the Option key and clicking Check for Update on a Mac, or by pressing the Shift key and clicking Check for Update on Windows, according to Apple.
Users can then press Update to install iOS 8 on their iPhone, according to the instructions.
"The Health app won't work in iOS 8 after these steps," the Apple support team noted in the instructions. "It will be fixed in our upcoming iOS 8.0.2 software update."
Apple released its iOS 8 operating system on Sept. 17, with a full array of new capabilities and features, according to an earlier eWEEK report, including improvements related to photos, messaging, file sharing and device interconnections, according to the company. Among the enhancements are easier ways to find and edit photos, as well as the ability to add a user's voice into a text message, the company said.