Apple iOS 6.1 and Microsoft Exchange

iOS 6.1.2

At the end of January 2013, Apple released iOS 6.1, an update to the operating system used on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. While there were improvements over 6.0, such as a boost in both the wifi reception and battery life, a fairly significant bug came along with it. If you use Microsoft Exchange Server for mail or calendar service, a bug is causing iOS devices to generate excessive transaction logs, which could slow down or crash your Exchange server completely.

If you run an Exchange server and have clients connecting their iOS devices to it, there are a few options for you, depending on the level of control you have over your network’s BYOD (bring your own device) users.

  • A temporary fix is to block iOS 6.1 from accessing Exchange. This is a quick way to mitigate the excess resource usage caused by the bug and will buy you some time while you implement a more permanent solution.
  • Apple has also announced a temporary fix that can be applied to each iOS device. The workaround is as follows:
    • Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars
    • Select the Exchange account from the list
    • Switch Calendars off for ten seconds, then switch it back on
  • The permanent fix is to have your iOS clients upgrade to 6.1.2, which was released on February 19, 2013. This update is available by going to Settings > General > Software Update on each each applicable iOS device. The 6.1.2 update fixes the Exchange bug, which should also help improve the device’s battery life and reduce network activity.

Since IT administrators can not control user’s BYOD devices, a permanent fix requires the end user to take action, which makes this bug potentially more labor-intensive than normal for your IT department. If you need help implementing any of these solutions or don’t know where to turn for IT recommendations, Minneapolis-based OAC Technology can help. We will do a free security audit of your business and will ensure your business network is locked down and up to date. Contact us today for your free security audit.

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