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Apple refutes T-Mobile's claim that an iOS bug disabled Private Relay [Update]

Iphone 11 Pro Mint Mobile Hero
Iphone 11 Pro Mint Mobile Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple says that there is no bug in iOS 15.2 that turns off iCloud Private Relay.
  • It also says that no carrier is preventing the feature.

Update, January 12 (6:30 pm ET): T-Mobile backs down from its claim that iOS 15.2 bug caused iCloud Private Relay to be turned off

Apple is saying that basically, no one knows what they're talking about with iCloud Private Relay.

Earlier this week, some T-Mobile customers reported iCloud Private Relay being turned off on their iPhones. T-Mobile said it was due to a bug with iOS 15.2. Now, Apple is clapping back.

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple says that no supported carriers have turned off access to the feature. The company also refutes T-Mobile's claim that a bug exists in iOS 15.2 that would cause the feature to be turned off by default.

iCloud Private Relay is an innovative internet privacy service that allows users with an iCloud+ subscription to connect to the internet and browse with Safari in a more secure and private way. We have rolled Private Relay out in beta and it's available in most countries around the world. No carrier partners have blocked their users from taking advantage of Private Relay.No changes were made to iCloud Private Relay in iOS 15.2 that would have toggled the feature off. Users are encouraged to check their Settings to see if Private Relay is enabled on their device or for a specific network.

Apple has also changed the wording it uses when iCloud Private Relay is turned off. Instead of just saying that it is turned off because of lack of carrier support, the message in the iOS 15.3 developer beta now also says it could be due to it being turned off in Cellular Settings.

"Private Relay is turned off for your cellular plan. Your cellular plan doesn't support iCloud Private Relay. With iCloud Private Relay turned off, this network can monitor your internet activity, and your IP address is not hidden from known trackers or websites."And the new wording:"Private Relay is turned off for your cellular plan. Private Relay is either not supported by your cellular plan or has been turned off in Cellular Settings. With Private Relay turned off, this network can monitor your internet activity, and your IP address is not hidden from known trackers or websites."

iCloud Private Relay is still in beta but allows users to hide their browsing history from carriers and internet providers.

Update, January (6:30 pm ET) — T-Mobile backs down from its claim that iOS 15.2 bug caused iCloud Private Relay to be turned off

In a statement to 9to5Mac, T-Mobile has backed down from its claim that a bug in iOS 15.2 caused iCloud Private Relay to be turned off by default for its customers. Instead, the company says that Cellular Setting may be the reason some customers are seeing an error when trying to use the feature.

We wanted to update what we shared earlier. Apple doesn't change customers' settings when they update to iOS 15.2. Customers may see an error message if they previously toggled iCloud Private Relay or Limit IP Address Tracking off in their Cellular Data Options Settings. Apple has more details on their support page for this feature here.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.