Previously, the fault was primarily placed on cellphone providers.
The wording on Apple’s warning for the iCloud Private Relay problem, which turned off the VPN-like service for some customers, is slated to change somewhat. According to MacRumors, Apple will alter its user notice to highlight that the problem isn’t always the fault of their carriers. Some customers discovered that they couldn’t use Private Relay while on a cellular network with the last iOS 15.2 upgrade. Private Relay assures that no one, not even Apple, can view the user’s activity while they’re using Safari.
The original warning singles out cellphone operators for blame:
“For your cellular plan, Private Relay is disabled. iCloud Private Relay isn’t supported by your cellular plan. This network can monitor your internet activities if iCloud Private Relay is turned off, and your IP address is not disguised from known trackers or websites.”
T-Mobile, on the other hand, disputed that it was to blame for the malfunctioning phones of its customers. It said in a statement to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman that it found a bug in the iOS 15.2 update that turned off the feature by default. As expected, Apple denied that their update included modifications to Private Relay: “No changes to iCloud Private Relay in iOS 15.2 that would have toggled the feature off,” a spokeswoman said.
Whatever the underlying cause for the feature’s deactivation, reactivating it could be as simple as resetting a few settings. The updated message, which came with the iOS 15.3 beta, now reads:
“For your cellular plan, Private Relay is disabled. Your cellular plan does not support Private Relay, or it has been turned off in Cellular Settings. This network can monitor your internet activities if Private Relay is disabled, and your IP address is not concealed from known trackers or websites.”
Apple’s help page now includes advice for resolving the issue: If a cellular network’s Private Relay has been disabled, customers can enable “Limit IP Address Tracking” in the network’s settings. If the feature isn’t working on WiFi, they can go to WiFi settings and do the same thing.
Apple has also updated its iCloud Private Relay support guide today to clarify that customers may be unable to use the function if they have off the “Limit IP Address Tracking” checkbox for certain Wi-Fi or cellular networks, as well as how to resolve the issue on their devices.
Hopefully, the updated support page, Apple’s revised terminology, and confirmations from all three major US carriers will be enough to clear up this week’s iCloud Private Relay uncertainty. Given that the service is still in beta, it’s probably a good thing Apple is working out the kinks now rather than waiting till it’s turned on by default.