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Apple will clarify iCloud Private Relay error messages in iOS 15.3 to not blame cell carriers as much

Apple is updating the wording for iCloud Private Relay issues in the latest iOS 15.3 beta, clarifying that problems with the service may be an inadvertently switched-off setting and not issues with a customer’s specific cell carrier, via MacRumors.

The old message put the blame for iCloud Private Relay not working squarely on the shoulders of cell carriers.

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.

Unsurprisingly, that wording led to confusion earlier this week when customers couldn’t get iCloud Private Relay to work on cellular connections. The issue, at least according to T-Mobile, was actually on Apple’s end: it seems that the company’s recent iOS 15.2 update toggled off Private Relay for cellular data by accident, not that T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon had suddenly disabled the feature from working on their networks. The new wording makes things a little clearer that the issue might be an accidentally toggled setting elsewhere in iOS and not a cell company problem:

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.

Apple has also updated its iCloud Private Relay support document today to make it clearer that customers might not be able to use the feature if they’ve turned off the “Limit IP Address Tracking” toggle for specific Wi-Fi or cellular networks, along with how to fix that problem on their devices.

Hopefully, the new support document, clarified language from Apple, and the confirmations from all three major US carriers will be enough to put this week’s iCloud Private Relay confusion behind everyone. Given that the service is still technically in beta, though, it’s probably a good thing that Apple is sorting out the bugs now before it turns the service on by default.

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