Release Notes : F5 Access for iOS 2.1.0

Applies To:

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  • 13.0.0, 12.1.2, 11.6.1, 11.5.4, 11.5.1
Release Notes
Original Publication Date: 12/12/2018 Updated Date: 04/18/2019


In March 2017, Apple posted the release of F5 Access for iOS version 2.1.0. Users should download this new version from the app store.


User documentation for this release

For a comprehensive list of documentation that is relevant to this release, refer to the following pages:

Features and enhancements in 2.1.0

User interface changes

The BIG-IP Edge Client has been rebranded as F5 Access, and the user interface has a new look and new icons.

Locked confgiuration support

MDM administrators can now lock the F5 Access configuration, configure the app to be always on, and disallow user configuration changes.

Touch ID support

Users can now unlock cached credentials using Touch ID, a PIN, or a passcode, when cached credentials and device authentication are configured on the server, if the device supports Touch ID.

Behavior changes in 2.1.0 on iOS 10

ID number Description
442442 The VPN On-Demand features in iOS6 had an option to Always connect based on DNS suffixes. Due to changes in iOS, this was not available after iOS 6. In order to enable always connect with VPN on demand on iOS 7 and later, F5 Access for iOS must be configured with Connect on Demand, and a profile needs to be sent to the device.

The following sample code demonstrates how OnDemandRules can be used to mimic the AlwaysConnect behavior. OnDemandRules is an array of dictionaries. The idea behind this snippet is to use OnDemandRules to specify ConnectIfNeeded if "" cannot be resolved by the DNS server ( OnDemandMatchDomainsAlways is still specified for backward compatibility so that the same profile can be used for both iOS 6 (which doesn't understand EvaluateConnection) and iOS 7 and later.

<key>VPN</key> <dict> <key>OnDemandEnabled</key> <integer>1</integer> <key>OnDemandMatchDomainsAlways</key> <array> <string></string> </array> <key>OnDemandRules</key> <array> <dict> <key>Action</key> <string>EvaluateConnection</string> <key>ActionParameters</key> <array> <dict> <key>DomainAction</key> <string>ConnectIfNeeded</string> <key>Domains</key> <array> <string></string> </array> <key>RequiredDNSServers</key> <array> <string></string> </array> </dict> </array> </dict> </array> <key>AuthName</key> <string/> <key>RemoteAddress</key> <string></string> <key>AuthenticationMethod</key> <string>Certificate</string> <key>PayloadCertificateUUID</key> <string>b2c00533-88d2-4c03-be1b-3c1d4264245e</string> </dict>
511513 F5 Access for iOS now supports redirect to external webpage when using the web logon. Previously F5 Access assumed all navigation within web view went to a valid APM (including cases of being redirected to another instance of APM). In allowed case of SAML Auth and Extenal Logon Page it required the control to be passed back to APM before logon could be completer. Now this restriction is removed.
591629 iOS 9 introduces some changes in the triggering logic for per-app VPN that might affect the end-user experience. The changes are as follows.
  • For a domain that cannot be resolved from the client the connection is triggered on both iOS 9 and iOS 8.
  • For a domain that is resolvable but not reachable the connection is triggered on iOS 9, but on iOS 8 the connection is not triggered and the page is not opened.
  • For a domain that is resolvable and reachable the connection is triggered on iOS 9 while on iOS 8 the connection is not triggered and the page is opened if available directly.
592703 In iOS 9 and later, when an app is started as result of an action in another app (for example, by using a URL-scheme) a "Back to..." link is displayed on the top left corner, showing the app name that initiated the action. This affects F5 Access Lite mode. For example, when an app invokes F5 Access in Lite mode, an action is performed, and F5 Access opens the calling app again, the user sees a "Back to F5 Access" link at the top left of the screen. Tapping on the link will open F5 Access in regular mode instead of Lite mode.
611899 See behavior change description in this bug
612163 Sometimes when F5 Access is disconnected and reconnected in a short period of time, the client displays the "Connecting" status when the VPN tunnel is already established.

Known issues affecting F5 Acces 2.1.0

The following are known issues that affect the user experience when F5 Access is used on an iOS device. These issues may be addressed in the future by F5 or Apple.

ID number Description

When a user navigates to a site using the short form hostname, and the fully qualified hostname has been specified in the VPN proxy bypass list, on iOS 9 the proxy will not be used, and on iOS 10 the proxy will be used.

For example, suppose that in a network, is on the proxy bypass list, and the DNS suffix is defined. When an F5 Access user tries to access the site using the address lab-100, the proxy is used on the iOS 10 client, but the proxy is not used on the iOS 9 client. On both iOS 9 and 10, the proxy is bypassed when the full address is used to access the site.

504919 F5 Access does not resolve the BIG-IP APM hostname each time it reconnects after the connection is broken. This limits the use of load balancing with BIG-IP DNS as it keeps using the same IP address for the connection.
518576 After a user triggers VPN On Demand, when attempting to reach a domain that ends in .local, Safari displays the error message: Safari could not open the page because the server stopped responding. Such connections continue to fail until the user refreshes the web page.
521817 Currently the PAVPN (Per App VPN) plugin only supports DNS RR types A and PTR. For Kerberos protocol and subsequently KDC auto-discovery for SSO with PAVPN, the PAVPN plugin needs to support DNS RR type SRV User Device VPN.
557905 On iOS 9, if a managed app is being updated while Per-App VPN is active, the updated app might not make use of the active session until the active session is expired and a new one is created. As a workaround, wait until the current session expires, and restart the updated app.
559388 Users may find that after upgrading to iOS Edge Client version 2.0.6 and higher or F5 Access for iOS version 2.1.0 and higher that the VPN client requires the end user to accept the End User License Agreement before the Edge Client or F5 Access can be used. Prior to EULA acceptance, the functions of F5 Access are not available. To use the client, the user must accept the User Agreement. After doing this, the VPN will function normally.
563714 It is not possible to configure Network Access proxy settings on iOS devices using the Network Access proxy resource variable attributes in the BIG-IP APM Visual Policy Editor.
573169 "When using Safari to trigger VPN-on-Demand connection on iOS 9, for the first time Safari will return an error saying “Safari cannot open the page because the network connection was lost” (although the tunnel itself is correctly triggered and established and the VPN icon is displayed on the status bar)." "Refreshing the pages immediately results in successful load and displaying the page. Any subsequent requests from Safari runs as expected."
582315 First initial connection which triggers VPN on demand fails when proxy configuration is used in Network Access Resource. User needs to reestablish connection :refresh page in safari or reconnect in other apps.
585731 To save the client username and password in web logon mode on iOS Edge Client 2.0.6 or later or Android Edge Client 2.0.8 or later, the APM server must be at version 12.0 or later.
587775 iOS may frequently sleep/wakeup VPN plugin in sleep mode of device and sending DNS queries. This causes APM session keeps alive for long time. The DNS queries are sent every from 10 seconds to a few minutes. The issue was reported to Apple to confirm.
591017 This issue affects configurations where the server with a proxy autoconfig script is only reachable when the VPN tunnel for the configuration is established. In this scenario, if a proxy autoconfig script is specified and Connect on Demand is enabled (with any domains added) then F5 Access downloads the proxy autoconfig script with a significant delay of up to a minute or more. If Connect on Demand is disabled, the proxy autoconfig script is downloaded and applied successfully. This issue is not known to affect iOS versions prior to version 9. As a workaround, the user should wait for a minute or more after the tunnel is established for the proxy autoconfig script to be downloaded and applied.
591501 "iOS9 does not respect 'On Demand Disconnect Timeout' for per-app-VPN tunnel when it's triggered by Safari domain. Session will be deleted after inactivity timeout, not after on-demand disconnect timeout as it has to. if per-app-VPN connection is triggered by provisioned application, then session will be deleted correctly after on-demand disconnect timeout."
591535 "For iOS 8 and 9 it is known that a first attempt to load a web page fails if (1) the request match a Per-App VPN Safari domain list and (2) the admin had previously killed the session for that Per-App VPN on BIG-IP. The Per-App VPN is not triggered at all on iOS 8 and for iOS 9 it is triggered but the page load fails. The issue is not applied for iOS 10."
596581 Prior to iOS 10 when uninstalling F5 Access any certificate installed in the system gets corrupted if it is selected in any VPN configuration within F5 Access. As result the certificate is visible in Settings > General > Profile but its contents appear to be empty and it is not available to be selected in F5 Access VPN configuration after reinstalling F5 Access. As a workaround, on iOS 9 or earlier, before uninstalling F5 Access deselect the certificate and save for every existing configuration in F5 Access.
601404 When the iPhone user changes the default text settings to a larger size, the UI will not be render properly.
611523 On iOS 10, when an F5 Access configuration requires no user intervention to start, a user can establish or stop a tunnel without unlocking the device.
612592 In iOS Access on iOS 10, when a connection is established and then a user moves to a wifi network that doesn't have access to the APM server, the connection status doesn't change from Connected to Reconnecting immediately. It takes about two minutes to establish the reconnecting state.
612629 In F5 Access for iOS 10, all F5 Access configurations are not displayed in the Notifications pane. When you slide down to see notifications, only the first 6 configurations are displayed. When you slide left to see notifications, only the first 8 configurations are displayed.
612767 On an iOS 10 device with F5 Access and cellular data enabled, if the virtual server for the Network Access connection becomes unavailable, F5 Access shows an error message after the timeout duration is reached, but remains in the Disconnecting state for 15-20 seconds. On iOS 9, the Disconnected state is reported immediately after the timeout.
612997 With iOS 10 F5 Access, a user connects to a Network Access VPN tunnel with Client Proxy settings enabled in the Network Access resource, and a Client Proxy Autoconfig Script is configured, the settings are applied when Safari is started. Safari continues to use this PAC file even when the VPN connection is reestablished. As a workaround, quit and restart Safari to get the PAC file changes.
615858 When an iOS 10 device uses a per-app VPN profile pushed to the device by an MDM, and the F5 Access is connected via that per-app VPN profile to the managed application, when the per-app VPN profile is removed from the MDM, the VPN icon remains active on the iOS device for 5-10 minutes.
618956 On iOS 9 a client proxy exclusion entry name or IP address could be specified with wildcards. For example, the entry * would match The entry 172.29.68.* would match In both examples, the client proxy would be bypassed. On iOS 10 client proxy exclusion list entries that are specified with wildcards do not bypass the proxy. As a workaround, create a proxy PAC file on a back-end server and push that via the Network Access resource configuration with the command client-proxy-script http://back-end-proxy-server/proxy.pac.
641514 From 2.1.0 we provide customer an option to ask local authentication before using cached password. However, when home screen is locked, and user connect VPN from widget screen (pull down), after local authentication, the widget screen is put to background, and based on timing, end user may observe the connection staying in contacting state for a while and then disconnect. The issue is seen more frequently in iOS 10. The workaround is pull down widget screen after local authentication popup.
642241 Per-App VPN status might appear to remain "Connected" even in Airplane mode. This occurs only with Per-App VPN, and affects the app appearance only.
643928 F5 Access does not allow adding configurations in Managed User Configurations Mode, but in case of no L3 configurations present the Today Widget would still show "Add Configuration" link. Clicking the list the user would not be able to create a configuration if in Managed User Configurations Mode anyway, an error message is shown instead
645069 On iOS 10: multiple attempts to establish per-app VPN are done. Canceling page load stops connection attempts.

Fixes in 2.1.0

ID number Description
611923 On iOS 10, F5 Access fails to establish a manual or on-demand VPN connection when a per-app VPN connection is already established. The following error is displayed: Server unreachable. Please check your network connectivity and server address. As a workaround, establish L3 connections before establishing any per-app VPN connections. As a workaround, establish the manual or on-demand VPN connection before starting any per-app VPN connections.

This issue has been resolved by Apple in iOS 10.2.1.

612163 Previously, when F5 Access was disconnected and reconnected in a short period of time, the client displayed the "Connecting" status when the VPN tunnel was already established. This issue is resolved, and the connection status is now displayed normally.
612412 Previously, on F5 Access with iOS 10, sometimes when a client connected to a Network Access resource that had no lease pool defined, the client connection failed without any message. Now, the failure message is displayed as expected.
612518 Previously, in F5 Access on iOS 10, when connecting to a server with a configuration that used an FQDN in native mode, when the DNS server was unable to resolve the FQDN, the client failed to connect, and no error message was displayed. This issue is now resolved, and an error message is displayed.
617525 Previously, when launching F5 Access using a web link the app sometimes stopped and failed to connect to the VPN. This issue no longer occurs in version 2.1.0
640990 Previously, F5 Access sometimes crashed when a connection was started with the "start" URL command. This issue has been resolved, and F5 Access no longer crashes when started with the "start" command.
641465 In the previous version, the "Choose a configuration..." tab was not clickable. Now in version 2.1.0, after clicking "Choose a configuration..." the app opens and the Settings tab is selected.

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