Apple’s iOS 14.4.2 update could have a huge impact on your iPhone’s performance. While some of you should install the software right now, others might be better off waiting.
The company’s released another point upgrade and the iOS 14.4.2 update is available to download right now if you own an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max.
iOS 14.4.2 is a maintenance release and it brings an important security patch to these iPhone models. It doesn’t have any new features or known bug fixes on board.
The iOS 14.4.2 update requires a fairly small download. It’s around 200MB for iPhone owners moving up from iOS 14.4.1. It will be larger for those of you moving up from older versions of iOS. That’s because the features and fixes from the updates you skipped are baked in.
It’s a small release, but those of you dealing with issues on older versions of iOS could see a huge turnaround after installing iOS 14.4.2. We’re hearing about a number of positive changes. That said, we’re also hearing about various bugs and performance problems.
If you run into issues on iOS 14.4.2 note that you can’t downgrade your iPhone’s software. Apple has stopped signing on iOS 14.4.1 which means you can’t move your phone back to the previous version of iOS 14 in an effort to improve your phone’s performance. Apple isn’t signing on older iOS software either.
That means that those of you having a great experience on iOS 14.4.1 and below should approach iOS 14.4.2 with caution. Once you make the move, there’s no getting back.
If you’re feeling leery, you might want to wait for Apple’s next version of iOS 14.
Apple is working on a new iOS 14.5 update and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of an official release. We expect it to roll out alongside iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, and other software in April.
If you’re currently debating a move to iOS 14.4.2, allow us to walk you through the best reasons to install the software today and the best reasons to hang around on your current version of iOS for a little bit longer.
Install iOS 14.4.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.4.2 right now.
iOS 14.4.2 has an important security patch on board and you can read more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.4.2. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.4.2 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.4.2 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.