Apple’s new iOS 14.8.1 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 a new iOS 14 upgrade for iPhone and the iOS 14.8.1 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 still running iOS 14.
Like the previous version of iOS 14 (iOS 14.8), iOS 14.8.1 is a small upgrade and it brings security enhancements to iPhone models.
The iOS 14.8.1 update requires a fairly small download. It’s just over a hundred megabytes for iPhone owners moving up from iOS 14.8. The download 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.
Those of you dealing with issues on older versions of iOS could see a huge turnaround after installing iOS 14.8.1. We’re hearing about a number of positive changes. That said, we’re also hearing about bugs and performance problems impacting the software.
If you run into issues on iOS 14.8.1, note that you can’t downgrade your phone’s software. Apple isn’t signing on iOS 14.8. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t signing on anything older than iOS 14.8 either.
This means those of you having a great experience on iOS 14.8 and below should approach iOS 14.8.1 with caution. Once you make the move, there’s no going back.
If you’re currently debating a move to iOS 14.8.1, 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 14.8.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.8.1 right away.
The iOS 14.8.1 update brings 12 new security patches to the iPhone. You can read about all of them over on Apple's site.
If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.8.1 update in the near future.
If you missed iOS 14.8, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about iOS 14.7.1's security update, check out its support page.
If you missed iOS 14.7, you'll get its 31 security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about those on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 14.6, you'll get the update's 38 security patches with your iOS 14.8.1 update. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.8.1. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. 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 14.8.1 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 14.8.1 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.