Apple’s iOS 11.4 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch delivers a solid list of improvements including AirPlay 2. Its also brought problems to many iOS 11 users.
iOS 11.4 is the company’s fourth milestone iOS 11 update and the upgrade will likely serve as the bridge between iOS 11 and Apple’s iOS 12 update.
Now that iOS 11.4 is live, it’s important to get familiar with the upgrade for your device. In this guide we’ll take you through the most important things to know about iOS 11.4 and its release right now.
Our walkthrough includes a look at iOS 11.4’s known changes, the iOS 11.4 downgrade, iOS 11.4 problems, and the iOS 11.4 jailbreak for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
iOS 11.4 Reviews
If you’re running iOS 11.3.1 on your device right now, the iOS 11.4 download and installation process should only take you a few minutes to complete.
The iOS 11.4 update is a lot bigger than its predecessor (iOS 11.3.1) and requires a 306MB download for the iPhone X if you’re running iOS 11.3.1. You can expect similar sizes for all iPhones and iPads.
If your device is connected to a fast Wi-Fi network, the iOS 11.4 download should only take just a few minutes to complete. It took less than three minutes to download on the iPhone X.
The installation process will take longer than the download. It took about six minutes to install on an iPhone X running iOS 11.3.1.
If you’re using an older version of iOS on your device, you’ll encounter longer download and installation times because you’ll need to download and install the updates you skipped along the way.
For more on the download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the iOS 11.4 update for several on the iPhone and iPad and here are a few quick observations about its performance:
- iOS 11.4 battery life is currently stable on the iPhone X and iPhone 6.
- Wi-Fi is working normally
- We’ve successfully connected our devices to Bluetooth devices including headsets and speakers.
- GPS and cellular data are working fine.
- Our core apps, a list that includes Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine right now.
- First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar appear to be stable.
- We haven’t seen any user lag on newer models like the iPhone X, but we continue to see occasional lag on older devices like the iPhone 6.
While most of you should install iOS 11.4 right now, others, especially those of you who own an older iPhone or iPad, might want to take a raincheck.
If you need early iOS 11.4 feedback, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 11.4 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
iOS 11.4 Update: What’s New
iOS 11.4 is a milestone upgrade which means it comes with a collection of features, enhancements, bug fixes, and security patches for potential exploits.
First and foremost, Apple’s latest iOS 11 update is connected to ClassKit development framework Apple confirmed in late March.
ClassKit works with the company’s brand new Schoolwork app for iPad that helps teachers and students keep track of their assignments and progress.
Apple’s finally pulled Schoolwork from beta and the official version is live for teachers right now.
iOS 11.4 also delivers AirPlay 2 and Apple’s long-awaited Messages in iCloud feature. Both features have been delayed several times.
On top of that, the iOS 11.4 update includes:
- A new (PRODUCT)RED wallpaper for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. It’s not available for the iPhone X.
- A new Lock/Unlock option located under the Display & Brightness setting for flip cover magnetic iPhone X cases.
- Calendar support for the HomePod. On iOS 11.4, HomePod users setting up the device for the first time are seeing Calendar included in the “Personal Requests” section of the setup process.
- AirPlay 2
iOS 11.4 also fixes several bugs including:
- The “Black Dot of Death” iMessage bug that crashes Apple’s Messages app. It also crashed the operating system in some cases.
- A 3D Touch issue on iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.3.1 where the feature wouldn’t work without waiting a few seconds, or longer, immediately after unlocking an iPhone.
- A Messages issue we saw in iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.3.1 that could cause some messages to appear out of order.
It also fixes an issue where app icons would start hovering out of place. We saw the problem on iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.3.1. It hasn’t occurred on iOS 11.4.
iOS 11.4 Problems
The iOS 11.4 update is causing problems for some iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.
iOS 11.4 users are complaining about a variety of installation issues, severe battery drain, connectivity (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular data) issues, Touch ID issues, Face ID problems, UI lag, various issues with HomePod, and issues with several first and third-party applications.
According to a report from MacRumors, the iOS 11.3 and iOS 11.3.1 updates are causing microphone issues on select iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.
iPhone 7 users are seeing a grayed-out speaker button during phone calls and some users claim they’re unable to be heard during regular phone calls and FaceTime video calls.
Apple is aware of the issue, but it’s unclear if iOS 11.4 fixes the problem. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users dealing with the issue on iOS 11.4 are encouraged to get in contact with Apple customer service and escalate the issue to a senior AppleCare advisor.
If you’re noticing issues while running iOS 11.4 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, take a look at our list of fixes for common iOS 11 problems.
Unfortunately, Apple’s closed up the iOS 11.3.1 downgrade. So if you’re currently running iOS 11.4 and dealing with issues, you’re stuck until Apple rolls out its next iOS update. (Unless you try the iOS 11.4.1 beta or iOS 12 beta.)
The company’s also stopped signing off on older versions of iOS 11 including iOS 11.3.
iOS 11.4 Jailbreak
Jailbreak developers haven’t released a working jailbreak for iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.2.6, iOS 11.3, iOS 11.3.1, or iOS 11.4.
As of right now, the only way you can jailbreak a device running iOS 11 is if it’s running iOS 11.0-iOS 11.1.2. Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade to those updates.
We could see a surprise iOS 11.4 jailbreak emerge in the weeks ahead but for now, those looking to jailbreak need to avoid the iOS 11.4 update.
For more on the iOS 11 jailbreak, take a look at our roundup.
iOS 11.4 will likely be the last major iOS 11 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The beta, and final update, will be made available for all devices capable of powering the iOS 11 update. That includes the iPhone 5s and iPad mini.
iOS 11.4 might be the last major iOS 11 release, but it won’t be the final iOS 11 update.
Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 11.4.1 update that’ll likely bring new fixes and patches to iPhone and iPad users. The iOS 11.4.1 update is currently in beta ahead of an unknown release date.
Install iOS 12.4.4 for Better Security
If you're on the fence, this is one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.4.4.
If you value your device's security, you'll want to download iOS 12.4.4 in the near future because it brings an important security patch for your device. You can read about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.3, you get its security patches with your upgrade to iOS 12.4.4. You can read about them on Apple's website (if and when Apple posts the details).
If you missed iOS 12.4.2, you get an additional patch with your upgrade. You can read about the security contents of iOS 12.4.2 here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.1, you'll get its security patch with your iOS 12.4.4 update. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4, you get its patches with your iOS 12.4.4 update.
iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on Apple's security site.
If you skipped iOS 12.3, your iOS 12.4.4 update carries iOS 12.3's security patches on board. The iOS 12.3 update brought 23 patches and you can read about all of them right here on Apple's site.
If you skipped iOS 12.2, you'll get its security patches with your version of iOS 12.4.4.
iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in March. You can read more about the iOS 12.2's patches over on the company's website.
It's important to note that Apple's iOS 12.2 update patched up an exploit that allowed websites to use motion sensors to "fingerprint" devices.
Fortunately, Apple's patched up the issue. If you skipped it, you'll probably want to move to iOS 12.4.4 soon.
If you skipped iOS 12.1.4, you get four important security patches including fixes for a widespread FaceTime eavesdropping bug that lets you call someone via FaceTime and hear the audio coming from their phone before they pick up the phone.
If you skipped iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.4.4. Again, they're baked into your upgrade.
Apple lists a grand total of 23 patches on board iOS 12.1.3 and you can read about all of them over on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 12.1.1, you'll want to install the iOS 12.4.4 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today.
The iOS 12.1.1 update brought 17 patches for potential security exploits. They'll will help protect your phone. You can read about them here.
If you skipped iOS 12.1, you'll get the 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.4.4. If you skipped iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.4.4 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.
If you skipped iOS 12.0, and you're still running iOS 11.4.1 or below, your iOS 12.4.4 update comes with an even longer list of security updates.
The iOS 12.0 update delivered 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's security page.
In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:
Long story short, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.4.4 today.
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