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5 Things to Know About the iOS 14.2.1 Update

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Apple’s pushed a surprise iOS 14.2.1 update to iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, Phone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max users and the new software brings important bug fixes to the flagship devices.

With iOS 14.3 in beta testing, many people expected it to follow iOS 14.2. For most devices, it probably will. That’s not the case for iPhone 12 users.

Apple recently released iOS 14.2.1, a new point upgrade. The software is exclusive to Apple’s iPhone 12 models which means owners of other iPhones won’t get the software.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there is to know about Apple’s latest software update for the iPhone 12.

In this guide to iOS 14.2.1 we’ll walk you through iOS 14.2.1’s changes, the software’s performance, iOS 14 problems, the iOS 14.2.1 jailbreak status, and more.

We’ll start with iOS 14.2.1’s performance.

iOS 14.2.1 Reviews

If your iPhone 12 is currently running iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.2.1 download will be small.

For iOS 14.2 users, the iOS 14.2.1 update should be in and around 100MB. It’s a 165 MB download for iPhone 12 Pro users. That said, the exact download size will vary based on your device and the version of iOS 14 your device is currently running.

If your iPhone 12 is running iOS 14.1, you’ll likely see a larger download because your upgrade will include the features and fixes from iOS 14.2.

If your phone is running iOS 14.2, the iOS 14.2.1 installation should take less than 15 minutes to complete. It took about eight minutes to install on the iPhone 12 Pro.

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We’ve been using the iOS 14.2.1 update on an iPhone 12 Pro for several weeks and here’s what we’ve learned about its performance in several key areas.

Connectivity

  • Battery life is currently stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
  • Bluetooth is working normally.
  • GPS and cellular data are stable.

Apps

  • Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
  • First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are also stable.

Speed

  • iOS 14.2.1 feels as fast as iOS 14.2.

If your iPhone 12/iPhone 12 mini/iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max is struggling on iOS 14.2 or iOS 14.1, you might want to install the iOS 14.2.1 update on your device right now.

If you need help making a decision, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 14.2.1 update. It will help you decide if the upgrade is worth it.

iOS 14.2.1 Problems

The iOS 14.2.1 update is causing problems for some iPhone 12 users. Some problems are brand new, others have carried over from iOS 14.2 and iOS 14.1.

The current list includes installation problems, lag, Exchange issues, problems with first and third-party apps, hotspot problems, abnormal battery drain, touchscreen issues, issues with Face ID, and display issues.

We expect this list to grow as more people download the latest software.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
  • This phone is unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice on GSM and CDMA networks (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, Cricket, Metro, Tracfone, Mint Mobile, etc.).
  • Please check with your carrier to verify compatibility.
  • When you receive the phone, insert a SIM card from a compatible carrier. Then, turn it on, connect to Wi-Fi, and follow the on screen prompts to activate service.
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a generic (Mfi certified) charger and charging cable.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.

If you run into an issue on iOS 14.2.1, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common problems. We’ve also released tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance and tips to help fix bad battery life.

If you don’t like iOS 14.2.1’s performance on your device, you can try downgrading to the previous version of iOS 14. Apple is currently signing on iOS 14.2 which means you can drop back in an attempt to improve your iPhone 12’s performance.

The company has stopped signing on iOS 14.1 which means there’s no way back to that version. So, if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.1, be careful. Once you move your phone to iOS 14.2.1, there’s no getting back.

For more on the downgrade, check out our guide.

iOS 14.2.1 Update: What’s New

Apple’s x.x.x updates always bring bug fixes with them and that’s exactly what you get from iOS 14.2.1. Here’s the full list of changes on board iOS 14.2.1:

  • Some MMS messages may not be received
  • Made for iPhone hearing devices could have sound quality issues when listening to audio from iPhone
  • Lock Screen could become unresponsive on iPhone 12 mini

iOS 14.2.1 doesn’t have any known security updates on board.

iOS 14 Jailbreak

The developer team behind the Checkra1n jailbreaking tool has released version 0.12.0 which adds support for iOS 14.1 and 14.2

The newest version of the tool now works with A10/A10X devices on iOS 14.x. There’s also limited support for A11-powered devices on iOS 14.x.

Unfortunately, that means there isn’t support for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max. They all use newer processors.

For more on the iOS 14 jailbreak, head over to checkra1n’s website.

What’s Next

If your iPhone 12 is struggling, help is on the way.

Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 14.3 milestone upgrade. The software is currently in beta testing and its release is imminent.

The company says its new Fitness+ service will launch on December 14th. Fitness+ requires iOS 14.3, watchOS 7.2, iPadOS 14.3, and tvOS 14.3.

Apple’s confirmed new AirPods Max headphones. The headphones, which are on sale right now ahead of their December 15th release date, require Apple devices running iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later, watchOS 7.2 or later, or tvOS 14.3 or later.

On top of all that, Apple says the “ECG” app on Apple Watch Series 4, and subsequent models, will be launched in Taiwan via iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2 from Tuesday, December 15th.

If you can’t/don’t want to wait for the official release, you can download the iOS 14.3 beta onto your iPhone 12/iPhone 12 mini/iPhone 12 Pro/iPhone 12 Pro Max right now.

For more on iOS 14.3, please check out our guide.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14.7.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14.7.1 for Better Security

Install iOS 14.7.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.7.1 right away.

iOS 14.7.1 doesn't have a lot on board, but it does bring a new security patch with it. You can learn more about the patch right here

If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.7.1 update in the near future. 

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 14.7.1 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 14.7.1. 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 14.7.1. 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 14.7.1 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 14.7.1 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

Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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