Apple’s released its iOS 14.4 update for iPhone.
Like iOS 14.3 before it, iOS 14.4 is a milestone release (x.x) which means it’s bigger than your average iOS update. Like most milestone upgrades, iOS 14.4 includes a mix of new features, bug fixes, and enhancements.
The iOS 14.4 update is compatible with the 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, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
With all of that in mind, we want to take you through everything there is to know about Apple’s latest and greatest software update for iPhone.In this guide we’ll walk you through iOS 14.4’s changes, the software’s current performance, iOS 14.4 problems, the iOS 14.4 jailbreak status, and more:
We’ll start with iOS 14.4’s performance on iPhone.
iOS 14.4 Reviews
If your iPhone is currently running iOS 14.3, iOS 14.4 requires a large download.
For iOS 14.3 users, the iOS 14.4 download size will fall somewhere around 400 MB. The exact size depends on your iPhone model and the version of iOS it’s currently running.
If your iPhone is running on an older version of iOS, you’ll most likely see a larger bigger download because your iOS 14.4 includes the features and fixes from iOS updates you skipped.
If you’re moving up from iOS 14.3, the iOS 14.4 installation should take less than 15 minutes to complete. It took about eight minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro and about nine minutes to install on an iPhone X.
For more on the iOS 14.4 download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the iOS 14.4 update for several days now and here’s what we’ve noticed about its performance in key areas:
iOS 14.4 Connectivity
- Battery life is currently stable.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
- Bluetooth is working normally.
- GPS and cellular data are both stable.
iOS 14.4 App Performance
- 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.
iOS 14.4 Speed
- iOS 14.4 currently feels as fast as iOS 14.3.
If your iPhone is struggling on iOS 14.3 or an older version of iOS, you might want to install iOS 14.4 on your iPhone right now.
If you need help making a decision, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 14.4 update. It will help you make a decision.
iOS 14.4 Problems
iOS 14.4 is causing problems for some iPhone users. Some problems are brand new while others have carried over from older versions of iOS 14.
The current list of iOS 14 issues includes installation problems, lag, Exchange issues, problems with first and third-party apps, hotspot problems, severe battery drain, touchscreen issues, issues with Touch ID and Face ID, green tint issues on the iPhone 12, random stuttering, charging issues, and various other bugs/performance issues.
- Fully unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US-Cellular, Cricket, Metro, etc.).
- The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a charger and charging cable that may be generic, in which case it will be UL or Mfi (Made for iPhone) Certified.
- Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arms length.
- Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
- Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.
If you run into an issue on iOS 14.4, have a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. We’ve also released tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance as well as some tips that could help fix bad iOS 14 battery life.
If you don’t like iOS 14.4’s performance on your device, downgrading your phone’s software to the previous version of iOS 14 is no longer an option.
Apple has stopped signing on iOS 14.3 which means you can’t drop back in an attempt to improve your iPhone’s performance. This is a permanent change.
The company has also stopped signing on iOS 14.2.1 (iPhone 12 only), iOS 14.2 iOS 14.1, iOS 14.0.1, iOS 14.0, and iOS 13 which means there’s no way to get back to those versions of iOS either.
For more on the downgrade process, check out our guide.
iOS 14.4 Update: What’s New
Apple’s x.x updates almost always bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s exactly what you get from iOS 14.4.
Here’s the full list of iOS 14.4’s changes:
- Smaller QR codes can be recognized by Camera.
- Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications.
- Notifications for when the camera on your iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
- Fixes an issue where image artifacts could appear in HDR photos taken with iPhone 12 Pro.
- Fixes an issue where the Fitness widget may not display updated Activity data.
- Fixes an issue where typing may be delayed and word suggestions may not appear in the keyboard.
- Fixes an issue where the keyboard may not come up in the correct language in Messages.
- Fixes an issue where Audio stories from the News app in CarPlay may not resume after being paused for spoken directions or Siri.
- Fixes an issue where enabling Switch Control in Accessibility may prevent phone calls from being answered from the Lock Screen.
iOS 14.4 also carries new security updates and you can read about those right here.
iOS 14.4 Jailbreak
Fortunately, the newest version of unC0ver is compatible with newer iPhones including the iPhone 12 series. That’s big news if you’ve been waiting to jailbreak your new phone.
That said, again, there’s no way to get your phone back to iOS 14.3 or any older versions of iOS which means you’re out of luck if you upgrade/you already upgraded to iOS 14.4.
Apple plugged up the exploits used by these jailbreaks in iOS 14.4 so there’s no telling how long it will be until we see tools for iOS 14.4 and future versions of iOS 14.
What’s Next for iOS 14
Apple’s working on a new version of iOS 14.
The company’s confirmed a new iOS 14.5 update and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of an official release later this year. If you don’t want to wait for the official release, you can download the beta.
iOS 14.5 is a milestone upgrade which means it will carry new features, bug fixes, and security patches. The beta currently includes AirPlay 2 support for Fitness+, a new option to unlock your iPhone with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask, and much more.
The iOS 14.5 update also has some important bug fixes on board (for now at least) including remedies for the green tint issues and stuttering plaguing iPhone 12 models.
For more on iOS 14.5, check out our guide.
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.
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