Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 14.4 update and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of its release for iPhone.
iOS 14.4 is another milestone release for iOS 14 which means it should bring a mix of new features, security enhancements, and bug fixes for lingering issues.
There’s a chance iOS 14.4 serves as iOS 14.3’s successor, but we could also see the company release iOS 14.3.1 before it arrives.
We don’t have an official iOS 14.4 release date yet, but iPhone users who don’t want to wait for the official roll out can try the update out through Apple’s beta programs.
With an iOS 14.4 release on the way, we want to take you through everything there is to know about the next big update for iOS 14 and iPhone.
In this guide to 14.4 we’ll take you through the update’s known changes, what you can expect from the iOS 14.4 release date and release time, key information about the iOS 14.4 beta, and more.
iOS 14.4 Beta
If you don’t want to wait for the official version of iOS 14.4 to arrive, you don’t have to.
Apple’s pushed an iOS 14.4 beta to developers and that means those enrolled in the company’s developer program can download the pre-release version of the update right now.
The company’s also pushed the iOS 14.4 beta to those enrolled in the Beta Software Program. While a developer account requires a paid membership, the Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and working Apple ID. Most people should install the public iOS 14.4 beta.
Before you download the iOS 14.4 beta onto your phone remember that pre-release software is almost always plagued with bugs and performance issues. These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your device’s battery life, and its overall speed which makes it a less than ideal daily driver.
You should be able to fix some of these problems on your own, but some bugs and performance issues will probably require a fix from Apple down the road.
If you can’t stand the beta’s performance on your iPhone, you can downgrade back to iOS 14.3. The downgrade path back to older upgrades is closed.
Apple is currently on iOS 14.4 beta 2.
iOS 14.4 Release Date
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 14.4 release date for iPhone. You can expect it to roll out sometime in early 2021 after its stint in testing.
iOS 14.4 Release Time
We don’t have an official iOS 14.4 release date yet, but we know exactly when Apple will roll the software out on whatever day it chooses.
The official version of iOS 14.4 will most likely arrive in and around 10AM Pacific. It sometimes takes a few minutes for iOS updates to show up so there’s no need to worry if you don’t see new software right away.
Apple will also release iOS 14.4 beta updates for developers and those in the Beta Software Program in and around 10AM Pacific. The company typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks.
Keep this timeline in mind if you plan to install the official version of iOS 14.4, or new iOS 14.4 betas, right away.
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 can expect from iOS 14.4.
Developers are digging through the iOS 14.4 beta and have found new features on board. The current list includes:
- A new handoff experience for the HomePod mini.
- Improvements to the Set Wallpaper action in the Shortcuts app.
- A new Direct Touch apps feature in VoiceOver which allows VoiceOver users to directly control an app.
- Guided audio walking workouts.
- A new setting that details the type of Bluetooth device connected to your iPhone so that Headphone Audio Level measurements are accurate.
- A new warning that pops up if an iPhone’s camera is repaired using aftermarket components.
9to5Mac has also discovered that iPhones can see what “headband type” the company’s AirPods Max earbuds are using. It’s unclear what the reference means.
Apple could add, or subtract, from the iOS 14.4 change log as the beta progresses so keep an eye out for changes as the software makes progress behind the scenes.
iOS 14 Jailbreak
If you still jailbreak, make sure you avoid the iOS 14.4 beta. The only way you can jailbreak a device right now is if it’s running an older version of iOS 14.
We don’t expect them to release a tool that’s compatible with the iOS 14.4 beta.
Install iOS 14.3 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.3 right away.
Apple's outlined nine new security patches on board iOS 14.3. These patches will help protect your device from harm.
iOS 14.3 also includes 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 14.3 update includes iOS 14.2's 24 security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.3 include 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.
If you skipped iOS 13.7 or any older versions of iOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 14.3 update.
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.
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