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5 Things to Know About the iOS 14.6 Update

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Apple’s finally released its iOS 14.6 update.

The official version of iOS 14.6 update is available to download right now if you have a compatible iPhone model. iOS 14.6 is compatible with all iOS 14-powered phones which includes 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.

Unlike iOS 14.5.1, which was a tiny point update for iPhone users, iOS 14.6 is a milestone upgrade with new features, bug fixes, enhancements, and security patches on board.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there is to know about Apple’s new iOS 14.6 upgrade for iPhone.

In this guide we’ll walk you through iOS 14.6’s changes, the software’s performance, iOS 14.6 problems, the iOS 14.6 jailbreak status, and more.

We’ll start with some quick thoughts on iOS 14.6’s performance.

iOS 14.6 Review

Even if your iPhone is currently running iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.6 requires a fairly large download.

For iOS 14.5,.1 users, the iOS 14.6 download will likely be close to 1GB. iOS 14.6 is a 864MB download for iPhone 12 Pro users moving up from the previous versions of iOS 14.

The exact size depends on your iPhone model and the version of iOS it’s currently running. So if your iPhone is running an older version of iOS, you’ll likely see a bigger download because your iOS 14.6 update will include changes from iOS updates you skipped.

If you’re jumping up from iOS 14.5.1, the iOS 14.6  installation should take less than 15 minutes. It took about eight minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro and an iPhone X.

For more on the iOS 14.6 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using iOS 14.6 on a few iPhone models for several days now and here’s what we’ve noticed about the software’s performance thus far:

Connectivity

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

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.

Speed

  • iOS 14.6 currently feels as fast as iOS 14.5.1.

If you’re running into bugs or performance issues on iOS 14.5.1 or an older version of iOS, you might want to install the iOS 14.6 update on your iPhone right now.

If you need help making a decision, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 14.6 update.

We’ve also published our mini iOS 14.6 reviews for the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE so check those guides for additional feedback if you need it.

iOS 14.6 Problems

iOS 14.6 is causing problems for some iPhone users. Some of these problems are brand new, 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, 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.

iOS 14.6 users are also reporting excessive battery drain. The issue looks like it’s fairly widespread and it’s impacting iPhones across the board. iPhone 12, iPhone 11, and owners of older iPhones are all noticing the problem.

Battery drain issues are extremely common, but given the number of reports, Apple may be forced to release a fix in an upcoming software update.

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 encounter a problem on iOS 14.6, take a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. We’ve also released some tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance and some tips that could help fix bad iOS 14 battery life.

Apple has stopped signing on iOS 14.5.1 which means you can’t drop back to the previous version of iOS 14 if iOS 14.6 starts giving you trouble.

You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 14.5.1 either. Keep that in mind if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.5.1 or below. Once you make the move to iOS 14.6, there’s no getting back.

For more on the downgrade process, check out our guide.

iOS 14.6 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 what iOS 14.6 brings to the table.

Here’s the official iOS 14.6 change log:

Apple Card Family

  • Apple Card can be shared with up to five people, including anyone 13 years or older in your Family Sharing group
  • Apple Card Family adds support for families to track expenses, manage spending with optional limits and controls, and build credit together

Podcasts

  • Subscription support for channels and individual shows

AirTag and Find My

  • Lost mode option to add an email address instead of a phone number for AirTag and Find My network accessories
  • AirTag will show the partially masked phone number of the owner when tapped with an NFC-capable device

Accessibility

  • Voice Control users can unlock their iPhone for the first time after a restart using only their voice

Bug Fixes

  • Unlock with Apple Watch may not work after using Lock iPhone on Apple Watch
  • Reminders may appear as blank lines
  • Call blocking extensions may not appear in Settings
  • Bluetooth devices could sometimes disconnect or send audio to a different device during an active call
  • iPhone may experience reduced performance during startup

While not listed in the change log, it looks like iOS 14.6 brings a new Shazam App Clip to iPhone users. This allows you to identify songs right from Control Center. iOS 14.6 users are also saying the update gives Shortcuts a performance boost.

9to5Mac says the iOS 14.6 update, combined with the latest watchOS 7 upgrade, now prompt Apple Watch 3 users to restore their device before updating. This solves an issue where Apple Watch 3 users ran into an issue where they didn’t have enough space to download new software. The Apple Watch 3 only has 8GB of internal storage.

iOS 14.6 also ties in with Apple’s new Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio features for Apple Music. Those features are due out in June.

The update also has 38 new security patches on board. If you want to learn more about those, you’ll find the details right here on Apple’s security site.

iOS 14.6 Jailbreak

The developer teams behind the Checkra1n and unC0ver jailbreaking tools have released versions that are compatible with newer versions of iOS 14, but only Checkra1n (which is currently in beta) is compatible with iOS 14.5. They don’t support iOS 14.6 or iOS 14.5.1 yet.

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. Unfortunately it’s only compatible with versions up to iOS 14.3.

There’s no way to downgrade your phone’s software to iOS 14.3 or older versions of iOS which means you’re out of luck if you upgrade, or you already upgraded to iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1, iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1 or iOS 14.4.

What’s Next

Apple’s confirmed a new version of iOS 14.

The company’s put iOS 14.7 into beta testing and the pre-release version of the firmware is available to download right now via the company’s beta programs.

Like iOS 14.6, iOS 14.7 is a milestone upgrade which means it should carry new features, fixes, enhancements, and security patches.

We don’t have an official iOS 14.7 release date yet, but we expect the official version to roll out sometime this summer.

For more on iOS 14.7, take a look at our guide.

Apple’s also confirmed its new iOS 15 operating system and it’s also in beta testing alongside iOS 14.7.

The iOS 15 release date lands in the fall, but if you don’t want to wait until September, you can download the software on your iPhone right now. iOS 15 supports all iOS 14-powered devices.

For more on iOS 15 and the beta, have a peek at our walkthrough.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14.6 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14.6 for Better Security

Install iOS 14.6 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.6 right away.

iOS 14.6 brings 38 important security patches to the iPhone. 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 14.6. 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 14.6. 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 14.6 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 14.6 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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