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5 Things to Know About the iOS 14.8.1 Update

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Apple’s pushed a new iOS 14.8.1 update to iPhone users.

iOS 14.8.1 is available to install right now if you have a compatible iPhone that’s still running iOS 14. iOS 14.8 is compatible with all iOS 14-powered phones, a list that 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 the previous version of iOS 14, iOS 14.8.1 is a small maintenance upgrade and it brings security enhancements to iPhone owners. It doesn’t have any new features on board.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there is to know about Apple’s new iOS 14.8.1 update for iPhone.

In this walkthrough we’ll take you through iOS 14.8.1’s changes, its performance, iOS 14.8.1 problems, the iOS 14.8.1 jailbreak status, and more.

We’ll start with some quick thoughts on iOS 14.8.1’s performance.

iOS 14.8.1 Review

If your iPhone is currently running iOS 14.8, you’ll encounter the smallest download. For iOS 14.8 users, the iOS 14.8.1 download checks in at a few hundred megabytes.

iOS 14.8.1’s 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 14.8.1 update includes the changes from iOS updates you skipped.

If you’re jumping up from iOS 14.8, the installation process should take less than 15 minutes to complete. It took about seven minutes to install on an iPhone 7 that was previous running iOS 14.8.

For more on the iOS 14.8.1 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using iOS 14.8.1 on a few iPhone models for several days now and here’s what we’ve discovered 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 14.8.1 currently feels as fast as iOS 14.8.

If you’re running into bugs or performance issues on iOS 14.8 or an older version of iOS, you might want to install the iOS 14.8.1 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 14.8.1 update.

We’ve published our iOS 14.8.1 reviews for the iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, and iPhone 6s so check those guides for additional feedback if you need it.

iOS 14.8.1 Problems

iOS 14.8.1 is causing problems for some iPhone users. Some problems are new, others have carried over from iOS 14.8 and older versions of iOS.

The current list of iOS 14 issues includes installation problems, lag, Exchange issues, problems with first and third-party apps, hotspot problems, touchscreen issues, calendar spam, issues with Touch ID and Face ID, random stuttering, and charging issues.

If you do encounter a problem on iOS 14.8.1, 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 isn’t signing on iOS 14.8 which means you can’t drop your phone’s software back to the previous version of iOS 14 if iOS 14.8.1 causes problems. You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 14.8 either.

Keep this in mind if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.8 or below. Once you make the move to iOS 14.8.1, you won’t be able to get back.

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

iOS 14.8.1 Update: What’s New

iOS 14.8.1 is a very small update and it’s focused on security. It has 12 security patches on board.

If you’re interested in the particulars, you can read more about Apple’s new patches over on Apple’s security site.

iOS 14.8.1 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 (currently in beta) is compatible with iOS 14.5. They don’t support iOS 14.8.1, iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, 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 14.8.1, iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, 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 lets iPhone users stick around on iOS 14 so you can skip the company’s new iOS 15 operating system. iOS 15 brings numerous improvements and most iPhone users will want to upgrade.

If you do decide to stay put on iOS 14, Apple will roll out new iOS 14 software though change logs will likely be limited to bug fixes and security patches.

We’ll let you know when we learn more.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14.8.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14.8.1 for Better Security

Install iOS 14.8.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.8.1 right away.

The iOS 14.8.1 update brings 12 new security patches to the iPhone. You can read about all of them over on Apple's site

If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.8.1 update in the near future. 

If you missed iOS 14.8, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about them right here

If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about iOS 14.7.1's security update, check out its support page.

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 14.8.1 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 14.8.1. 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 14.8.1. 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 14.8.1 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 14.8.1 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

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