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7 Things to Know About the iPhone 7 iOS 14.8.1 Update

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Apple’s pushed an iOS 14.8.1 update and the software could have a tremendous impact on your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus’ performance.

As we push deeper into 2021, Apple continues to refine iOS 14 and the latest release comes with important security patches on board.

Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have already made the jump up to iOS 14.8.1 and we’ve seen positive feedback emerge in the days since its release.

On the flip side we’ve also heard about problems. Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have encountered bugs and performance issues.

If you do decide to download iOS 14.8.1, note that it requires a fairly small download. If you’re running an older version of iOS, your iOS 14.8.1 upgrade will likely be larger because the features and fixes from the iOS updates you skipped are baked in.

With that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone 7’s iOS 14.8.1 update.

Our walkthrough will guide you through the software’s initial problems, the downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and the iPhone 7 iOS 14.8.1 update’s performance.

iPhone 7 iOS 14.8.1 Review

We’ve been testing the iOS 14.8.1 update on an iPhone 7 for a short time and we’re impressed with the software’s performance thus far.

While some iPhone 7 users have noticed bugs and performance issues, iOS 14.8.1 is currently performing at a high level on the device in our possession.

iOS 14.8.1 feels extremely snappy and fast. Apps open up quickly and the software’s animations and transitions are crisp. We had the same experience on iOS 14.8.

We haven’t noticed any slowdown in problem areas like Notification Center, Control Center, or the keyboard. There are areas where we’ve seen sluggish performance on previous versions of iOS 14.

Battery life is very strong at the moment and we haven’t noticed any issues with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. All of these connections are strong.

Our core apps, a list that includes apps like Netflix, Chrome, Gmail, Dark Sky, Asana, and Slack, are all stable. We haven’t experienced any hiccups yet.

App developers are still rolling out iOS 14 support updates so if you’re having issues with your apps, make sure your device is running the latest version.

Overall, iOS 14.8.1 is treating our iPhone 7 well. We haven’t encountered any major bugs or catastrophic performance issues in the hours since its arrival.

As of right now, given what’s on board, we’re recommending iOS 14.8.1 to users who want to stay put on iOS 14. That said, if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.8, or an older version of iOS, you might want to dig into additional feedback about its performance.

If you need more help making a decision, have a look at our reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14.8.1.

How to Prepare Your iPhone 7 for iOS 14.8.1

If you’re planning to make a move to iOS 14.8.1, make sure you prepare for the upgrade.

While some of you might see a performance boost after upgrading, many others will run into trouble. This is why it’s important to prepare yourself, and your device, for the transition.

To assist you we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we typically use before we install new iOS software on our phones. If you’re new to iOS or you just want to play it safe, it could help.

If you don’t have a ton of time to devote to the pre-installation process you’ll at the very least want to make sure your files are backed up before you tap download.

iPhone 7 iOS 14.8.1 Problems & Fixes

We’re having a pretty good experience on iOS 14.8.1, but some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users are running into problems.

The current list includes excessive battery drain, connectivity issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, issues with Touch ID, Exchange issues, and many more.

If these problems have you feeling leery about an upgrade to iOS 14.8.1, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s next batch of bug fixes.

If your device is already running iOS 14.8.1, and you’re dealing with issues, have a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems.

We’ve also released tips to improve iOS 14 battery life and a guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.

iOS 14.8 Downgrade Closed

If you move your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to iOS 14.8.1, and you hate its performance, note that you can’t downgrade to older software.

Apple stopped signing on iOS 14.8 which means you can’t drop your device’s software back to previous version of iOS 14 in an effort to improve its performance.

The company isn’t signing on older versions of iOS either. So if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.8 or below, proceed to iOS 14.8.1 with caution. Once you upgrade, there’s no going back.

If you’re unfamiliar with the downgrade process, take a look at our guide.

iPhone 7 iOS 14.8.1 Update: What’s New

The iOS 14.8.1 update brings 12 new security patches to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It doesn’t have any known bug fixes or features on board.

If you want to learn more about the patches, you’ll want to head on over to Apple’s security site.

If you missed iOS 14.8, you’ll get its security upgrades with your update. You can learn more about them over on Apple’s website.

If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you’ll get a bug fix with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. iOS 14.7.1 brought a fix for an issue where iPhone models with Touch ID couldn’t unlock a paired Apple Watch using the Unlock with iPhone feature.

iOS 14.7.1 also had a new security patch on board which you can read it about over on Apple’s security site.

If you skipped iOS 14.7, you’ll get its features, bug fixes, and patches with your upgrade Highlights included upgrades to the Weather app, Apple Card, and Podcasts.

If you skipped iOS 14.6, you’ll get its changes with iOS 14.8.1. They include support for Apple Card Family, upgrades to the Podcasts app, enhancements for AirTag users, bug fixes, and 30+ security patches to help protect your device from harm. If you’re interested in the particulars, check out our guide.

If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you’ll get its changes with iOS 14.8.1. The iOS 14.5.1 update brought three changes to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Two of those changes were important security patches related to WebKit. The other change was a fix for an issue with App Tracking Transparency where some users who previously disabled Allow Apps to Request to Track in Settings may not receive prompts from apps after re-enabling it. App Tracking Transparency arrived on board iOS 14.5. For more on iOS 14.5.1, read our walkthrough.

If you skipped iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, iOS 14.5.1 and iOS 14.5, you get iOS 14.5’s changes with iOS 14.8.1.

iOS 14.5 was a massive upgrade for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If you’re interested in the particulars, have a look at our list of the best features.

If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you’ll get its changes with your upgrade. iOS 14.4.2 was a small point upgrade with a single change on board. You can learn more in our guide.

If you’re currently running iOS 14.4, you’ll also get iOS 14.4.1’s security patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. You can read about iOS 14.4.1’s patch right here.

If you skipped 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, and iOS 14.4, you’ll get iOS 14.4’s features and fixes with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4’s changes in our walkthrough.

If you skipped 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, iOS 14.4, and iOS 14.3, you’ll get iOS 14.3’s changes with your iOS 14.8.1 update. Learn more about iOS 14.3 right here.

If you skipped 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, iOS 14.4, iOS 14.3, and iOS 14.2, you’ll get iOS 14.2’s changes with your upgrade. Here are those changes if you’re interested.

If you skipped 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, iOS 14.4, iOS 14.3, iOS 14.2, and iOS 14.1, you get iOS 14.1’s changes with your upgrade. If you’re interested, you can read more about iOS 14.1’s bug fixes in our roundup.

If you missed 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, iOS 14.4, iOS 14.3, iOS 14.2, iOS 14.1, and iOS 14.0.1, you get iOS 14.0.1’s bug fixes with your upgrade.

As for iOS 14 itself, the iPhone 7’s version of the operating is robust. The devices miss out on a few features, but all of iOS 14’s key components are on board.

iOS 14 includes Widgets on the home screen, improvements to Messages and Maps, the new Translate app, and a laundry list of changes to Siri.

We’ve put together a guide that will take you through some of iOS 14’s best features and it’s worth a look if you haven’t been following along.

What’s Next

Apple’s pushed its iOS 15 update to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and you can now move to the company’s new operating system.

That said, if you want to stay on iOS 14 you can do so. Apple will continue to push new iOS 14 updates though they most likely will be focused on security.

So, if you don’t upgrade your iPhone to iOS 15, you’ll miss out on new iOS features. For more on the benefits of iOS 15, check out our guide.

iPhone 7 iOS 14 Jailbreak

Avoid iOS 14.8.1 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your phone.

The developer teams behind the Checkra1n and unC0ver jailbreaking tools have released versions that are compatible with newer versions of iOS 14. Unfortunately, they don’t work with iOS 14.8.1.

For now, you’ll want to stay on older software if you jailbreak or if you’re thinking about jailbreaking your phone.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 15.5 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 15.5 for Better Security

Install iOS 15.5 for Better Security

If security is important to you, you'll want to think about installing Apple's iOS 15.5 update right away.

iOS 15.5 brings 27 new security patches to the iPhone and they are essential if you want to keep your device and its data protected. You can learn more about these patches over on Apple's security site.

If you missed iOS 15.4.1, it had just one new security patch on board. You can read more about it over on Apple's website

If you missed the iOS 15.4 update, it had a whopping 36 new security patches on board. If you want to learn more about these patches, head on over to Apple's security site for the particulars

If you missed iOS 15.3.1, it had one security patch on board. For more about it, head over to Apple's security page

If you missed iOS 15.3, you'll also get its patches with your upgrade. iOS 15.3 brought 10 new security patches to iPhone users. If you're interested in the details, you can read more about them right here.

If you missed iOS 15.2.1, you'll get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about the change over on Apple's website

If you missed Apple's iOS 15.2 update, you'll get its 30+ security patches with your upgrade. You can read all about them over on the company's security site

iOS 15.2 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software brought the company's App Privacy Report to Settings. This lets you see how often your apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days. You can also see their network activity. 

In addition, iOS 15.2 brought Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search. 

If you missed iOS 15.1, iOS 15.5 will bring its security patches to your iPhone. You can read more about them on Apple's website

If you missed iOS 15.0.2 you'll also get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about it right here.

iOS 15.0 also brought numerous security patches to your iPhone. If you'll be moving up from iOS 14 and you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

Apple's updated its website with new information about iOS 15's batch of security patches. The company now says the software patched up an issue that could have exposed a user's private Apple ID information and in-app search history. It also says iOS 15 patched up an issue that allowed apps to override Privacy preferences.

If you skipped iOS 14.8 or any older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 15.5 update as well. 

In addition to those patches, iOS 15 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Siri. Requests made to Siri are now processed on the device itself using Neural Engine. This makes it more secure. 

If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions. 

Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.

There's also a Mail feature that hides your IP address. 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. fred kweku

    09/30/2021 at 9:22 pm

    i have updated my phone to the latest version of ios (15) but shortly after installation the network signal has gone off, and am unable to use the phone. was prompted to update to the current version in order to be able to make calls and receive data

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