Apple’s iOS 14.4 update could have a tremendous impact on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus’ performance.
The company’s rolled out its fourth iOS 14 milestone upgrade and iOS 14.4 brings new features, security patches, and bug fixes for a variety of issues.
Many iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus users have already made the jump to the new software which means we’re getting a lot of feedback about its performance.
iOS 14.4 could have a positive impact on your phone’s overall performance. Some users are noticing improved battery life and stability.
We’re also hearing a growing number of problems. Some iOS 14.4 users have stumbled upon performance issues and several annoying bugs.
If your phone is currently running iOS 14.3 and you decide to install iOS 14.4 on your device, the download requires a large chunk of space on your device’s internal storage.
If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS, the upgrade will be far more substantial. That’s because the features and fixes from the updates you skipped are included.
With that in mind, we want to guide you through the most important things to know right now about the iPhone 8’s iOS 14.4 update.
- iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Review
- You Should Prepare for iOS 14.4
- iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Problems and Fixes
- How to Downgrade iPhone 8 Software
- iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Changes
- Next Software Update for iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Jailbreak
It’ll take you through the software’s current problems, provide you with some fixes for common issues, fill you in on the downgrade, and a whole lot more.
We’ve been using the iPhone 8’s iOS 14.4 update for several days so we’ll start with some quick impressions about its performance.
iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Impressions & Performance
We installed iOS 14.4 on the iPhone 8 shortly after it went live. Our device was previously running iOS 14.3 and it took about 10 minutes for the installation to complete. For more about the installation, check out our guide.
As for the software’s performance, iOS 14.4 has been running smoothly on our device. The software feels snappy and we haven’t encountered any UI lag in key areas like Control Center, Notification Center, or the keyboard. Apps open up quickly on our device and animations and transitions feel fluid.
We haven’t encountered any abnormal battery drain and connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS) is strong at the moment.
Our primary apps, which include Slack, Asana, Spotify, Chrome, and Gmail, are all stable right now. Developers are still rolling out iOS 14 support updates. If you run into trouble, try downloading the latest version because it could help stabilize the app’s performance.
We haven’t encountered any debilitating bugs or performance issues yet, but we’ll let you know if that changes.
If you’re currently on the fence about a move from your current version of iOS to iOS 14.4, take a look at our list of reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14.4 right now.
You Should Prepare for iOS 14.4
If you plan to install iOS 14.4 today or at some point in the near future, make sure you prepare yourself, and your device, for the move. Doing so will help you avoid headaches.
If you don’t know where to start, have a look at our pre-installation guide. It will take you step-by-step through the process we use before we install new iOS software on our iPhones.
If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to the pre-installation process, you’ll want to at least spend time making sure all of your data is backed up properly.
iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Problems & Fixes
iOS 14.4 is treating our iPhone 8 well, but others have run into problems. Some of these issues are brand new, others have carried over from older versions of iOS 14.
The current list of iOS 14 problems includes weird battery drain, crashes, various issues with first and third-party apps, Touch ID issues, Exchange issues, Wi-Fi issues, UI lag, and more.
We expect the list of problems to grow as more people download iOS 14.4. If you’re feeling leery, you might want to wait for Apple’s next batch of fixes.
That said, if you do run into an issue with the software, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to solve the problem on your own.
We’ve released a list of fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems and it’s a great place to start if you don’t have an encyclopedia of remedies stored inside your head.
If your iPhone 8’s battery life takes a major hit after the move to iOS 14, we have a list of tips that should help you improve battery life going forward.
And if you’re running into bad performance (lag, slow download speeds, etc), have a look at our guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.
iOS 14.3 Downgrade Closed
If you move your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus to iOS 14.4, and you hate the performance, note that you can’t downgrade your iPhone’s software.
Apple has stopped signing on iOS 14.3 which means you can’t bring your device’s software back to the previous version of iOS 14 in an effort to improve performance.
The company isn’t signing on older versions of iOS either. So if you’re having a good experience on your current version of iOS, take your time with iOS 14.4. Once you make the move, there’s no going back.
If you’re unfamiliar with the downgrade process, take a look at our guide.
iPhone 8 iOS 14.4 Update: What’s New
iOS 14.4 is a milestone upgrade which means it has a mix of features, fixes, and patches on board. Here’s the full change log for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus:
- Smaller QR codes can be recognized by Camera.
- Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications.
- 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 very important security updates and you can read about those right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3, you’ll get its changes with iOS 14.4. iOS 14.4 also had a mix of new features and enhancements. Here’s Apple’s change log:
- A new fitness experience powered by Apple Watch with studio-style workouts available on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (Apple Watch Series 3 and later)
- New Fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV to browse Fitness+ workouts, trainers, and personalized recommendations
- Video workouts added each week in ten popular workout types: High Intensity Interval Training, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Rowing, Treadmill Walking, Treadmill Running, and Mindful Cooldown
- Playlists curated by Fitness+ trainers to complement your workout
- Fitness+ subscription available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States
- Support for AirPods Max, new over-ear headphones
- High fidelity audio for rich sound
- Adaptive EQ adapts sound in real time to the personal fit of ear cushions
- Active Noise Cancellation to block out environmental noise
- Transparency mode to hear the environment around you
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for a theater-like listening experience
- Apple ProRAW photos can be edited in the Photos app
- Option to record video at 25 fps
- Mirror the front facing camera for still photos on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X
- New privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices
- An all-new Apple TV+ tab makes it easy to discover and watch Apple Original shows and movies
- Enhanced search so you can browse by category such as genre, and see recent searches and suggestions as you type
- Top search results shown with the most relevant matches across movies, TV shows, cast, channels, and sports
- Support for launching App Clips by scanning Apple-designed App Clip Codes via Camera or from Control Center
- Ability to indicate pregnancy, lactation, or contraceptive use in Cycle Tracking in the Health app in order to better manage period and fertile window predictions
- Air quality data is now available in Weather, Maps, and Siri for locations in China mainland
- Air quality health recommendations are provided in Weather and Siri for the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Mexico at certain air quality levels
- Air quality data in Weather, Maps, and Siri reflects updated national scales for Germany and Mexico
- Ecosia search engine option in Safari
- Addressed an issue where some MMS messages may not be received
- Addressed an issue where Contact groups failed to display members when composing a message
- Addressed an issue where some videos would not appear correctly when shared from the Photos app
- Addressed an issue where app folders may fail to open
- Addressed an issue where Spotlight search results, and opening apps from Spotlight may not work
- Addressed an issue where Bluetooth could be unavailable in Settings
- Addressed an issue where MagSafe Duo Charger could wirelessly charge your iPhone at less than the maximum power
- Addressed an issue where wireless accessories and peripherals using the WAC protocol could fail to complete setup
- Addressed an issue where the keyboard would dismiss when adding a list in Reminders while using VoiceOver
iOS 14.3 also included security updates and you can read about those on Apple’s security page.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, you’ll get its contents with your upgrade to iOS 14.4. Here’s what iOS 14.2 brought to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus:
- Over 100 new emoji, including animals, food, faces, household objects, musical instruments, gender-inclusive emoji, and more.
- Eight new wallpapers in both light and dark mode versions.
- Optimized battery charging for AirPods to slow the rate of battery aging by reducing the time your AirPods spends fully charged.
- Headphone audio level notifications to alert you when audio level could impact your hearing.
- New AirPlay controls to stream entertainment throughout your home.
- Intercom support with HomePod and HomePod mini using iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay.
- Ability to connect HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio.
- Option to provide statistics about Exposure Notifications, without identifying you, to participating Public Health Authorities.
- Addressed an issue where apps could be out of order on the Home Screen dock.
- Addressed an issue where the Camera viewfinder may appear black when launched.
- Addressed an issues where the keyboard on the Lock Screen could miss touches when trying to enter the passcode.
- Addressed an issue where Reminders could default to times in the past.
- Addressed an issue where the Photos widget may not display content.
- Addressed an issues where the Weather widget could display the high temperature in Celsius when set to Fahrenheit.
- Addressed an issue where the next-hour precipitation chart description in Weather could incorrectly indicate when precipitation stops.
- Addressed an issue where Voice Memos recordings are interrupted by incoming calls.
- Addressed an issue where the screen could be black during Netflix video playback.
- Addressed an issue where Apple Cash could fail to send or receive money when asked via Siri.
- Addressed an issue where the Apple Watch app may unexpectedly close when opened.
- Addressed an issue where workout GPS routes or Health data are prevented from syncing between Apple Watch and iPhone for some users.
- Addressed an issue where audio is incorrectly labeled as “Not Playing” in the CarPlay Dashboard.
- Addressed an issue where devices could be prevented from charging wirelessly.
- Addressed an issue where Exposure Notifications is disabled when restoring iPhone from iCloud Backup or transferring data to a new iPhone using iPhone Migration.
iOS 14.2 also included 24 security updates and you can read about those on Apple’s security page.
If you skipped iOS 14.1, you get its changes with your upgrade. If you’re interested, you can read more about iOS 14.1 in our roundup.
If you skipped iOS 14.0.1 you’ll get its bug fixes in your iOS 14.4 update. Here’s what iOS 14.0.1 fixed:
- Fixed an issue that could cause default browser and mail settings to reset after restarting your iPhone
- Fixed an issue that could prevent your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks
- Resolved an issue that could prevent sending email with some mail providers
- Addressed an issue that could prevent images from appearing in the News widget
As for iOS 14 itself, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus get most of what the new operating system has to offer. That said, the two devices do miss out on a few features which you can learn more about over on Apple’s website.
We’ve released a guide that will take you through some of iOS 14’s best features and it’s worth a look if you haven’t spent time digging into the software.
If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS 13 to iOS 14 you’ll, again, get the features and fixes from the updates you skipped.
We’ve also released a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features so make sure you check it out if you’re curious.
Next iOS 14 Update for the iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus
Apple’s working on a new version of iOS 14.
The company’s confirmed a new milestone upgrade and iOS 14.5 is currently in beta testing ahead of a public release later this year. It will arrive sometime in early spring.
As for iOS 14.5’s changes, it will carry new features, bug fixes, and other enhancements. As of right now, it looks like a major upgrade for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
For more on iOS 14.5 and the beta, please check out our guide.
iOS 14 Jailbreak
Avoid iOS 14.4 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your phone.
Apple plugged up the exploits used by these jailbreaks so there’s no telling how long it will be until we see tools for iOS 14.4 and future versions of iOS 14.
Again, there’s no way to downgrade once you download iOS 14.4 so you’ll want to keep your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus on older software for now.
Install iOS 14.4 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.4 right now.
iOS 14.4 has important security patches on board and you can read about them right here. These patches will help protect your iPhone from harm.
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 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 14.4 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.
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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