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7 Things to Know About the iPhone XR iOS 14.6 Update

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Apple’s pushed an iOS 14.6 update to the iPhone XR and the software has the potential to help, or hurt, your device’s performance.

iOS 14.6 is a milestone upgrade and it brings new features, bug fixes, and important security patches to the iPhone XR and other compatible iPhone models.

The software could have a big impact on your device’s performance. We’ve seen a lot of positive feedback about the new firmware’s performance, but we’ve also heard about a variety problems. Some of these issues are minor, others are far more problematic.

If you decide to install iOS 14.6 on your iPhone XR, it requires a fairly large download if your phone is currently running Apple’s iOS 14.5.1 firmware.

If your phone is running an older version of iOS, your iOS 14.6 upgrade will likely be larger. That’s because the features and fixes from the update(s) you skipped are baked into the firmware.

With that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone XR iOS 14.6 update.

This guide will take you through the software’s performance, the problems plaguing the device, the downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and more.

We’ll start with a quick look at its performance.

iPhone XR iOS 14.6 Review

If your iPhone XR is currently running iOS 14.5.1, the iOS 14.6 installation should take around 10 minutes to complete. If you’re moving up from older software, it could take longer.

We’ve been using iOS 14.6 on the iPhone XR for a few days now and the software is holding up well thus far. We haven’t run into any major problems.

iOS 14.6 is fast. Apps open up quickly, animations and transitions are crisp and fluid, and we haven’t noticed any real slowdown while moving around the operating system.

While some iOS 14 users have complained about lockups, reboots and crashes, we haven’t run into those problems during our time on iOS 14.6.

Connectivity is strong. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are working normally. Battery life is also solid at the moment. We haven’t seen any abnormal drain.

Our core apps which include Netflix, Chrome, Gmail, Dark Sky, Asana, and Slack, are all stable. If you’re having an issue with one of these or another app, try downloading the latest version. App developers are still rolling out iOS 14 support updates.

As of right now, we recommend iOS 14.6 to most iPhone XR users. That said, if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.5.1 or older software, you might want to wait for more long-term feedback to arrive.

If you need more help making a decision, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14.6 right now.

You Should Prepare for iOS 14.6

If you do decide to move your iPhone XR phone to iOS 14.6, make sure you prepare.

If you don’t know how to do that, we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we  use before we install new iOS software on our iPhones. If you’re new to iOS or if you just want to play it safe, it should help you along.

If you don’t have a ton of time to commit to the pre-installation process just be sure to backup all of your files before you make the move to iOS 14.6.

iPhone XR iOS 14.6 Problems & Fixes

We’ve had a good experience on iOS 14.6, but some iPhone XR users are running into bugs and performance issues.

The current list of problems includes some of the usual suspects: abnormal battery drain, crashes, connectivity issues, issues with Widgets, UI lag, Wi-Fi problems, issues with first and third-party apps, issues with Face ID, and Exchange issues. That’s just a taste.

If these problems have you feeling nervous about an upgrade to iOS 14.6, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s next batch of bug fixes.

If you’ve already moved your iPhone XR to iOS 14.6, and you’re having issues, take 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 14.5.1 Downgrade

If you move your iPhone XR to iOS 14.6, and you don’t like the performance, you can try downgrading your phone’s software.

Apple is currently signing on iOS 14.5.1 which means you can drop your iPhone XR’s software back in an attempt to improve its performance.

You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 14.5.1. This means those of you having a good experience on iOS 14.5 and below should approach iOS 14.6 with caution. Once you make the move, there’s no getting back.

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

iPhone XR iOS 14.6 Update: What’s New

The iPhone XR’s iOS 14.6 update has a batch of new features on board. The list includes support for Apple Card Family, upgrades to the Podcasts app, and enhancements for AirTag users.

iOS 14.6 also includes bug fixes and 30+ security patches to help protect your iPhone XR. If you’re interested in the details, check out our guide.

If you missed iOS 14.5.1, your iOS 14.6 update will have its changes on board.

iOS 14.5.1 fixed 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.

It also brought two important security patches to the iPhone XR. If you want to learn more about those, head on over to Apple’s security site.

If you skipped iOS 14.5, you get its changes with your upgrade. iOS 14.5 was a massive update and the biggest upgrade for iPhone since iOS 14’s arrival back in September. If you want to learn more about the changes on board the software, you’ll want to have a look at our list of the best iOS 14.5 features.

If you skipped iOS 14.4.2 you also get its security patch with your iOS 14.6 update. If you’re interested in the particulars, head over to Apple’s security website.

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

If you skipped 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. For more on iOS 14.4, check out our guide.

If you skipped 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 iOS 14.6. iOS 14.3 also had a mix of new features and enhancements. For more on those, have a peek at our walkthrough.

If you skipped 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 contents with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about what iOS 14.2 brought to the iPhone XR, here’s our guide.

If you skipped 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 in those changes, you can read more about them in our iOS 14.1 roundup.

If you’re moving up from iOS 14.0, you also get iOS 14.0.1’s fixes with your upgrade. Here’s what iOS 14.0.1 fixed:

  • Fixes an issue that could cause default browser and mail settings to reset after restarting your iPhone
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent sending email with some mail providers
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent images from appearing in the News widget

As for iOS 14, the iPhone XR gets a robust version of the new operating system. Highlights include 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’re just now catching wind of the update.

If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS 13 you’ll get the features and fixes from any updates you skipped.

We’ve also released a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features and you should check it out if you’ve fallen behind on iOS software updates.

What’s Next

Apple’s working on a new version of iOS 14 for the iPhone XR.

The company’s confirmed a new milestone upgrade and iOS 14.7 is currently in beta testing ahead of a public release later on this year.

The iOS 14.7 update should carry new features, bug fixes, and other enhancements. If you want to try the new software right now, you can do so via Apple’s beta program.

For more on iOS 14.7 and the beta, please check out our guide.

Apple’s also working on iOS 15, the next operating system for iPhone. The software is currently in beta testing ahead of an official release in the fall.

If you want to try iOS 15 on your iPhone XR right now, you can join Apple’s beta program.

For more on iOS 15 and the beta, read our guide.

iPhone XR iOS 14.6 Jailbreak

Avoid the iOS 14.6 update if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your iPhone XR.

The developers behind the Checkra1n and unC0ver jailbreaking tools have released versions compatible with newer versions of iOS 14. Unfortunately they don’t appear to work with iOS 14.6.

We’ll let you know if that changes.

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

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