Apple’s confirmed an iOS 14.4 update and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of an official release for iPhone.
iOS 14.4 is a milestone release which means it will bring a mix of new features and under-the-hood improvements to the iPhone. It’s an exciting update and one that many iPhone users should have their eye on as we push into the new year.
The company’s pushed iOS 14.4 into beta testing for developers and those enrolled in the company’s public Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and Apple ID.
If your phone is struggling on iOS 14.3, iOS 14.2.1 (iPhone 12 series only), iOS 14.2, iOS 14.1, iOS 14.0.1, iOS 14.0 or iOS 13, and you can’t wait for the official release, you might want to move your iPhone to the iOS 14.4 beta.
iOS 14.4 Release Date
Apple hasn’t confirmed the iOS 14.4 release date. That said, we expect an official iOS 14.4 release now that Apple’s pushed the Release Candidate (aka the final beta) to beta testers.
With the iOS 14.4 release date firmly on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about its arrival. In this guide we’ll outline some tips and tricks that will come in handy as we close in on the next major iOS 14 update for iPhone.
Prepare for the iOS 14.4 Release Date
With the iOS 14.4 release imminent, some of you might want to start doing some prep work to make the installation as painless as possible.
iOS 14.4 will probably require a significant chunk of space on your iPhone’s internal storage. Milestone upgrades typically do.
If you don’t have enough storage available on your iPhone, iOS will temporarily remove downloadable parts of applications installed on your phone. Sometimes this isn’t enough and you will then be forced to manually delete files.
If you’re getting low on storage, use this time to do some cleanup. Go into your iPhone’s storage and delete files (things like photos, apps, etc) you no longer need. This will help make room for iOS 14.4 and there’s a chance it improves your iPhone’s overall performance.
You should also start backing up the data you store on your iPhone. Data loss issues are rare, but there’s always a chance something goes wrong during the transition.
iOS 14.4 could log you out of your apps and services. We recommend having your Apple ID/iCloud/third-party app login information handy just in case.
Get Familiar with iOS 14.4 and Older iOS Updates
You should get familiar with the changes coming your way in iOS 14.4. If you do this ahead of time you won’t be caught off guard.
We’ve released a guide that will walk you through the known changes on board the iOS 14.4 update. It’s a great starting point if you haven’t been following along.
If you’re still hanging around on an older version of iOS and you don’t have plans to upgrade to the latest version of iOS 14, make sure you get familiar with newer versions of iOS. The changes from the iOS updates you skipped will be baked into your iOS 14.4 upgrade.
If you own an iPhone 12 and you’re running older software, you’ll also get the changes from iOS 14.2.1.
Most People Should Avoid the iOS 14.4 Beta
Installing the iOS 14.4 beta on your iPhone might be tempting, but most people should avoid the beta and wait for the official release.
The iOS 14.4 beta will help Apple tackle bugs and performance issues before they become major headaches for millions of iPhone users.
It’s fun to try out new features before they’re released to the general public. That said, iOS beta software can bring lots of trouble your way.
The iOS 14.4 beta is causing problems for some testers and you could run into some of the very same issues if you decide to install it on your phone.
If you rely on your device to get through a day of school or work, you’ll want to stay put on whatever version of iOS you’re currently running.
Monitor Feedback from the iOS 14.4 Beta
If you skip the iOS 14.4 beta, make sure you monitor feedback from beta testers as we push toward the official release.
Monitoring feedback will alert you to potential iOS 14.4 problems and it will also reveal the potential benefits of the software. More importantly, it might help you decide if you want to install iOS 14.4 right away or wait.
We’ll see iOS 14.4 feedback emerge on sites like YouTube, Twitter, and the MacRumors forums. Check those sites if you’re curious about the software’s performance.
iOS 14.4 Release Time
If you’ve owned an iPhone for awhile you already know this, but for those of you who are new to the iPhone and iOS, here’s your PSA.
Apple almost always rolls its iOS software updates out in and around 10AM Pacific. That will likely be the case for the final version of iOS 14.4.
We sometimes see iOS updates roll out 5-10 minutes after 10AM so there’s no need to panic if the software doesn’t popup right away.
Here’s what that looks like for other time zones in the United States:
- Eastern – 1 PM
- Central – 12 PM
- Mountain – 11AM
Keep this in mind if you plan to install new iOS 14.4 betas or the final version of iOS 14.4 right away.
iOS 14.4 Download Size
We don’t know how big the iOS 14.4 download will be but again, you can expect it to require quite a bit of free space.
You can expect long download times, especially right after Apple pushes the software live, but the installation process will probably take longer.
Once you pull the iOS 14.4 update from Apple’s servers, you might notice a prompt asking you to “Install” the software right now or “Later.” While most of you will probably want to install the software right away, others might benefit from scheduling the installation.
If you do decide to schedule it, you can choose to install it while you’re sleeping or you can have your device remind you to install it at a later date when you’ve got free time to deal with the installation.
If you do decide to install the iOS 14.4 update overnight, you’ll have to plug your iPhone into a power source.
Prepare for iOS 14.4 Problems
iOS 14.4 has gone through an extensive beta process, but the final version won’t be perfect. Issues will slip through the cracks into the final release.
Common iOS problems include abnormal battery drain, Bluetooth issues, Wi-Fi problems, app instability, UI lag, crashes, and Exchange issues. These problems appear after every single iOS release and there’s a good chance we’ll see them all popup within hours of the iOS 14.4 update’s release.
It’ll be difficult to predict what kind of performance you’ll get once you move your iPhone to iOS 14.4 so you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to tackle any issues you encounter on day one and beyond.
We’ve released a list of fixes for common iOS 14 problems. If you don’t consider yourself an iOS expert, you’ll want to bookmark those fixes.
You should also be familiar with Apple’s Discussion forums.
Be Ready to Downgrade
If you run into into issues with iOS 14.4 you will be able to downgrade back to an older version of iOS 14 for a limited time.
If you aren’t familiar with the iOS downgrade process, now is a great time to familiarize yourself with it.
Once Apple releases iOS 14.4, the downgrade path back to older software will only be open for a short time. That’s why we recommend getting comfortable with it ahead of time.
Keep Your Apps Updated
If you want the best experience on iOS 14.4, make sure you keep your apps updated.
As we push toward the software’s release, keep an eye out for iOS 14 support updates. These updates should help to stabilize performance and help your device make a smooth transition to new software.
Before you download an app update, make sure you read reviews from users. These reviews will alert you to potential benefits and problems with the latest version.
Take Your Time with iOS 14.4
iOS 14.4 is an exciting upgrade and some of you might be tempted to install it the second it arrives.
For some of you, particularly those dealing with iOS 14 problems, this might be your best course of action. That said, some of you will be better off waiting a few hours, a few days or, in some cases, a few weeks before installing iOS 14.4.
There are plenty of reasons to skip a new iOS software update on day one. For one, iOS updates can wreak havoc on your device’s performance.
If you’re feeling leery, dig into early feedback from early adopters. If you’re still undecided, think about waiting.
Avoid the iOS 14.4 Beta If You’re Jailbroken
If you want to keep your jailbreak you’ll want to avoid the iOS 14.4 beta and the final version of iOS 14.4.
Jailbreak developers have jailbroken recent versions of iOS 14, but support is limited to older iPhone models.
So for now if you own a newer iPhone model and you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak, you’ll need to stay on iOS 13.
Install iOS 14.3 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.3 right away.
Apple's outlined nine new security patches on board iOS 14.3. These patches will help protect your device from harm.
iOS 14.3 also includes 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 14.3 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 14.3 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.
If you skipped iOS 13.7 or any older versions of iOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 14.3 update.
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.
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