Apple releases new iOS 14.8 update with security fixes

The news: Apple just dropped what will likely be the final major, update to iOS 14, iOS 14.8.

  • According to the release notes, “This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users”
  • No other changes or features are mentioned, causing confusion for why this is named as a more major a 14.x update

Our take: Looks like Apple has outlined the security updates here. Seems like a good idea to update when you can.

New evidence shows Apple working on iOS 14.8 update

The leak: New evidence suggests that Apple isn’t quite done with iOS 14 just yet, as shared by developer Brendan Shanks.

Our take: This is odd that Apple would be working on a major 14.x update so close to the release of iOS 15.0, but it makes sense considering Apple’s new update strategy (which is great for enterprise customers, by the way).

iOS/iPadOS 14.7.1 released with bug fixes

The news: Apple just released a minor follow up to iOS 14.7 that addresses some of the bugs found in the update.

What’s new?

iOS 14.7.1 fixes an issue where iPhone models with Touch ID cannot unlock a paired Apple Watch using the Unlock with iPhone feature. This update also provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

Apple releases iOS 14.7, watchOS 7.6 & tvOS 14.7 with minor changes

The news: Apple just dropped a slew of new software updates for iOS, watchOS and tvOS with a handful of new features.

  • iOS 14.7:
    • MagSafe Battery Pack support for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
    • Apple Card Family adds the option to combine credit limits and share one co-owned account with an existing Apple Card user
    • Home app adds the ability to manage timers on HomePod
    • Air quality information is now available in Weather and Maps for Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain
    • Podcasts library allows you to choose to see all shows or only followed shows
    • Bug fixes include:
      • Share playlist menu option missing in Apple Music
      • Dolby Atmos and Apple Music lossless audio playback may unexpectedly stop
      • Battery service message that may have disappeared after reboot on some iPhone 11 models is restored
  • watchOS 7.6: ECG support for 30 additional countries
  • tvOS 14.7: no known changes

Latest iOS 14.7 beta fixes strange WiFi disable bug

The news: Apple has fixed a somewhat serious bug that would completely disable networking capabilities on your iOS device, as spotted first by YouTuber Aaron Zollo.

  • A recently discovered bug showed that connecting to a WiFi network with the name “%p%s%s%s%s%n” could permanently disable network connectivity…until you went into settings and reset all network settings
  • The latest beta version of iOS 14.7, iOS 14.7 beta 5, appears to fix this bug (video below)

Our take: Surprised it took Apple this long to correct the issue, which was relatively serious, but glad to see this ship alongside iOS 14.7. No idea when that update is coming, though, as it has been in beta testing for some time now…

iOS 14.6 update released, what’s new?

The news: Apple just released iOS 14.6 with a handful of new features and changes after a brief time in testing.

Changelog

Apple Card Family

  • Apple Card can be shared with up to five people, including anyone 13 years or older in your Family Sharing group
  • Apple Card Family adds support for families to track expenses, manage spending with optional limits and controls, and build credit together

Podcasts

  • Subscription support for channels and individual shows

AirTag and Find My

  • Lost mode option to add an email address instead of a phone number for AirTag and Find My network accessories
  • AirTag will show the partially masked phone number of the owner when tapped with an NFC-capable device

Accessibility

  • Voice Control users can unlock their iPhone for the first time after a restart using only their voice

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Unlock with Apple Watch may not work after using Lock iPhone on Apple Watch
  • Reminders may appear as blank lines
  • Call blocking extensions may not appear in Settings
  • Bluetooth devices could sometimes disconnect or send audio to a different device during an active call
  • iPhone may experience reduced performance during startup

Apple announces new accessibility features coming in future software updates

The news: To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple has announced a slew of new accessibility features said to be rolling out in future software updates later this year.

  • AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch: “Using built-in motion sensors like the gyroscope and accelerometer, along with the optical heart rate sensor and on-device machine learning, Apple Watch can detect subtle differences in muscle movement and tendon activity, which lets users navigate a cursor on the display through a series of hand gestures, like a pinch or a clench.”
  • Eye-Tracking Support for iPad allows you to use third-party eye-tracking devices to control your device
  • Explore Images with VoiceOver: “Users can now explore even more details about the people, text, table data, and other objects within images. Users can navigate a photo of a receipt like a table: by row and column, complete with table headers.”
  • Made for iPhone Hearing Aids and Audiogram Support: “In a significant update to the MFi hearing devices program, Apple is adding support for new bi-directional hearing aids…Apple is also bringing support for recognizing audiograms — charts that show the results of a hearing test — to Headphone Accommodations.”
  • New Background Sounds “help minimize distractions and help users focus, stay calm, or rest. Balanced, bright, or dark noise, as well as ocean, rain, or stream sounds continuously play in the background to mask unwanted environmental or external noise…”
  • Other features coming: Sound Actions for Switch Control (replaces physical buttons and switches with mouth sounds), per-app display and text size settings and new Memoji customizations (oxygen tubes, cochlear implants and a soft helmet)

Our take: This is a pretty sweeping set of announcements, but I’m most impressed by AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch. That looks like a monumental step forward for individuals who are motion impaired and could be a game-changer. Plus, eye-tracking on iPad? I never thought we’d see something like that.

iOS 14.6 Release Candidate version out now for developers

The news: Apple has released the final version of iOS 14.6 to developers ahead of a launch happening sometime soon.

  • Apple Card Family and podcasts subscriptions are included in the update
  • iOS 14.6 is also required for the new Apple Music features launching in June

Full changelog

Apple Card Family

  • Apple Card can be shared with up to five people, including anyone 13 years or older in your Family Sharing group
  • Apple Card Family adds support for families to track expenses, manage spending with optional limits and controls, and build credit together

Podcasts

  • Subscription support for channels and individual shows

AirTag and Find My

  • Lost mode option to add an email address instead of a phone number for AirTag and Find My network accessories
  • AirTag will show the partially masked phone number of the owner when tapped with an NFC-capable device

Accessibility

  • Voice Control users can unlock their iPhone for the first time after a restart using only their voice

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Unlock with Apple Watch may not work after using Lock iPhone on Apple Watch
  • Reminders may appear as blank lines
  • Call blocking extensions may not appear in Settings
  • Bluetooth devices could sometimes disconnect or send audio to a different device during an active call
  • iPhone may experience reduced performance during startup

iOS/iPadOS 14.6 beta 3 released to developers

The news: The third beta of iOS 14.6 has been released to developers.

  • Code in iOS 14.6 has indicated that Apple is working on a HiFi version of Apple Music and preliminarily supports Apple Card Family
  • 9to5Mac discovered that iOS 14.6 beta 3 now allows you to use an email Adress instead of phone number for AirTag recovery

Our take: Considering there is almost 0 forward-facing changes so far in iOS 14.6, it definitely feels like Apple is holding a lot back for a larger release in the future (e.g. Apple Music HiFi hidden until publicly announced).

iOS 14.5.1 update released with App Tracking Transparency fixes

The news: Apple just released the first bug-fix update to iOS 14.5 after its major launch last week.

  • “This update fixes 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. This update also provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.” Apple says
  • Many users, including myself, reported issues with ATT not working as expected

Major iOS 14.5 update released with ‘Mask ID,’ new emoji, app tracking transparency and more

The news: The biggest update to iOS 14 since launch last September has just been released with a slew of new features.

  • ‘Mask ID’ allows owners of an Apple Watch to unlock their iPhone using Face ID…even with a mask on
  • New emoji include updated headphones, vaccine shot, head in the clouds and more
  • App tracking transparency allows you to consent to being tracked by apps like Facebook
  • Siri’s voice has been seriously upgraded
  • Developing…