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Home / Tips and Tricks / Apple Releases iOS 14.4 for iPhone, With New Apple Watch Face & Camera, Bluetooth & Privacy Updates «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

Apple Releases iOS 14.4 for iPhone, With New Apple Watch Face & Camera, Bluetooth & Privacy Updates «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Brace yourself, iPhone users, because it’s time for updates! Apple has just released its latest iPhone OS to the public, iOS 14.4. This new edition isn’t the company’s most groundbreaking, but it doesn’t fall short either – you’ll find support for smaller QR codes in Camera, a new ‘Device Type’ setting in Bluetooth, support for a new Apple Watch face, and a important privacy feature, among other new changes.

Scanning QR codes is self-explanatory – you can now scan smaller QR codes with the Camera app. Easy enough! Device type is a cool feature to dive into, though ̵

1; it lets you assign your Bluetooth technology a specific label in iOS. Let’s say you connect your iPhone to your car’s Bluetooth. With Device Type, iOS knows that this device is not a headphone, nor will it send you audio alerts for sounds that are much louder than the system would expect for headphones.

As for this privacy feature, Apple finally activates the “Allow apps to track requests” switch in Settings. You could see this switch in 14.3, but it wouldn’t do anything. Now the option allows you to approve or deny an app’s request to track your activity with other apps and sites. For more information, see our full guide to the feature.

This latest update also fixes three security vulnerabilities affecting all iPhones and iPads running iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 respectively. The vulnerability in the kernel allows a malicious app to elevate privileges, and the vulnerability in WebKit allows a third-party attacker to execute it of arbitrary code.

Two other features in 14.4 relate to Apple’s audio devices. HomePod and HomePod mini now support sharing songs at shorter distances. Previously, you had to place your U1-compatible iPhone right next to your HomePod to transfer playback, but now you can do this from a little further away. You will also see a cool popup window appear on your iPhone when you do that. AirPods Max now also have “Hey Siri” support.

This update also supports Apple’s new “Unity” Apple Watch watch face, which features a red, green, and black color scheme as part of the company’s celebration of black history. This watch face requires watchOS 7.3, which Apple also released today.

Now, iOS 14.4 didn’t just come out of the blue. We followed 14.4 through the short beta testing process, including three beta updates and one RC (release candidate). The RC is usually identical to the software that makes it for the general public – however, Apple is more likely to sow it to beta testers to make sure there are no last-minute issues to address. It’s easier to track a problem on a small number of iPhones than it is to deal with the entire iOS community.

Release notes for iOS 14.4

iOS 14.4 includes the following improvements for your iPhone:

  • Smaller QR codes can be recognized by Camera
  • Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for proper identification of headphones for audio notification
  • Notifications for when the camera on your iPhone cannot be verified as a new original Apple camera in iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

This release also addresses the following issues:

  • Image artifacts may appear in HDR photos taken with the iPhone 12 Pro
  • Fitness widget may not display updated activity data
  • Typing may be delayed and word suggestions may not appear on the keyboard
  • The keyboard may not be displayed in the correct language in Messages
  • Audio stories from the News app in CarPlay may not resume after paused for spoken instructions or Siri
  • If you turn on Switch Control in Accessibility, phone calls may not be answered from the lock screen

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

How to get the latest version of iOS on your iPhone

To use iOS 14.4, you need an iPhone that is compatible with iOS 14. This includes the following:

  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone XS. Max, iPhone XS.
  • iPhone 11, iPhone XR.
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 7
  • iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6S.
  • iPhone 6S. Plus
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

With your compatible iPhone in hand, open Settings -> General -> Software Updates. Here you should see iOS 14.4 appear. Now follow the on-screen instructions to start downloading and installing the new software. Note: if you have installed the 14.4 RC on your iPhone, you will not see an update as this update and the RC are the same.

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Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

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