Apple’s released its long-awaited iOS 14 update and the software a long list of features and under-the-hood improvements to the iPhone.
After several months of testing, iOS 14 is out of beta and ready to download. As expected it’s a huge upgrade for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the iPhone SE 2.
If your phone is currently running iOS 13.7, you get the smallest list of changes. If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS, your iOS 14 update will be more substantial because you’ll get the features and fixes from the updates you skipped in your upgrade.
Now that iOS 14 is out of beta, we want to take you through everything there is to know about Apple’s latest operating system for iPhone.
In this guide to the first version of iOS 14 we’ll take you through the update’s performance, the current list of iOS 14 problems, the best places to find feedback about bugs and performance issues, the iOS 14 jailbreak status, and more.
We’ll start with our impressions of iOS 14 update’s performance on iPhone.
iOS 14 Review
If your iPhone is currently running iOS 13.7, you’ll see a large download.
For iOS 13.7 users, the iOS 14.0 update requires a 2GB+ download. The exact download size will vary based on your device and the version of iOS 13 your iPhone is currently running.
If your iPhone is running an older version of iOS 13 you’ll likely see a larger download size because, again, your iOS 14 update includes the changes from any iOS updates you skipped.
If your phone is on iOS 13.7, the iOS 14 installation will probably take at least 10 minutes to complete. It took about 15 minutes to install on an iPhone X.
For more on the iOS 14 download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the final version of iOS 14 for a few days now and here’s what we’ve learned about its performance thus far:
- Battery life is currently stable.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
- Bluetooth is working normally.
- GPS and cellular data are stable.
- Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are running fine at the moment.
- First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are also stable right now.
- iOS 14 feels faster than iOS 13.7 did.
If your iPhone is struggling with bugs or performance issues on iOS 13.7 or an older version of iOS 13, you should think about installing iOS 14 right now.
If you need help making a decision, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 14 update. It will help you decide if upgrading is worth it.
We’re in the process of publishing our mini iOS 14 reviews for the iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE so make sure you check those for additional feedback.
- Tenth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
- Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology
- Backlit Magic Keyboard
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
iOS 14 Problems
The iOS 14 update is causing problems for some iPhone users. Some of these issues are brand new, others have carried over from iOS 13.
The current list of iOS 14 issues includes installation problems, lag, Exchange issues, problems with first and third-party apps, hotspot problems, weird battery drain, issues with Touch ID and Face ID, and various other bugs.
The company recently told CNET that it is “aware of an issue that can impact default email and browser settings in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and that a “fix will be available to users in a software update.”
If you run into an issue on iOS 14, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. We’ve also released tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance and tips to help fix bad iOS 14 battery life.
If you can’t handle the iOS 14 update’s performance, note that you no longer move your phone’s software back to iOS 13. Apple has stopped signing on iOS 13.7.
The company isn’t signing on iOS 13.6.1 or any older versions of iOS 13 and that means there’s no way back to any of those updates either.
If you really want to move your phone off iOS 14.0 you can try moving it to Apple’s beta software.
iOS 14 Update: What’s New
iOS 14 is a massive upgrade and brings a long list of new features, improvements, and security patches to the iPhone.
Here are Apple’s release notes:
- Redesigned widgets can be placed right on the Home Screen
- Small, medium and large widget sizes allow you to pick the amount of information to display
- Widget stacks make the most of your Home Screen space and the Smart Stack uses on-device intelligence to surface the right widget at the right time
- Widget gallery includes all available widgets to browse and choose from
- Redesigned Apple widgets for Weather, Clock, Calendar, News, Maps, Fitness, Photos, Reminders, Stocks, Music, TV, Tips, Notes, Shortcuts, Battery, Screen Time, Files, Podcasts, and Siri Suggestions
- The App Library automatically organizes all of your apps into categories
- The Suggestions category uses on-device intelligence to show apps you’re likely to be looking for based on factors like time of day or location
- The Recently Added category shows apps that were recently downloaded from the App Store, as well as App Clips that were recently launched
- Ability to hide Home Screen pages to get to the App Library even faster by tapping on the dots at the bottom of the screen while in jiggle mode
- Incoming Phone and FaceTime calls appear as a banner at the top of the screen
- Siri has a compact design that allows you to refer to information onscreen and seamlessly launch into your next task
- Picture in Picture enables watching a video or taking a FaceTime call while you use another app
- Pinned conversations keep up to nine of your favorite message threads at the top of the list
- Mentions let you direct a message to an individual in a group conversation
- Inline replies let you reply to a specific message and see all related messages in their own view
- Group photos can be customized for a shared group look
- 11 new hairstyles and 19 new headwear styles to customize your Memoji
- New Memoji stickers to send a fist bump, hug or blush
- Six added age options
- Face covering options
- Cycling directions provide routes along bike lanes, bike paths, and bike-friendly roads, taking into consideration elevation or how busy a street is
- Guides offer recommendations for places to eat, meet friends, or explore, curated by a selection of trusted brands
- Electric vehicle routing helps you plan trips with supported electric vehicles and automatically adds charging stops along your route
- Congestion zones help you route around or through active zones in cities like London or Paris
- Speed cameras let you know when you’re approaching speed and red-light cameras along your route
- Refine Location enables a highly accurate location and orientation when in urban areas with a poor GPS signal
- An App Clip is a small part of an app that developers can create and that is discoverable at the moment you need it, and focused on a specific task
- Small by design, App Clips are usable in a few seconds
- Discover App Clips through tapping NFC tags or scanning QR codes, from Messages, Maps, and Safari
- Recently used App Clips show up in App Library’s Recently Added category, and you can download the full version of the app if you want to keep it around
- The new Translate app is designed for conversations and can work completely offline so your conversations stay private
- A split-screen design in conversation mode has a single microphone button that automatically detects which of the selected languages is being spoken and transcribes the original and translated text on the correct sides of the screen
- Attention mode shows translations in larger text so you can capture someone’s attention
- Voice and text translations are supported for any combination of 11 languages
- A new compact design allows you to refer to information onscreen and seamlessly launch into your next task
- Expanded knowledge brings 20x more facts than three years ago
- Web answers help find answers to a broader set of questions using information from across the internet
- Audio messages can be sent with Siri on iOS and CarPlay
- Expanded language support for the new Siri voice and Siri translation
- One place where you can find everything: search for apps, contacts, files, quick information like weather and stocks, common knowledge questions about people or places, or even quickly start a web search
- Top Hit results show the most relevant information including apps, contacts, knowledge, points of interest and websites
- Quick Launcher allows you to launch an app or website by typing a few characters
- As-you-type search suggestions show more relevant results as soon as you start typing
- Web search suggestions to launch Safari and get the most relevant web results
- Start a search in apps like Mail, Messages and Files
- Suggested automations help you set up automations with just a tap
- A visual status at the top of the Home app gives you a summary of accessories that require your attention
- Dynamic suggestions of the most relevant accessories and scenes appear in Home controls in Control Center
- Adaptive Lighting automatically adjusts the color of your smart light bulbs throughout the day to maximize comfort and productivity
- Face Recognition for video cameras and doorbells uses on-device intelligence to let you know who is there based on the people you’ve tagged in your Photos app and recent visitors you identify in the Home app
- Activity Zones for video cameras and doorbells captures video or sends you a notification only when motion is detected in areas you define
- A Privacy Report shows cross-site trackers that are being blocked by Intelligent Tracking Prevention
- Password monitoring securely screens your saved passwords for any that may have been involved in a data breach
- Web page translation (beta) translates entire web pages in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Russian or Brazilian Portuguese
- Next-hour precipitation chart shows a minute-by-minute forecast of the intensity of rain or snow over the coming hour for the U.S.
- Severe weather information displays government-issued alerts about certain severe weather events including tornados, winter storms, flash floods and more, for the U.S., Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking on AirPods Pro places sounds anywhere in space, creating an immersive surround sound experience
- Automatic device switching transfers audio from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac
- Battery notifications let you know if you need to charge your AirPods
- A recording indicator is displayed whenever an app has access to the microphone or camera
- Approximate location can now be shared with an app, rather than sharing your precise location
- Limited Photos library access gives you the option to share only selected photos with an app whenever an app asks for access
- App and web developers can now offer the option for you to upgrade your existing accounts to Sign in with Apple
- Back Tap is a quick way to trigger accessibility features by tapping on the back of your iPhone
- Headphone accommodations amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies, customized for an individual’s hearing
- Sign language prominence in FaceTime detects when a participant is using sign language and makes the person prominent in a Group FaceTime call
- Sound Recognition uses on-device intelligence to detect and identify important sounds such as alarms, and alerts you to them using notifications
- VoiceOver Recognition uses on-device intelligence to recognize elements on your screen to improve VoiceOver support for app and web experiences
- Image descriptions read complete-sentence descriptions of images and photos within apps and on the web
- Text recognition speaks the text identified within images and photos
- Screen Recognition automatically detects interface controls to aid in navigating apps
This release also includes other features and improvements.
- Important details about each app are displayed in a glanceable, scrollable view, including a way to see the games your friends are playing
- Coming Soon gives you a sneak peek at upcoming Apple Arcade games and you can automatically download them as soon as they’re released
- See All Games is improved with sorting and filtering by release date, updates, category, controller support and more
- Achievements are browsable right from within the Apple Arcade tab
- Continue Playing makes it easy to resume recently played games across devices
- Game Center dashboard showcases your profile, friends, achievements, leaderboards and more, all from within your game
Apple Cash Family
- Apple Cash can be enabled for up to five family members under 18
- Send money to your child through Messages or by asking Siri
- Notifications for purchases or person to person payments as they occur
- Parental controls to limit who your children can send money to
- Option to turn off Apple Cash for family members under 18
- Shared oversight with another adult in your Family Sharing group
- Location Anchors in ARKit 4 enables apps to place AR experiences at a specific geographic coordinate
- Extended face tracking support is extended to the new iPhone SE
- Video textures in RealityKit enable apps to apply video to any part of a scene or virtual object
- Improved shot-to-shot performance speeds up the time to first shot and makes shooting photos even faster
- QuickTake video can now also be captured on iPhone XS and iPhone XR when in Photo mode
- Quick toggles in Video mode to change video resolution and frame rate from the Camera app
- Updated Night mode capture experience on iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro provides guidance to help you stay steady throughout the capture, as well as an option to cancel the shot mid-capture
- Exposure compensation control lets you lock an exposure value for an entire camera session
- Mirror front camera lets you capture selfies that match the front camera preview
- Improved QR code reading to scan codes, even if they are small or wrapped around objects
- New categories of supported apps for parking, EV charging, and quick food-ordering
- Wallpaper options
- Share ETA and send audio messages with Siri
- Horizontal status bar support for cars with portrait screens
- Chinese and Japanese keyboard support gives users an additional option to search for points of interest
- Improved video quality with up to 1080p resolution on iPhone X and later
- New eye contact feature uses machine learning to subtly adjust the position of your eyes and face to make video calling more natural even when you’re looking at the screen instead of the camera
- APFS encryption support for external drives
- Wind Down helps you create a pre-bedtime routine with apps and shortcuts, like listening to a relaxing playlist
- Custom sleep schedules help you meet your sleep goals with bedtime reminders and wakeup alarms
- Sleep mode minimizes distractions during Wind Down and Bedtime by turning on Do Not Disturb and simplifying your Lock screen
- Health Checklist helps you track and manage health and safety features in one place
- New Mobility category in the Health app, including metrics like walking speed, double support time, step length, and walking asymmetry
Keyboard and International
- On-device dictation helps protect your privacy by performing all processing completely offline. Dictation in search uses server-based dictation in order to recognize terms you may be searching for from across the Internet.
- Search within the Emoji keyboard using a word or phrase
- Keyboard displays AutoFill suggestions from Contacts for email addresses, phone numbers, and more in apps
- New dictionaries for French-German, Indonesian-English, Japanese-Simplified Chinese, and Polish‑English
- Wubi input method for Simplified Chinese
- Autocorrection support for Irish Gaelic and Norwegian Nynorsk
- Redesigned Japanese Kana keyboard with easier input for numbers
- Mail supports email addresses using non‑Latin languages
- A new Listen Now tab for playing and discovering your favorite music, artists, playlists and mixes
- Autoplay keeps music playing when you reach the end of a song or playlist by finding similar songs to play
- Search now showcases music for your favorite genres and activities, and shows helpful suggestions as you type
- Library filtering helps you find artists, albums, playlists and other items in your library even faster
- Enhanced actions menu provides easy access to locking, scanning, pinning and deleting
- Top Hits in search surfaces your most relevant search results
- Pinned Notes list can be collapsed or expanded
- Shape recognition enables drawing perfect lines, arcs and other shapes
- Enhanced scanning captures sharper scans and more precise auto-cropping
- Filter and sort your collection to more easily locate and organize your photos and videos
- Pinch and zoom to quickly find your photos and videos in more places, like Favorites and Shared Albums
- Photos and videos caption support
- Live Photos taken using iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 will autoplay with improved stabilization in Years, Months and Days View
- Memories enhancements provide a more relevant selection of photos and videos and a larger music selection for Memory movies
- Redesigned image picker in apps uses the same smart search from the Photos app to help you easily find content to share
- Listen Now is smarter and includes your personal episode queue and new episodes picked for you
- Assign reminders to people you share lists with
- New reminders can be created from the lists screen without having to enter a specific list
- Smart suggestions let you add dates, times and locations with a tap
- Personalized lists with emoji and newly added symbols
- Rearrange or hide smart lists
- Option to set your default email and web browser
- Starter Shortcuts let you get started with a built-in folder of shortcuts, tailored for you
- Shortcuts automations are suggested based on your usage patterns
- Folders let you organize your shortcuts and can be added as widgets to the Home Screen
- New compact design for running shortcuts keeps you in context while you use another app
- New Automation triggers can run shortcuts based on receiving an email or message, your battery level, closing an app and more
- Wind Down Shortcuts provide a collection of relaxing shortcuts to help you get ready for a good night’s sleep
- Folders help organize your Voice Memos recordings
- Favorites lets you mark your best recordings and quickly access them later
- Smart Folders automatically group together Apple Watch recordings, recently deleted recordings and recordings you marked as Favorites
- Enhance Recording reduces background noise and room reverberation
iOS 14 also has 11 security patches on board and you can read more about those over on Apple’s website.
iOS 14 Jailbreak
If you want to jailbreak an iPhone running iOS 14, you need an older iPhone model.
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
The team says it hopes to have support for newer models like the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in the near future. If you own a newer iPhone, and you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak, you’ll need to stay on iOS 13.
Earlier this year, the developers behind the “unc0ver” jailbreak tool for iOS released a new version that’s compatible with iOS 13.5 and most versions of iOS going all the way down to iOS 11.0. iOS 12.3-12.3.2 and iOS 12.4.2-12.4.5 are excluded. So are iOS 13.5.1, iOS 13.6, iOS 13.6.1, and iOS 13.7.
The jailbreak tool is compatible with all iOS 13-powered devices including newer iPhone models.
If your device is struggling on iOS 14, know that help is on the way.
Apple is currently working on iOS 14.2. iOS 14.2 is currently in beta and the milestone upgrade should carry new features and bug fixes for initial iOS 14 problems.
We don’t have an iOS 14.2 release date to look forward to just yet. If you can’t wait for the official release you can download the beta.
There’s a good chance we see another version of iOS 14 (iOS 14.0.1 or iOS 14.1) roll out sooner than iOS 14.2 so keep an eye out as we push deeper into the month.
Bottom line, if you’re feeling leery about the move to iOS 14.0, you might want to wait for the next version of iOS 14, and its batch of bug fixes, to arrive.
For more on iOS 14.2, take a look at our guide.
Install iOS 14.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 14.2 update right away.
iOS 14.2 includes 24 security patches that will help protect you and your device from harm. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.2 will also 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 14.2 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.
Last update on 2020-11-24. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.