Apple’s released the iOS 14.2 update and the software could have a tremendous impact on your iPhone 7’s performance.
After a year on iOS 13, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have made the move to iOS 14. As expected, iOS 14 is a huge upgrade for both models.
Slowly but surely, Apple’s refining the software. In late September it pushed out its first iOS 14 bug fix update (dubbed iOS 14.0.1). In October it pushed the first iOS 14 milestone upgrade (iOS 14.1) to iPhone users. And now, it has pushed another milestone upgrade, dubbed iOS 14.2.
iOS 14.2 is even bigger than iOS 14.1 and it brings new features, security patches, and important bug fixes to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have made the jump up to iOS 14.2 and we’ve seen a lot of positive feedback as we push away from the firmware’s release.
On the flip side we’ve also heard about problems with the software and some iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus users have encountered bugs and performance issues.
If you make the decision to download iOS 14.2, note that it requires a large download. That said, if you’re running an older version of iOS, your iOS 14.2 upgrade could be even bigger because the features and fixes from the iOS updates you skipped are baked in.
With that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone 7’s iOS 14.2 update.
Our walkthrough will guide you through the software’s initial problems, the downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and the iPhone 7 iOS 14.2 update’s performance.
We’ll start with the software’s performance.
iPhone 7 iOS 14.2 Impressions & Performance
We’ve been testing the iOS 14.2 update on an iPhone 7 for several days now and we’ve come away pretty impressed with the software’s performance.
While some iPhone 7 users have noticed bugs and performance issues, iOS 14.2 is currently performing at a high level on our device.
The software feels extremely snappy, noticeably faster than iOS 13. Apps open faster and the software’s animations and transitions are crisp.
We haven’t noticed any slowdown in problem areas like Notification Center, Control Center, or the keyboard. There are areas where we’ve seen sluggish performance in the past.
Battery life is very strong at the moment and we haven’t noticed any issues with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. All of these connections are strong.
Our core apps, a list that includes apps like Netflix, Chrome, Gmail, Dark Sky, Asana, and Slack, are all stable. We haven’t noticed any hiccups yet.
App developers are currently rolling out iOS 14 support updates so if you’re having issues with your apps, make sure your device is running the latest version.
Overall, iOS 14.2 is treating our iPhone 7 well. We haven’t stumbled upon any massive bugs or catastrophic performance issues in the days since its arrival.
As of right now we’re recommending iOS 14.2 to most users. That said, if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.1, iOS 14.0.1, iOS 14.0, or iOS 13, you might want to wait for more longterm feedback.
If you need more help making a decision, have a look at our reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14.2 right now.
How to Prepare for iOS 14.2
If you’re planning to make a move to iOS 14.2, make sure you prepare for the upgrade.
While some of you might see a performance boost after upgrading, many others will run into trouble. This is why it’s important to prepare yourself, and your device, for the transition.
To assist you we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we typically use before we install new iOS software on our phones. If you’re new to iOS or you just want to play it safe, it could help.
If you don’t have a ton of time to devote to the pre-installation process you’ll at the very least want to make sure your files are backed up before you tap download.
iPhone 7 iOS 14.2 Problems & Fixes
We’re having a great experience on iOS 14.2, some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users are running into problems.
The current list includes abnormal battery drain, connectivity issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, issues with Touch ID, Exchange issues, and many more.
If these problems have you feeling leery about an upgrade to iOS 14.2, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s next batch of bug fixes.
If your device is already running iOS 14.2, and you’re dealing with issues, have a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. It’s a great place to start.
iOS 14.1 Downgrade Closed
If you move your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus to iOS 14.2, and you hate its performance, you no longer have the ability to downgrade your phone’s software.
Apple has stopped signing on iOS 14.1 which means you can’t drop your iPhone 7’s software back to previous version of iOS 14 in an effort to improve its performance.
The company isn’t signing on older versions of iOS either. So if you’re having a good experience on older firmware, approach the iOS 14.2 update with caution. Once you make the move, there’s no going back.
If you’re unfamiliar with the downgrade process, take a look at our guide.
iPhone 7 iOS 14.2 Update: What’s New
The iPhone 7’s iOS 14.2 update contains a mix of new features, under-the-hood improvements, and security patches. Here’s the full change log:
- Over 100 new emoji, including animals, food, faces, household objects, musical instruments, gender-inclusive emoji, and more.
- Eight new wallpapers in both light and dark mode versions.
- Optimized battery charging for AirPods to slow the rate of battery aging by reducing the time your AirPods spends fully charged.
- Headphone audio level notifications to alert you when audio level could impact your hearing.
- New AirPlay controls to stream entertainment throughout your home.
- Intercom support with HomePod and HomePod mini using iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay.
- Ability to connect HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio.
- Option to provide statistics about Exposure Notifications, without identifying you, to participating Public Health Authorities.
- Addresses an issue where apps could be out of order on the Home Screen dock.
- Addresses an issue where the Camera viewfinder may appear black when launched.
- Addresses an issues where the keyboard on the Lock Screen could miss touches when trying to enter the passcode.
- Addresses an issue where Reminders could default to times in the past.
- Addresses an issue where the Photos widget may not display content.
- Addresses an issues where the Weather widget could display the high temperature in Celsius when set to Fahrenheit.
- Addresses an issue where the next-hour precipitation chart description in Weather could incorrectly indicate when precipitation stops.
- Addresses an issue where Voice Memos recordings are interrupted by incoming calls.
- Addresses an issue where the screen could be black during Netflix video playback.
- Addresses an issue where Apple Cash could fail to send or receive money when asked via Siri.
- Addresses an issue where the Apple Watch app may unexpectedly close when opened.
- Addresses an issue where workout GPS routes or Health data are prevented from syncing between Apple Watch and iPhone for some users.
- Addresses an issue where audio is incorrectly labeled as “Not Playing” in the CarPlay Dashboard.
- Addresses an issue where devices could be prevented from charging wirelessly.
- Addresses an issue where Exposure Notifications is disabled when restoring iPhone from iCloud Backup or transferring data to a new iPhone using iPhone Migration.
iOS 14.2 also includes 24 security updates and you can read about those on Apple’s security page.
If you skipped iOS 14.1, you get its changes with your upgrade. If you’re interested, you can read more about iOS 14.1’s bug fixes in our roundup.
If you missed iOS 14.0.1, you get its bug fixes with your version of iOS 14.2. Here’s what iOS 14.0.1 fixed:
- Fixed an issue that could cause default browser and mail settings to reset after restarting your iPhone
- Addressed an issue that could prevent camera previews from displaying on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- Fixed an issue that could prevent your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks
- Resolved an issue that could prevent sending email with some mail providers
- Addressed an issue that could prevent images from appearing in the News widget
As for iOS 14 itself, the iPhone 7’s version of the operating is robust. The devices miss out on a few features, but all of iOS 14’s key components are on board.
iOS 14 includes 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 haven’t been following along.
If you’re moving to iOS 14.2 from an older version of iOS 13 you’ll, again, get the features and fixes from any updates you skipped. We also have a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features and you should check it out if you’re playing catchup.
What’s Next for the iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus
Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 14.3 update for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
iOS 14.3 is another milestone upgrade (x.x) which means it will bring new features, fixes, and important security patches to these phones.
We don’t have an iOS 14.3 release date on the calendar yet, but there’s a good chance Apple rolls it out sometime in December. If you can’t wait, join one of Apple’s beta programs.
For more on iOS 14.3, take a look at our guide.
iPhone 7 iOS 14 Jailbreak
You can safely upgrade to iOS 14.2 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your phone.
The developer team behind the Checkra1n jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 0.12.0 which adds support for iOS 14.1 and iOS 14.2.
The latest version of the tool now works with A10/A10X devices on iOS 14.x . There’s also limited support for A11-powered devices on iOS 14.x. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both utilize Apple’s A10 chip.
For more on the jailbreak, check out Checkra1n’s website.
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.
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