Apple’s pushed its iOS 14.2 update to the iPhone XR and the software has the potential to help, or hurt, your device’s performance.
Earlier this month, Apple released its second iOS 14 milestone upgrade. Dubbed iOS 14.2, the software is a fairly large release that brings new features and fixes for some of the lingering issues plaguing the company’s new operating system.
The software could have a big impact on iPhone XR. We’ve seen a lot of positive feedback about iOS 14 and iOS 14.2, but we’ve also heard about a variety problems.
Some of these issues are minor, others are far more problematic.
If you decide to install iOS 14.2 on your iPhone XR, it requires a large download if your phone is currently running Apple’s iOS 14.1 software.
If your phone is running an older version of iOS, your iOS 14.2 upgrade could be much larger. That’s because the features and fixes from the update(s) you skipped are baked into the firmware.
With that in mind, we want to take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iPhone XR iOS 14.2 update.
This guide will take you through the software’s performance, the problems plaguing the device, the downgrade status, the iOS 14 jailbreak, and more.
We’ll start with a quick look at its performance.
iPhone XR iOS 14.2 Impressions & Performance
If your iPhone XR is currently running iOS 14.1, the iOS 14.2 installation should take less than 15 minutes to complete. If you’ll be moving up from iOS 13, you can expect it to take longer.
We’ve been using iOS 14.2 on the iPhone XR for a few days and the software is holding up really well thus far. We haven’t run into any major problems.
iOS 14.2 is fast, faster than iOS 13. Apps open up quickly, animations and transitions are crisp and fluid, and we haven’t noticed any real slowdown while moving around the operating system.
While some iOS 14 users have complained about lockups, reboots and crashes, we haven’t run into those problems during our time on iOS 14.2.
Connectivity is strong. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are working normally. Battery life is also solid at the moment. We haven’t seen any abnormal drain.
Our core apps which include Netflix, Chrome, Gmail, Dark Sky, Asana, and Slack, are all stable. If you’re having an issue with one of these or another app, try downloading the latest version. App developers are still rolling out iOS 14 support updates.
As of right now, we recommend iOS 14.2 to most iPhone XR 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 to arrive.
If you need more help making a decision, take a look at our reasons to, and not to, install iOS 14.2 right now.
You Should Prepare for iOS 14.2
If you do decide to move your iPhone XR phone to iOS 14.2, make sure you prepare.
If you don’t know how to do that, we’ve released a pre-installation guide that will take you step-by-step through the process we use before we install new iOS software on our iPhones. If you’re new to iOS or if you just want to play it safe, it should help you along.
If you don’t have a ton of time to commit to the pre-installation process just be sure to backup all of your files before you make the move to iOS 14.2.
iPhone XR iOS 14.2 Problems & Fixes
We’ve had a good experience on iOS 14.2, but some iPhone XR users are running into bugs and performance issues.
The current list of problems includes some of the usual suspects: abnormal battery drain, crashes, connectivity issues, issues with Widgets, UI lag, Wi-Fi problems, issues with first and third-party apps, issues with Face ID, and Exchange issues. That’s just a taste.
If these problems have you feeling nervous about an upgrade to iOS 14.2, you might want to hang back and wait for Apple’s next batch of bug fixes.
If you’ve already moved your iPhone XR to iOS 14.2, have a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. We’ve also released tips to improve iOS 14 battery life and a guide to fixing bad iOS 14 performance.
iOS 14.1 Downgrade Closed
If you move your iPhone XR to iOS 14.2, and you don’t like the 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 XR’s software back in an attempt to improve its performance.
You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 14.1 either. That means those of you having a good experience on older versions of iOS should approach iOS 14.2 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 XR iOS 14.2 Update: What’s New
The iPhone XR’s iOS 14.2 update includes new features and bug fixes. Here’s the full list:
- 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 in those changes, you can read more about them in our iOS 14.1 roundup.
If you’re moving up from iOS 14.0, you get iOS 14.0.1’s fixes with your upgrade. Here’s what iOS 14.0.1 fixed:
- Fixes an issue that could cause default browser and mail settings to reset after restarting your iPhone
- Fixes an issue that could prevent your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks
- Resolves an issue that could prevent sending email with some mail providers
- Addresses an issue that could prevent images from appearing in the News widget
As for iOS 14, the iPhone XR gets a robust version of the new operating system. Highlights include 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’re just now catching wind of the update.
If you’re moving up from an older version of iOS 13 you’ll get the features and fixes from any updates you skipped.
We’ve also released a guide that goes over the latest iOS 13 features and you should check it out if you’ve fallen behind on iOS software updates.
What’s Next for the iPhone XR
Apple’s confirmed an iOS 14.3 update for the iPhone XR.
iOS 14.3 is a milestone upgrade (x.x) which means it will bring new features, fixes, and important security patches to the iPhone XR.
We don’t have an iOS 14.3 release date 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 XR iOS 14 Jailbreak
Avoid iOS 14 if you’re jailbroken or want to jailbreak your iPhone XR.
The team behind the Checkra1n jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 0.12.0 which adds support for iOS 14.2 and iOS 14.1.
Unfortunately, the jailbreak tool doesn’t support newer iPhone models like the iPhone XR. If you want to jailbreak your iPhone XR, you need to stay put on iOS 13.
For more on the iOS 13 jailbreak, head here.
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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