iOS 14 is the fourteenth major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. for their iPhone and iPod Touch lines. Announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 22, 2020 as the successor to iOS 13, it was released to the public on September 16, 2020.[4][5] It was succeeded by iOS 15 on September 20, 2021.

iOS 14
A version of the iOS operating system
IOS 14 logo.svg
iOS 14 home screen showing the Battery, Weather and News widgets placed among the app icons
iOS 14 home screen showing the Battery, Weather and News widgets
DeveloperApple Inc.
Source modelClosed, with open-source components
General
availability
September 16, 2020; 20 months ago (2020-09-16)[1]
Latest release14.8.1[2] (October 26, 2021; 6 months ago (2021-10-26)) [±]
Update methodSoftware Update
Package managerApp Store
Platforms
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
Default
user interface
Cocoa Touch (multi-touch, GUI)
LicenseProprietary software with open-source components
Preceded byiOS 13
Succeeded byiOS 15
Official websiteiOS 14 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 13, 2021)
Support status
No longer getting security updates,[3] because phones that support iOS 14 support 15 as well. Third party app support.
Articles in the series
iPadOS 14 (derived from iOS 14)

HistoryEdit

UpdatesEdit

The first developer beta of iOS 14 was released on June 22, 2020 and the first public beta was released on July 9, 2020.[6]The final beta, iOS 14 beta 8, was released on September 9, 2020. iOS 14 was officially released on September 16, 2020.[4] There was no public beta testing of 14.1.

Version Build Release date Notes Update Type
14.0 18A373 September 16, 2020
  • Introduces widgets which can be placed on the home screen, of varying sizes
  • Introduces App Library, which automatically organizes apps into categories, and allows apps to not be put on the home screen by default
  • Incoming Phone and FaceTime calls now appear as a banner on the top of the screen
  • Picture-in-Picture allows watching a video or taking a FaceTime call while using another app
  • Up to 9 Messages conversations can now be pinned
  • New Memoji options for hairstyles, headwear styles, age, face coverings, and stickers
  • A recording indicator is displayed in the status bar whenever an app is using the camera or microphone
  • Limited Photos library allows apps to only access select photos instead of all photos
  • Improved QR code reading to better recognize small or warped ones
  • Improved video quality with up to 1080p on iPhone X and later
  • External drives can now be encrypted with APFS
  • A new Listen Now tab has been added to Music to show your favorite albums, artists, and songs
  • Autoplay finds similar songs for you
  • Notes can now be pinned
  • The default mail and web browser apps can now be changed
  • Fixed a bug that allowed local users to recover deleted messages
  • Fixes a bug that prevented Screen Time screen lock from engaging
  • Fixes a bug that allowed Safari address bar spoofing after visiting a malicious website
Initial Release
14.0.1 18A393 September 24, 2020
  • Fixes a bug that caused default mail and web browser apps to reset to Mail and Safari after a restart[7]
  • Fixes a bug that prevented camera previews from displaying on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
  • Addresses a problem that caused Wi-Fi connection requests to fail
  • Fixes a bug that caused images to appear in the News widget
Bug Fixes
14.1 18A8395 October 20, 2020 Initial release for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Adds support for 10-bit HDR video editing and playback in Photos for iPhone 8 and later
  • Fixes problems where widgets, folders, and icons were rendering in a smaller size on the Home Screen
  • Fixes an issue that prevented zeroes from appearing in Calculator
  • Fixes a bug where incoming calls did not show region information
Feature Update
14.2 18B92 November 5, 2020
  • Adds over 100 new emojis
  • Adds 8 new wallpapers, in both light and dark mode versions
  • On iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Magnifier can detect nearby people and report their distance using the LiDAR sensor
  • Adds support for the iPhone 12 Leather Sleeve
  • Adds a Shazam toggle in Control Center for music recognition
  • Introduces new AirPlay controls
  • Adds support for AirPods Pro optimized battery charging
  • Fixes problem where apps may appear out of order on the Home Screen dock
  • Fixes bug where the Lock Screen passcode keypad may fail to recognize touches
  • Fixes bug where the Weather widget displayed high temperature in Celsius when set to Fahrenheit
  • Fixes bug where audio was incorrectly reported as Not Playing on the CarPlay dashboard
  • Fixes bug where the Apple Watch app unexpectedly closed when opened
  • Fixes a bug where a user was able to answer two phone calls simultaneously without having any indication of doing so
Feature Update
18B111 November 18, 2020 Bugfix release for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models only[8] Bug Fixes
14.2.1 18B121 November 19, 2020 Only for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Fixes a bug where MMS messages were not received[9]
  • Fixes a bug where "Made for iPhone" hearing devices had sound quality issues when listening to audio from iPhone
  • Addresses an issue where the Lock Screen may be unresponsive on iPhone 12 mini
Bug Fixes
14.3 18C66 December 14, 2020
  • Introduces Apple Fitness+ support
  • Adds AirPods Max support
  • Adds Apple ProRAW image capture support on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Allows recording in PAL formats for video recording
  • Adds Privacy information in the App Store that includes a developer-reported summary of the app's privacy practices
  • Remakes the Apple TV+ tab in the TV app which makes it easier to navigate Apple TV+
  • Adds the ability to report air quality data in Weather for the China mainland, recommendations are added in the US, UK, Germany, India, and Mexico, at certain air quality levels
  • Fixes a bug that prevented some MMS messages from being received
  • Fixes a bug that caused Messages notifications to fail to deliver
  • Fixes an issue where app folders may fail to open
  • Fixes an issue where Bluetooth may be unavailable in Settings
  • Addresses an issue where MagSafe Duo may charge your iPhone at less than the maximum power, on iPHone 8 and newer
  • Fixes a bug where a user may be unable to fully delete browsing history
Feature Update
14.4 18D52 January 26, 2021
  • Adds support for even smaller QR codes in the Camera app
  • Adds the ability to classify Bluetooth devices as certain types
  • For iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Settings app will now report if a camera module installed in iPhone is not genuine
  • Fixes a bug where image artifacts may appear in HDR photos taken with the iPhone 12 Pro
Feature Update
14.4.1 18D61 March 8, 2021
  • Fixes a bug where processing maliciously crafted web content leads to arbitrary code execution
Bug Fixes
14.4.2 18D70 March 26, 2021
  • Fixes a bug where processing of maliciously crafted web content may lead to universal cross-site scripting. Apple notes that they are aware that this has been actively exploited.
Bug Fixes
14.5 18E199 April 26, 2021
  • Adds support to unlock iPhone X and later with Apple Watch Series 3 and later with Face ID while wearing a face mask
  • Adds support for AirTags, which appear in the Find My app
  • Precision finding uses the U1 chip included on iPhone 11 and 12 models to direct iPhone users directly to their AirTags
  • AirTags may be located by playing a sound
  • Adds support for App Tracking Transparency, which allows control of which apps are allowed to track activity and share it with other apps and websites
  • UI tweaks for the Podcasts app
  • Adds support for 5G on dual SIM-equipped iPhone 12 models
  • Adds support for 5G international roaming
  • Support for using an Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5 controller
  • Fixes a bug where Messages can repeatedly fail to send texts in some threads
  • Battery health reporting systems recalibrate maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability on iPhone 11 models to fix inaccurate estimates of battery health
  • AirPods Automatic Switching may rout audio to the incorrect device
  • Fixes bug that allows local attackers to access Notes from the Lock Screen
  • Fixes bug that allows application to ignore Privacy preferences
  • Fixes a bug where legacy cellular networks can automatically answer pending incoming calls if an ongoing one ends or drops
  • Fixes a bug that caused a user's password to appear onscreen
Feature Update
14.5.1 18E212 May 3, 2021[10]
  • Fixes a bug where apps where Allow Apps to Request to Track had been denied, once reenabled, prompts to allow apps to track were not shown
  • Fixes bugs where processing of maliciously created web content may lead to arbitrary code execution
Bug Fixes
14.6 18F72 May 24, 2021[11]
  • Adds support for Apple Card Family, allowing an Apple Card to be shared with up to 5 people 13 years or older within a Family Sharing group. This also allows members' spending to be tracked, with limits and controls.
  • Podcasts subscriptions are now available
  • Users can unlock their phone using Voice Control after a restart without requiring a passcode
  • Fixes a bug that caused Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch to fail to function after using Lock iPhone with Apple Watch
  • Fixes bug that caused Reminders to appear as blank lines
  • Fixes bug that caused Bluetooth devices to disconnect and/or send audio to a different device during a phone call
  • Lost Mode now has the ability to list an email instead of a phone number for AirTags and Find My accessories
  • AirTags will show part of the owner's phone number if tapped with an NFC-capable device
  • Fixes a bug that caused devices to be activated incorrectly
Feature Update
14.7 18G69 July 19, 2021
  • Adds support for MagSafe Battery Packs for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Adds Air Quality Index information in the Weather app to Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea and Spain
  • The Home app can now manage timers on HomePod
  • Re-adds the Share Playlist menu option into Apple Music
  • Fixes bug where Dolby Atmos and Apple Music lossless audio playback may unexpectedly stop
  • Fixes bug where Braille displays may show invalid information if composing a Mail message
  • Restores missing Battery Service notices on iPhone 11
  • Podcasts library now allows for only listing followed shows
  • Fixes a bug where a shortcut may be able to bypass Internet permissions
Feature Update
14.7.1 18G82 July 26, 2021
  • Fixes a bug where iPhones equipped with Touch ID failed to unlock a paired Apple Watch using the Unlock Watch with iPhone feature
  • Fixes a bug where an application can execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
Bug Fixes
14.8 18H17 September 13, 2021
  • Fixes a bug where baseband failed to enable integrity and ciphering protection
  • Fixes the FORCEDENTRY bug, a zero-click exploit that was used by the NSO Group to deploy Pegasus spyware
Bug Fixes
14.8.1 18H107[12] October 26, 2021 Available only for devices which did not update to iOS 15,[13] requires between iOS 14.5.1 and 14.8 to install without workarounds
  • Fixes a bug that allowed local attackers to view restricted content from the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an IO Mobile FrameBuffer vulnerability that allowed arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges, which allowed the unc0ver jailbreak to work for iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max for iOS 14.6-14.8.[14]
Bug Fixes

Legend:   Past   Current   Beta

System featuresEdit

App ClipsEdit

App Clips are a new feature expanding on the functionality of the App Store. Intended as a dynamic feature rather than a permanently installed app, App Clips are extremely pared-back with very few OS permissions. At the time of the announcement, only the use of Apple Pay and Sign in with Apple were shown.

App Clips may be discovered in person via NFC tags (iPhone 7 or newer) or QR codes with App Clips branding. They may also be shared via Messages, or placed on websites or Maps.

CarPlayEdit

CarPlay was updated to allow users to set a built-in wallpaper. Route management in Apple Maps was extended with features alerting the user to available stops, such as parking and food ordering. Additionally, route planning for electric vehicles now considers the location of charging stations.[15]

Car keysEdit

Car keys allow an iPhone to act as a virtual car key using NFC technology with compatible cars. The first compatible car showcased by Apple at the WWDC 2020 was the 2021 BMW 5 Series. Keys are accessible from the Wallet app. Keys may be shared; sharing may be temporary or given restrictions. In the event the iPhone is out of battery, car keys can still be accessed via the power reserve of the iPhone for about five hours.[16] Car keys require an iPhone released in 2018 or later.[17]

Home screenEdit

Unlike previous versions, in which icons on the home screen were rearranged in order and corresponded directly to apps, users may add app icons and newly-introduced app widgets; pages may be added or deleted at will. This allows users to hide infrequently used apps and avoid clutter.

WidgetsEdit

To the left of the first page, the Today View is replaced by a scrollable widget UI. Widgets may be placed on the home screen to sit amongst app icons;[18] they may be resized to two-by-two, horizontal two-by-four, or four-by-four icons. Widgets of the same size may be stacked over each other and swiped between for convenience; a Smart Stack may be placed which automatically shows the most relevant widget to the user based on the time of day.[19]

App LibraryEdit

To the right of the last page, the App Library lists and categorizes apps installed on the device. Apps within each category are arranged based on the frequency of their usage. In addition to a category for suggested apps, a "recent" category lists apps recently installed alongside App Clips recently accessed. Users can search for the app they want or browse them in alphabetical order.[18]

Compact UIEdit

A series of changes were made in iOS 14 to reduce the visual space taken by previously full-screen interfaces; such interfaces now appear and hover in front of an app, allowing for touch (and therefore multitasking) on the app behind. Voice calling interfaces, including Phone, or other third-party apps such as Skype, are made substantially thinner,[19] taking approximately as much space as a notification. Siri's interface is now also compact.

Picture-in-picture allows users to continue watching video playback (or take voice calls, such as with FaceTime) in a thumbnail-sized view after leaving the app. This view may be resized with pinch gestures, or moved off-screen temporarily and re-summoned for multitasking. Picture-in-picture is currently supported by Safari and FaceTime, along with several third-party apps, including Disney+, ESPN, HBO Max, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. This feature was not available in the YouTube app at launch; Google subsequently announced that picture-in-picture will be supported on YouTube in a forthcoming update, but only for subscribers to YouTube Premium.[20]

Search and SiriEdit

Improvements to the Search feature on the home screen were made, including a refined UI, quick launcher for apps, more detailed web search, shortcuts to in-app search, and improved as-you-type search suggestions.[18]

While made compact so that content below is visible, Siri's interface does not allow for simultaneous multitasking, as designers felt it unclear how the interface would then be dismissed.[21] Siri can now answer a broader set of questions and translate more languages. Users can also share their ETA with contacts and ask for cycling directions.[22]

Security and PrivacyEdit

App StoreEdit

On iOS 14.3 and later, the App Store now displays the permissions required for each application (so users can see and understand permissions required by the application prior to downloading it). Users may change location permissions to inform the app of an approximate location, preserving privacy when exact location is unnecessary.[18]

Notifications for microphone, camera, and clipboard usageEdit

A recording indicator appears at the top of the screen whenever an app uses the microphone (orange dot indicator) or camera (green dot indicator). Likewise, a notification appears when the clipboard is accessed by an app.[23]

Application Tracking TransparencyEdit

Apps must request the user consent if they intend to track user activities across apps and websites.[24]

During the iOS 14 announcement, Apple pledged to improve users' privacy by limiting apps' access to Apple's Identifier for Advertisers (also known as IDFA or Advertising Identifier). This change was postponed "until early 2021 in iOS/iPadOS 14.5" to let developers migrate to more privacy-friendly alternatives.[25] Facebook has notably opposed such privacy measures, arguing that small businesses need to access user data for targeted advertising.[26] Statistics from Verizon subsidiary Flurry Analytics show after iOS 14.5 was released, only 11-12% of all consumers and 4% of American consumers have allowed Facebook to track them, in what has been described as a "nightmare" for Facebook.[27]

Wi-Fi MAC address randomizationEdit

To limit tracking and improve privacy, devices now use a different MAC address for each Wi-Fi network instead of using the physical device Wi-Fi MAC address.[28]

Local network restrictionEdit

A new privacy option can restrict certain applications from discovering and interacting with other devices on a home network through Bonjour or other network protocols.

Other internal security changesEdit

One of the major changes in iOS 14 is the introduction of a new, tightly sandboxed 'BlastDoor' service which is now responsible for almost all parsing of untrusted data in iMessages.[29] BlastDoor inspects all inbound messages in a secure, sandboxed environment, which prevents any malicious code inside of a message from interacting with the rest of the operating system or accessing user data.[30] A specially-crafted message sent to a target can no longer interact with the file system or perform network operations.

If the camera module is not detectable as genuine Apple component, the system will warn the user.[31]

ARKit 4Edit

ARKit 4 introduced Depth API for new access to depth information from the LiDAR sensors on the iPhone 12 Pro. ARKit 4 also introduced Location Anchor, which uses data from Apple Maps and enables augmented reality experiences to be placed on geographical coordinates[32] and other smaller improvements.[33]

MagSafeEdit

iOS 14 adds MagSafe accessory support for the iPhone 12 lineup, with a new animation for each accessory.

Other changesEdit

  • The Emoji keyboard was updated with a search function. iOS 14 adds 20 new hair and headwear styles to Memoji and Animoji, including face mask options for Memoji.
  • The user's email and browser apps – by default the stock Mail app and Safari – may now be changed.[34]
  • On iPhones released in 2017 and later (iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X and newer), a new accessibility feature allows users to perform common tasks by double-tapping the back of the device via the phone’s accelerometer (e.g. opening Control Center or running a shortcut).
  • Users with devices that do not automatically read NFC tags may add a shortcut on the Control Center to do so.
  • iOS 14 introduces support for the VP9 codec, allowing playback of YouTube videos in 4K resolution. In Safari, VP9 support is enabled through WebRTC, which is disabled by default.[35][36]
  • In the Notes app, it is now easier to find notes using an improved "on-device intelligence."[18] The skeuomorphic paper texture in the app has also been removed.[37]
  • The Weather app now shows an air quality index and minute-by-minute forecasts for the next hour in the United States. Apple now uses data from their recently acquired service Dark Sky instead of only The Weather Channel.[38][39]
  • Apple Arcade now has direct integration with Game Center.[40]
  • The scroll wheel picker used for time has been reduced in size with the option to use a number pad.[41]
  • A new Accessibility feature, called Sound Recognition, allows iPhones to listen for predefined sounds and issue an alert whenever the specific audio is detected. This way an iPhone can detect fire, various sirens, animals, multiple household noises, and a baby that's crying or someone that's shouting.[42]
  • The Music icon was redesigned with a red gradient, similar to the icon used in iOS 7 through 8.3.[43]
  • The iOS 12 wallpaper was removed, and eight new wallpapers were added in iOS 14.2.
  • Magnifier is now a separate app that can be accessed outside of the Control Center.
  • People Detection was added in Measure on iOS 14.2.
  • Unlocking an iPhone equipped with Face ID while wearing a mask, using a paired Apple Watch, was added on iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4.

App featuresEdit

CalendarEdit

The Calendar app now supports a Julian calendar format for years earlier than October 15, 1582 and the Calendar app icon now uses abbreviated names for the days of the week.

CameraEdit

The Camera app gained several new features. Features include:[18]

Improvements were also made in shot-to-shot performance. According to Apple, photos can be shot up to 90% faster, time to first shot is now up to 25% faster, and Portrait shot-to-shot is up to 15% faster.[44]

FaceTimeEdit

On iPhone XS and later, FaceTime now automatically adjusts the visual appearance of eyes to account for the camera being above where a caller's eyes are displayed, allowing for direct two-way eye contact.[18] Additionally, if a caller is using sign language in a call with multiple people, their window will be focused on accordingly.

FaceTime on iPhone XS and later now supports 1080p video on Wi-Fi.[18] iOS 14.2 added support for 1080p FaceTime video on iPhone 8 and later on Wi-Fi, and for 5G and Wi-Fi on iPhone 12.[45]

FaceTime now supports picture-in-picture mode. This allows users to continue seeing the other person while multitasking between other apps.[46] Double tapping on the FaceTime window allows for the size to be changed to small, medium, or large. A single tap expands the window back to full screen.[47]

HomeEdit

The Home app received design changes to emphasize suggested accessories alongside those marked as favorite. In addition, a major set of automation capabilities were added for use with compatible HomeKit devices; this automation requires the presence of an iPad, HomePod or Apple TV to facilitate on-device processing.

Home security cameras may be instructed to only alert the user of activity if it occurs in a preselected activity zone. In addition, facial recognition performed in Photos app may be used to alert based on recognized people, with additional integration for use with smart doorbells.

Smart lighting products that support color temperatures may be instructed to match a preset color temperature setting. As the presence of blue light is a major zeitgeber – a factor which influences the perception of time with regards to circadian rhythm – this feature is designed to encourage activity in the day and calmness in the morning and evening.[22]

MessagesEdit

In the Messages app, users can now pin up to nine individual conversations above other message threads.[48]

Group chats using iMessage may be given a custom image, a Memoji, or an emoji. Users may now mention other users, and change notification settings to only be notified when explicitly mentioned.[18] Messages may be replied to with inline replies, allowing for simultaneous conversation threads and see the replies in the general conversation or as a separate thread.

SMS filter: third-party apps that filter unwanted SMS from unknown senders can show the custom categories with which they classify these messages (e.g. transactions, promotions, spam) directly in the Messages app.

MapsEdit

Apple Maps will now give users access to cycling routes, providing information including elevation and stairs. It also provides users with multiple options, suggesting routes with less busy streets. Cycling directions will be available at launch in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing.[49] Apple announced they will continue to roll out their enhanced maps detail to countries beyond the United States, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and more in the future.

Apple also introduced EV routing, which allows users to take charging stations into account while planning their route and choose a route where they will be able to recharge when they need to. This feature requires integration with the car. Apple is currently working with Ford and BMW to implement this feature with their electric vehicles.[15]

Curated guides for various places around the world have been added, which suggest where to eat, shop, and explore.[50]

Look Around (Binoculars symbol) allows you to see the real overview of the streets at 360 degrees and move between them.

SafariEdit

Safari, the default web browser in iOS, gained the ability to monitor passwords for data breaches and generate privacy reports for trackers on websites. Major improvements were made to JavaScript performance.[18]

A web page translation tool has been added to Safari in seven languages: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese. This feature was only available in the United States and Canada at launch, but has started rolling out to more countries since then.[51]

TranslateEdit

Introduced in iOS 14, the stock Translate app allows users to translate voice and text between 11 languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Arabic. When rotated to landscape view, the app features an "attention mode," making it easier for someone to read a translation. It can be used during verbal conversations between speakers of different languages. The Translate app can auto-detect which of the two chosen languages is being spoken and convert it to the other language.[52]

Improvements made to translation are integrated with Siri, and pages may be translated inline in Safari.

Supported devicesEdit

All the devices that supported iOS 13 also support iOS 14.[18]

ReferencesEdit

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