Apple iOS 14.7 has been released and it combines new iPhone hardware support with critical new security updates. It also arrives two months after its predecessor caused significant battery drain so expectations are high. Unfortunately, iOS 14.7 causes multiple new problems. So if you are considering upgrading your iPhone, here’s everything you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up to date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.
Who Is It For?
Apple iOS 14.7 is now available for all iOS 13-compatible devices. That means iPhone 6S and newer and the 7th generation iPod touch. You should be automatically notified to upgrade but you can also trigger the update manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. Beta testers, if you are running a later version of iOS 14 when you read this (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your iPhone before iOS 14.7 will show up.
Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates or iPadOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.
The Deal Breakers
There has been no change for Jailbreakers. Unc0ver’s jailbreak is limited to iOS 14.3 and checkra1n’s iOS 14 jailbreak is restricted to Apple devices running A9(X) chipsets but does work on iOS 14.7 for those devices.
The headline news 36 hours after release is iOS 14.7 breaks Apple Watch unlock functionality via your iPhone (more details here). Apple confirmed this and has promised a fix in “an upcoming update” but put no timescale on this.
Furthermore, early reports are that iOS 14.7 is fairly buggy, including signal issues, Apple Music and Podcast bugs and lossless playback issues. Meanwhile, the battery life problems introduced by iOS 14.6 still persist for a number of users.
So What Do You Get?
Apple’s iOS 14.7 release notes are as follows:
- MagSafe Battery Pack support for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Apple Card Family adds the option to combine credit limits and share one co-owned account with an existing Apple Card user
- Home app adds the ability to manage timers on HomePod
- Air quality information is now available in Weather and Maps for Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, and Spain
- Podcasts library allows you to choose to see all shows or only followed shows
- Share playlist menu option missing in Apple Music
- Dolby Atmos and Apple Music lossless audio playback may unexpectedly stop
- Battery service message that may have disappeared after reboot on some iPhone 11 models is restored
- Braille displays could show invalid information while composing Mail messages
The headline here is support for Apple’s new MagSafe Battery pack — a product the company did a surprisingly good job of keeping away from leakers until release. In addition, Apple has introduced new Card Family functionality and continues to make improvements to (the still buggy) Apple Podcasts, following its controversial recent changes.
Surprisingly, Apple’s official security page has yet to publish the changes introduced by iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 so we are left in the dark for the time being. ZecOps has at least confirmed it fixes the increasingly problematic WiFi SSID hack which iPhone and iPad owners have been exposed to.
Apple iOS 14.7 Verdict: Stay Away, Especially If You Own An Apple Watch
For Apple Watch owners, iOS 14.7 is a no-go with Apple confirming the update introduces unlock problems it must fix “in an upcoming update”. Moreover, iOS 14.7 itself appears fairly buggy — notably more so than iOS updates usually are at this late stage in their generation. Typically, new iOS generations are full of bugs and slowly become more polished as they age but iOS 14 is currently on the opposite trajectory.
All iOS 14-compatible iPhones will also be compatible with iOS 15, so I wonder if that is having an impact on Apple’s lack of polish towards the end of this generation given no iPhones will be left behind. In the meantime, however, there is work to be done.
Note: if you bookmark this guide, you will find my final verdict here in one week
The Road Ahead
Apple is unlikely to release another ‘major point’ iOS 14 update (eg, iOS 14.8) but iOS 14.7.1 is now inevitable on the back of the Apple Watch login issues. I would expect to see it arrive within the next 1-2 weeks along with several other bug fixes for the other problems being reported with iOS 14.7.
Meanwhile iOS 15 continues to speed towards launch with the second public beta now available. It will launch alongside the new iPhone 13 range.
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