Apple has already started to seed the next software update for iPhones and iPads–iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4–to testers and developers. The iOS 14.4 update can be accessed on the Apple Developer Center. Talking about new features, Apple is making it easier and cooler to use the HomePod mini with your iPhone. The iOS 14.4 update has a new feature for the HomePod mini that utilises the speaker’s U1 chip.
So, what does it do? When a U1 chip-based iPhone (iPhone 11 and above) is around the HomePod mini, a soft haptic touch rhythm starts which progressive gets faster the closer your iPhone comes to the HomePod mini. When close enough, an UI pops up to transfer songs to the HomePod mini. This makes handoff easier and better.
There are new features on the Apple Watch app like “Time to Walk” and “Add Newest Workouts to Watch”. Very little is known about these features as of now but as per the instruction provided by Apple, it reads, “Time to Walk Workouts are downloaded when Apple Watch is connected to power and near your ‌iPhone‌. Completed workouts are deleted automatically.”
Apple is taking audio level measurements seriously in the iOS 14.4 update. Whenever a Bluetooth audio device is connected, iOS 14.4 will ask you to specify the device type like car stereo, headphone, hearing aid, speaker and others. Depending on the option you select, Apple will send alerts if you are playing music at high audio levels which can impact your hearing.
Apple may also be adding notes that will warn users if they replaced or repaired the camera of the iPhone with aftermarket components. Warning like “Unable to verify this ‌iPhone‌ has a genuine Apple camera” may pop out if duplicate camera components are used. This feature will be available on the new iPhone 12 series phones. Also, iPhones will easily be able to scan smaller QR codes. Apple is also fixing issues with Fitness widget, HDR photos, language settings on keyboard and others.
Apple is yet to provide any official word on as to when iOS 14.4 will be released.