In early June, Apple is going to unveil the next major update to iOS. Before that, though, the company has a relatively minor update to launch.
After beta testing for a stretch, Apple is ready to launch the new software to the public. Today, Apple released iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6 to the masses. As is par for the course, the new software is a free update. For eligible devices, it can be downloaded and installed as an over-the-air (OTA) update.
To update, open Settings –> General –> Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions. If you have Automatic Updates switched on, then your iPhone and/or iPad will automatically update overnight while your device charges.
iOS 14.6 isn’t jam-packed with a ton of new features. There is an important change for Apple’s new item tracker, the AirTag. With this new software, users will be able to input an email address as a means of contact when the device is put into Lost Mode.
This software also adds support for Apple Card Family. With the new Apple Card Family feature, family managers will be able to track spending, manage purchases, and even build credit together depending on the circumstances. The feature is launching in May, and it will be available in the United States at launch. At the surface level, the new feature will let two people co-own an Apple Card. That means they share the credit line made available to them, while building their own credit scores along the way.
Podcast subscriptions are now available with the public release of iOS 14.6 as well.
Here’s the full changelog:
Apple Card Family
- Apple Card can be shared with up to five people, including anyone 13 years or older in your Family Sharing group
- Apple Card Family adds support for families to track expenses, manage spending with optional limits and controls, and build credit together
- Subscription support for channels and individual shows
AirTag and Find My
- Lost mode option to add an email address instead of a phone number for AirTag and Find My network accessories
- AirTag will show the partially masked phone number of the owner when tapped with an NFC-capable device
- Voice Control users can unlock their iPhone for the first time after a restart using only their voice
This release also fixes the following issues:
- Unlock with Apple Watch may not work after using Lock iPhone on Apple Watch
- Reminders may appear as blank lines
- Call blocking extensions may not appear in Settings
- Bluetooth devices could sometimes disconnect or send audio to a different device during an active call
- iPhone may experience reduced performance during startup
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
It’s not a specific new feature for iOS 14.6 or iPadOS 14.6, but the new software does lay the groundwork for one of Apple Music’s biggest new feature additions: Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. Apple confirmed earlier this month that these new features would arrive sometime in June, but no specific release date was provided at the time.
In addition to the software update for iOS and iPadOS, Apple also released software updates for macOS and watchOS.
macOS 11.4 Big Sur is now available for those who own supported devices. This new software adds support for new external GPU options, while also fixing some bugs discovered in Safari. Plus a bit more.
Meanwhile, watchOS 7.5 adds support for the ECG app in additional countries. The new software can be downloaded now via the official Watch iOS app. The Apple Watch must have at least 50% battery life, be connected to its wireless charger, and also be paired to the iPhone to be updated.
And finally, Apple also released tvOS 14.6 and HomePod 14.6 to the public as well.
The new software is available now.