iOS 14.6 is here: All the ways your iPhone will change when you upgrade – CNET

iOS 14.6 gives the iPhone some cool new features.


James Martin/CNET

Apple’s iOS 14.6 update arrived earlier in May, about a month after the iPhone-maker’s big iOS 14.5 update landed at the end of April. iOS 14.6 appears to be a far smaller update than 14.5 — which included the ability to unlock your iPhone with Face ID while wearing a maskstop apps from tracking you for advertising purposes and choose from four Siri voices. The new iOS 14.6 includes another way to locate lost AirTags trackers and high-fidelity Apple Music support, as well as bug fixes.

Here’s what we know about iOS 14.6 so far. Plus, we’re expecting Apple to unveil iOS 15 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. We’ve collected all of the rumors about the upcoming iOS 15 here

Read more: iOS 14.6’s best new iPhone features

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You can download iOS 14.6 now, even on older iPhones.


Patrick Holland/CNET

How can I download iOS 14.6?

You should get a prompt telling you that iOS 14.6 is now available and asking if you’d like to download it. Or you can do the following: 

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select General.

3. Tap Software Update

Your device will connect to Apple’s servers and prompt you to download and install the update. Follow the prompts to complete the installation. When your device reboots, it will be running iOS 14.6. (Check out our full instructions on preparing your phone and downloading iOS 14 here.)

What devices does iOS 14.6 work on?

iOS 14.6 is compatible with all the same devices as iOS 14. Generally, these include the iPhone 6S all the way up through the iPhone 12, along with the iPhone SE and the seventh-gen iPod Touch. For the full list of devices compatible with iOS 14, click here

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You can download iOS 14.6 on the iPhone 6S through the iPhone 12, pictured here.


Sarah Tew/CNET

What new features does iOS 14.6 include?

The latest operating software update is smaller, and is focused on under-the-hood changes. Here’s what we’ve seen in the public beta version of the software.

Add a contact email when your AirTag is in Lost Mode

If you’ve bought one of Apple’s new AirTag tracker devices (here’s how to set up your AirTags), you may know that if you lose the item the AirTag is attached to, you can put the tag in Lost Mode and get a notification when it’s within range of the Find My network. If someone else finds your AirTag, they can use an iPhone or other NFC-capable device to view your contact number and get in touch with you. The latest version of the iOS 14.6 beta adds the ability to enter a contact email instead of a phone number. 

Apple Card Family

iOS 14.6 also marks the launch of Apple Card Family. This addition lets you share your Apple Card with up to five people (aged 13 years or older) in your Family Sharing group. Apple Card Family lets families track expenses, manage spending with the option to add limits and controls, as well as build credit.

Better beta tools

The beta versions of iOS 14.6 included a tool that lets app developers and public beta testers upgrade to an iOS release candidate without removing their developer or beta profile. Before iOS 14.5 went live to the public, developers could choose between upgrading their device to the iOS 14.5 release candidate or to the beta version of iOS 14.6. Under the Software Update menu in Settings, there’s a new Also Available section where you can find this option.

Hi-fi support for Apple Music

On May 17, Apple said that in June, it would add support for high-quality, lossless and spatial audio to Apple Music through Dolby Atmos at no additional cost. High-fidelity streaming could help Apple Music compete with Spotify, which in February said it was adding a high-fidelity tier sometime in 2021.

For more, check out how to download iOS 14.5, and some of the best hidden iPhone features we’ve found in iOS 14. And before you make any OS updates, make sure your iPhone and iPad are ready to do so

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