As expected, on Monday 14 December Apple updated the iPhone operating system: iOS 14.3 is now available for download on iPhones.
On the same day access to Apple's Fitness+ service became available and the AirPods Max went on sale (order them from Apple now). As you would expect the iOS 14.3 update includes adds access to Fitness+ to iPhones in regions where the service is live.
As reported earlier, an icon representing the new AirPods Max had made an appearance in the iOS 14.3 beta. A clue that the new AirPods Max were indeed in the pipeline. The iOS 14.3 update includes support for the new AirPods Max over-ear headphones.
There is also code relating to the the Find My app that seems to refer to long-rumoured AirTag, but that product has still not launched.
You'll be wondering whether to update your iPhone to iOS 14.3. Here are the other highlights that the iOS 14.3 update brings:
ProRAW for iPhone 12 Pro & Max
Apple announced its new ProRAW image format for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max when those iPhones launched in October, but said the new image format would come in a software update later this year. The time is now here: ProRAW is included in iOS 14.3.
Apple describes ProRAW as follows: ProRAW is a 12-bit file that uses the linear DNG format to keep more information and dynamic range in the file, which gives additional flexibility in editing exposure and white balance. Each file is approximately 25MB in size.
To switch to ProRAW on a compatible iPhone go to Settings > Camera and look for the option under Formats.
Users will also be able to edit Apple ProRAW images in the Photos app.
There are also new PAL formats for videos. Thus videos in 4K and 1080p HD with 25 frames per second are possible.
TV app changes
The TV app also gets an update including a new tab that houses all the content available from Apple TV+.
You'll also find:
- Improved search so you can browse by category by genre and also see recent searches and suggestions as you type.
- The best search results will be displayed along with the most relevant matches from movies, TV shows, cast, channels and sports.
Appraently the iOS 14.3 update also brings a new ability for Siri to make animal sounds. For example, if you ask "Hey Siri, what does a duck sound like?" Siri will play the sound of a duck. Previously if you asked you would just see search results. Here are some more things to say to Siri.
We have yet to get this new feature to work on our iPhone or HomePod so it's not clear if its being rolled out, or US only, or if CNBC, who first reported the addition, got it wrong.
Other new features in iOS 14.3
- Mirror the front facing camera for still photos on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.
- Support for opening app clips by scanning Apple-designed app clip codes in the Camera app or from the Control Center.
- Air quality health recommendations provided in Weather and Siri for the US, UK, Germany, India and Mexico at certain air quality levels.
- The shortcuts app will no longer take up the entire screen after it is started. When you start an app from a shortcut (as a redirect for the customized iPhone icons), the shortcuts app no longer takes up the entire screen before switching to the launched app. Instead, you'll see a small shortcuts banner before the app launches.
- Support is offered for the new controller that comes with PlayStation 5.
- It is possible to use eco-friendly search engine Ecosia as the default search engine. (Ecosia uses their revenue to plant trees).
- There is a new section for pregnancy in the Health app.
- You can also register pregnancy, breastfeeding or the use of contraceptives in the Health app so that you can better handle predictions about menstruation and fertility.
- New section of privacy information on App Store pages that contains the developer's summary of privacy practices for the app.
- In some countries - such as Russia where it is law - Apple will have to display third-party apps during the setup process.
The iOS 14.3 release also addresses the following issues:
- Some MMS may not be received.
- Some notifications from Messaging may not have been received. If you want more information about that issue read: What to do if you are not getting text notifications on iPhone.
- Contact groups did not show individuals when an email was created.
- Some videos were not displayed correctly when sharing from the Photos app.
- App folders could not be opened.
- Spotlight search results and opening apps from Spotlight may not work.
- Bluetooth may not be available in Settings.
- Devices could be prevented from charging wirelessly.
- The MagSafe Duo charger charging iPhone wirelessly at lower than maximum power.
- Setting up wireless accessories and peripherals that used the WAC protocol could fail.
- The keyboard could disappear when added to a list in Reminders when VoiceOver was used.
It was hoped that this update to iOS 14 would include a fix for the iPhone battery drain problem people were experiencing in iOS 14.2, but it's not yet clear if it does.
Read about the latest version of iOS 14, or article includes all the problems and concerns relating to the iPhone update.
Apple has issuing the next beta version of iOS 14. Read: What's in iOS 14.4. If you are a developer you can download the beta now and try out the new and upcoming features, or if you join the public beta program you will only have to wait a day of so for the update. Read about how to join the Apple beta program.