While iOS 14.5 was a substantial update, it so far looks like iOS 14.6 will be a lot smaller – but that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth grabbing when it’s available.
The iOS 14.6 update is available in beta now, so we have an idea at some of the features and improvements it will bring, but more are likely to be revealed in subsequent betas. Below, we’ll talk you through features that have been revealed so far, along with likely ones that haven’t yet made an appearance in the betas.
We’ve also got information on the possible release date of iOS 14.6, so give that a read if you want to know when you’ll be able to get the finished version on your iPhone.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next small iOS update
- When is it out? Probably late May or early June
- How much will it cost? It’s free
iOS 14.6 release date
There’s no official word on when iOS 14.6 might land, but typically Apple has been launching 14.x updates roughly once a month. iOS 14.5 was an exception to that, but it was also a much bigger update than the others.
So given that iOS 14.5 landed on April 26, we’ll likely see iOS 14.6 in either late May or early June.
iOS 14.6 features
We probably don’t know everything that will be in iOS 14.6 yet, but below you’ll find the key features we’ve encountered in the betas so far, along with others that we’re expecting. As well as these, you can also expect a range of bug and security fixes.
Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
This hasn’t yet appeared in a beta, but Apple has already announced Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and said they’re arriving in May, meaning they’ll likely be part of iOS 14.6.
This – as the name suggests – is a subscription service for podcasts, one which provides ad-free listening, early access to content, and exclusive content. However it’s not one single subscription, rather you’ll be able to subscribe to individual podcasts and creators.
Pricing – and exactly what will be offered with a subscription – will therefore vary based on what you choose to subscribe to.
Apple Card Family
It’s likely that support for Apple Card Family will also be added with iOS 14.6. This is another feature that Apple has already announced, one that will allow two people to co-own an Apple card, with equal impact on their credit ratings.
It also allows parents to share their Apple Card with their kids, while keeping in control with spending limits and other tools. All of the spending on an Apple Card Family account can be tracked on an iPhone and there will be a single monthly bill.
Hi-Fi audio for Apple Music
It looks likely that CD-quality audio could be added to Apple Music as part of iOS 14.6, as within the beta code, MacRumors has found references to ‘lossless audio,’ ‘high-quality stereo streaming,’ and ‘HiFi.’ Additionally, 9to5Mac found reference to ‘Dolby Atmos,’ and ‘Dolby Audio.’
We’d previously heard rumors that lossless, uncompressed audio was coming to Apple Music at some point, so this is looking likely. Even more excitingly, those rumors suggested that you wouldn’t even need to pay extra to access it, which would give Apple Music an edge over rival services.
New podcast options
The Podcasts app has seen some small but useful changes in the third iOS 14.6 beta, with Steve Moser (a tech journalist) spotting the addition of ‘Mark All Episodes as Played’, ‘Mark All Episodes as Unplayed’ and ‘Remove Downloads’ options.
Those first two seem in part aimed at fixing a problem added by iOS 14.5, as that update made it so that every episode of a show was shown in your library by default, with the only way to remove them being to manually mark unwanted episodes as played, and then hit the ‘Hide Played Episodes’ option.
Moser says that it looks like you might also be able to restore your previous podcast library from before Apple changed it in iOS 14.5.
If you lose an AirTag or another compatible device and you set it to Lost Mode in the Find My app, then currently you can only leave a phone number for anyone who finds the device to contact you on, but with the iOS 14.6 beta the option to share an email address instead has been added.
- The next big update will be iOS 15