Apple’s big product release roadmap for the fall continues apace, with new iPhones, iPads, Macs with Apple silicon, and macOS Big Sur. But it hasn’t forgotten about iOS 14, which is now up to its third big point release.
Updated 12/14/20: Apple has released iOS 14.3. This release adds Apple Fitness+ and the ProRAW image format for iPhone 12 Pro phones. It also supports AirPods Max headphones, which start shipping this week.
What’s new in iOS 14.3
In addition to bug fixes and security updates, iOS 14.3 brings several new features. These are the big ones, though there are many small fixes and changes, so check the release notes for a more complete list.
ProRAW image format
Apple teased its new ProRAW image format for iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max when the phones were unveiled, but said the new image format would come in a software update later this year. It is officially included in iOS 14.3. Go to Settings > Camera and look for the option under “Formats.” Apple describes it like this:
ProRAW is a 12-bit file that uses the Linear DNG format to retain more information and dynamic range in the file, providing additional flexibility when editing exposure and white balance. Each file is approximately 25 MB.
Apple promised its fitness subscription service, Fitness+, would launch before the end of the year. The service is now live and requires iOS 14.3 (and is associated contemporaries in tvOS, watchOS, iPadOS) to use. It costs $9.99 per month, and is included in Apple One Premier.
AirPods Max support
If you’re keen to buy Apple’s $550 high-end wireless noise-cancelling headphones, you’ll need to update to iOS 14.3 to make sure your AirPods Max are properly recognized.
Shortcuts app launching
When launching an app via a Shortcut (a key part of the aesthetic home screen fad), the Shortcuts app will no longer take over the entire screen before switching over to the launched app. Instead, you’ll see a small shortcuts banner before the app launches.
Full release notes
The complete release notes for iOS 14.3 are as follows:
- A new fitness experience powered by Apple Watch with studio-style workouts available on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (Apple Watch Series 3 and later)
- New Fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV to browse Fitness+ workouts, trainers, and personalized recommendations
- Video workouts added each week in ten popular workout types: High Intensity Interval Training, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Rowing, Treadmill Walking, Treadmill Running, and Mindful Cooldown
- Playlists curated by Fitness+ trainers to complement your workout
- Fitness+ subscription available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States
- Support for AirPods Max, new over-ear headphones
- High fidelity audio for rich sound
- Adaptive EQ adapts sound in real time to the personal fit of ear cushions
- Active Noise Cancellation to block out environmental noise
- Transparency mode to hear the environment around you
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for a theater-like listening experience
- Apple ProRAW photos can be captured on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Apple ProRAW photos can be edited in the Photos app
- Option to record video at 25 fps
- 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
- New privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices
- An all-new Apple TV+ tab makes it easy to discover and watch Apple Original shows and movies
- Enhanced search so you can browse by category such as genre, and see recent searches and suggestions as you type
- Top search results shown with the most relevant matches across movies, TV shows, cast, channels, and sports
- Support for launching App Clips by scanning Apple-designed App Clip Codes via Camera or from Control Center
- Ability to indicate pregnancy, lactation, or contraceptive use in Cycle Tracking in the Health app in order to better manage period and fertile window predictions
- Air quality data is now available in Weather, Maps, and Siri for locations in China mainland
- Air quality health recommendations are provided in Weather and Siri for the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Mexico at certain air quality levels
- Air quality data in Weather, Maps, and Siri reflects updated national scales for Germany and Mexico
- Ecosia search engine option in Safari
This release also addresses the following issues:
- Some MMS messages may not be received
- Contact groups failed to display members when composing a message
- Some videos would not appear correctly when shared from the Photos app
- App folders may fail to open
- Spotlight search results, and opening apps from Spotlight may not work
- Bluetooth could be unavailable in Settings
- MagSafe Duo Charger could wirelessly charge your iPhone at less than the maximum power
- Wireless accessories and peripherals using the WAC protocol could fail to complete setup
- The keyboard would dismiss when adding a list in Reminders while using VoiceOver
How to get iOS 14.3
To download iOS 14.3, open the Settings app, then tap General, then Software Update. If available, the update will show up there along with an “Install now” link. If you have automatic software updates enabled, you should be prompted to restart your phone and apply the update sometime in the first week or so of its availability, but manually triggering the update is the fastest way to get it.