iOS 14.8 news, leaks and everything we know so far

The big iOS 15 update is almost here, with the massive software overhaul expected in September. Yet before that Apple might squeeze in one...

The big iOS 15 update is almost here, with the massive software overhaul expected in September. Yet before that Apple might squeeze in one more version of iOS 14, as iOS 14.8 is rumored to be in the works.

This is an unusual situation, both in terms of Apple releasing this many versions of iOS 14, as it’s never reached a .8 version with its iPhone software before, and in terms of the timing, as it’s so close to the likely iOS 15 launch.

Nevertheless, the iOS 14.8 name has been spotted in Xcode (Apple’s development environment) by Brendan Shanks on Twitter, and that’s fairly compelling evidence of its existence.

Not only that, but 9to5Mac has confirmed the finding, and also spotted additional references to iOS 14.8. But if it really is in the works then when might we see it? And what might it offer? For now we’re not certain, but we have some ideas, as you’ll see below.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next minor iOS update
  • When is it out? Probably very soon
  • How much will it cost? Nothing, it will be free

iOS 14.8 release date

There’s no news on when iOS 14.8 might land, but logically we’d expect it before iOS 15, which will probably land sometime in September, alongside the iPhone 13 range. At the time of writing then that means iOS 14.8 could land imminently, and probably within the next few weeks.

That said, there’s no guarantee that it will launch before iOS 15 does. Apple is making a change to the way it handles updates, allowing users to stay on iOS 14 for longer while still getting security updates. You might want to do this if for example you’re waiting for the inevitable iOS 15 bugs to be ironed out, or you just don’t like the sound of some of the changes.

With that in mind, Apple might release new version numbers of iOS 14 in tandem with those for iOS 15, with both versions getting security updates, but only iOS 15 getting new features. In that case, it’s possible that iOS 14.8 will land at the same time as iOS 15, or maybe even later.

iPhone 12 Pro Max review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

iOS 14.8 features

At the time of writing we don’t have much idea of what features iOS 14.8 might have. In fact, as noted above it might just include security updates.

At the very least though it will probably also have some bug patches, including perhaps for an issue with iOS 14.7.1 which has led to some users losing service on their phones.

However, if it was just going to include bug fixes and security updates then we’d think the name iOS 14.7.2 would be more appropriate – a move to iOS 14.8 suggests more significant changes are planned.

Images showing Apple's Child Safety feature

Apple's planned Child Safety feature (Image credit: Apple)

So there might be some new features, or some changes to existing ones. It might include Apple’s Child Safety photo scanning feature for one. While we were expecting this in iOS 15, we could see Apple roll it out earlier and/or ensuring that those who stick with iOS 14 still get it, since it’s designed around harm prevention.

Beyond that, it’s possible that some of the other features we were expecting in iOS 15 could land here. There are a wealth of these, affecting almost every aspect of the operating system, but none have been specifically linked to iOS 14.8, so we wouldn’t count on it.

Finally, there might be one or more mystery new features planned, but Apple has certainly kept them very quiet if so.

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