Apple Seeds iOS and iPadOS 14.6 Release Candidate to Developers
Apple today seeded release candidate versions of iOS and iPadOS 14.6 to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after Apple seeded the third iOS and iPadOS 14.6 updates.
iOS and iPadOS 14.6 add support for Apple Music features, including Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio.
Spatial Audio will provide an immersive audio experience that makes it sound like music is coming from all around you, while Lossless Audio will provide higher-quality music that sounds exactly as it does when artists create it in the studio. At launch, thousands of tracks will feature Spatial Audio support, and more than 20,000 songs will support Lossless Audio. By the end of the year, 75 million songs will support it.
For AirTags, the beta adds a new feature that allows an email address to be entered as a contact method for Lost Mode instead of a phone number. In iOS 14.5, there is no option to use an email, with Apple only allowing for a phone number.
iOS 14.6 will see the debut of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, which were first introduced at Apple's April event. With Podcasts subscriptions, Podcasts users can sign up to subscribe to their favorite podcasters, unlocking ad-free listening, bonus episodes, and other perks.
The update also includes new features for marking all Podcasts episodes as played, removing downloads, and recovering episodes, all of which are designed to address complaints that surfaced after the release of the updated Podcasts app in iOS 14.5.
iOS 14.6 lays the groundwork for Apple Card Family, a feature that Apple introduced at its April event. Apple Card Family allows spouses to share a single Apple Card account, with each person serving as a co-owner to build credit.
Apple Card Family also lets parents share an Apple Card with their children for making purchases, with optional spending limits and parental controls to help children learn smart financial habits. All spending by the family is tracked with a single monthly bill, and up to five people over 13 can be added to an Apple Card account for sharing purposes.
Apple's full release notes for the update are below:
Apple Card Family
- Apple Card can be shared with up to five people, including anyone 13 years or older in your Family Sharing group
- Apple Card Family adds support for families to track expenses, manage spending with optional limits and controls, and build credit together
- Subscription support for channels and individual shows
AirTag and Find My
- Lost mode option to add an email address instead of a phone number for AirTag and Find My network accessories
- AirTag will show the partially masked phone number of the owner when tapped with an NFC-capable device
- Voice Control users can unlock their iPhone for the first time after a restart using only their voice
This release also fixes the following issues:
- Unlock with Apple Watch may not work after using Lock iPhone on Apple Watch
- Reminders may appear as blank lines
- Call blocking extensions may not appear in Settings
- Bluetooth devices could sometimes disconnect or send audio to a different device during an active call
- iPhone may experience reduced performance during startup
iOS 14.6 is expected to see a May release, with the Apple Music features coming in June.