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iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 released with new Find My Items support, improved HomePod mini Handoff

iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 now available

Apple on Tuesday released iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 with better HomePod mini Handoff, third-party Find My device support, and various bug fixes.

iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 had an extended beta period over the holiday with only three developer betas. These updates are focused more on bug fixes than user-facing features.

Apple introduced "Find My Items" to the Find My app, which enables third-party manufacturers to create tracking devices for Apple's network. The only device that takes advantage of this feature so far is Belkin's earbuds.

One other feature discovered in iOS 14.4 is improved HomePod mini Handoff. Now the feature uses the U1 chip to detect the iPhone's proximity to the HomePod mini for a better transfer experience.

The release notes for iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 read as follows:

iOS 14.4 includes the following improvements for your iPhone:

  • Smaller QR codes can be recognized by Camera
  • Option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications
  • Notifications for when the camera on your iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple camera in iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Image artifacts could appear in HDR photos taken with iPhone 12 Pro
  • Fitness widget may not display updated Activity data
  • Typing may be delayed and word suggestions may not appear in the keyboard
  • The keyboard may not come up in the correct language in Messages
  • Audio stories from the News app in CarPlay may not resume after being paused for spoken directions or Siri
  • Enabling Switch Control in Accessibility may prevent phone calls from being answered from the Lock Screen

The original iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 update made changes refreshing the Home screen and app interface at launch, tweaked Messages and Safari, overhauled Siri, added elements to Apple Maps, introduced Sound Recognition alerts, and offered CarKey support, among other changes. The iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates added eight new wallpaper options, new emoji, and improved iconography across the operating system, as well as other smaller changes.

The iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 updates brought support for newly released Apple hardware and software. Apple Fitness+ launched, AirPods Max released, and Apple ProRAW became available in this release. The controversial privacy "nutrition labels" also released.