The next iOS update is almost here. When it arrives, iOS 14.7 will break a record for most point releases of all versions of iOS. Well, iOS 13.7 has arrived too, but it was released last September when iOS 14 had already arrived – it was there to add contact tracing for Covid, so not strictly the same.
No, this next update is unprecedented, especially as we’re just days away from the first preview of iOS 15 at WWDC on Monday, June 7th.
Not to mention the fact that iOS 14.5 was quite remarkable, adding a slew of new features in unusual ways at the end of the annual update cycle.
So what’s new in iOS 14.7?
Glad you asked. There will be more than that by the time the release candidate surfaces, but so far there are some new wrinkles. Let’s start with my favorite: a new way to set timers on the HomePod.
Control timers in the Home app
Imagine my house on Christmas Day. Lockdown had meant that we had ordered into a home cook’s feast from the local, brilliant restaurant, Luca. In fact, two festivals, one for vegetarians, one for carnivores. Full instructions were lovingly provided and were easy to follow. Except for one thing: multiple timers for each course.
Right now, you can set multiple timers on HomePod through Siri. I started with “Set a 20 minute timer”. But then I realized the second timer needed a name so I wasn’t confused. “Set a timer for the turkey for 18 minutes.” This was quickly followed by “Set a sweet potato timer for 13 minutes.” Etc.
However, the main drawback of the system came from the fact that more and more timers were being configured simultaneously.
(Actually, that was a flaw. The other was that at that point, I was really enjoying my Christmas too much, so I started setting more and more extravagant and surreal orders to see what point Siri was good at doing them right: “Hey, Siri, set a poached sleep timer for 7 minutes” and “Hey, Siri, set a 25-minute forget timer.” Crazy, really. no way you can poach a dodo in 7 minutes. Ah, well, I enjoyed it, although no one else thought it was funny.)
The main fault was more serious. While I might ask, “How’s my turkey timer?”, As each successive timer sounded, there was no way of knowing which one was which. Was this the timer for the turkey? Or the sweet potato?
Somehow we got over it and dinner was a triumph, since you ask.
But iOS 14.7 will sort out that anxiety because you can now see your timers in the Home app. Finally, a visual expression of the timers that have how long to run, with controls to start.
In iOS 14.7, once you’ve updated your HomePod to HomePod’s own version 14.7, contained in iOS 14.7, you’ll see an option for timers just below the previous alarm offering.
Here you can set the duration and name the timer. Then you can control them through your voice or the app, pausing, resuming or canceling them as you see fit.
By the way, in this beta it’s definitely unfinished with placeholder words that sound more like coding than reality.
It’s a very useful update, even if it takes away some of the fun of Christmas cooking.
AirQuality in Weather extends to more countries
As shown on 9to5Mac, the ability of the Weather app to display air quality is spreading to more countries. The Weather app currently displays air quality information in parts of the US, UK, India, and Germany, among others, but with iOS 14.7 it looks like it does. will arrive in France, Italy, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands.
According to users and forum members, there are clues about other upcoming benefits of iOS 14.7. These are so far unconfirmed by Apple, which has yet to say a lot about them on iOS 14.7, but some are promising.
There are reports that the iPhone has been much more crisp and responsive since installing 14.7. Which is good.
But other reports have hinted at reduced battery life, although that’s not uncommon in an early beta.
It is also possible that new Apple Music features will be enabled by iOS 14.7.
When does this happen?
Well, it’ll probably be here in June, if not sooner, maybe around the time of the iOS 15 reveal. It’ll be around the time of WWDC launch and if it comes to new Apple Music capabilities, Expect iOS 14.7 to definitely land around the same time.