Apple's iOS 14.3 update has launched, bringing with it new long-awaited features for your iPhone. It's the biggest change since since iOS 14 launched in October – finally giving us access to Apple Fitness Plus, the ProRAW photo format, and other things Apple first revealed at WWDC 2020 in June.
Just to be clear, most of these features are available for all iPhone owners – but not all. The ProRAW format, in particular, is only coming to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max handset. But folks with older iPhones will still get a few camera upgrades, which are detailed below.
Read on for the biggest features coming with iOS 14.3 – and given it’s a free update, there’s little reason not to upgrade right now. Other free operating system updates have gone live today, too, so download up watchOS 7.2, iPadOS 14.3, or tvOS 14.3 for extra features and compatibility with some of the iPhone features below.
Apple Fitness Plus support
First and foremost, you can now access Apple Fitness Plus, the subscription service that works with iPhones and Apple Watches to track exercise and give viewers guided workouts. You’ll need one of Apple’s smartwatches that’s updated to the latest software (watchOS 7.2) to start using it, and if you want to use the service on another device, you’ll need to upgrade to iPadOS 14.3 or tvOS 14.3.
Apple Fitness Plus is the last of Apple’s proposed subscription services to come out, which means the all-inclusive Apple One bundle is finally at full value. Which means you could sign up for Fitness Plus at $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$14.99 per month...or just pick up Apple One starting at $14.95 / £14.95 / AU$19.95 for individuals. Your call, chief.
Apple made big promises with the ProRAW file format, which allows you to take photos in a RAW-style basic format that can be tweaked more than the currently-offered HEIF/HEIC/JPEG formats available for iPhones to shoot in. But ProRaw also processes the photo a bit, using computational photography perks like Deep Fusion and Smart HDR to produce rich photos even before editing.
Only the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max can shoot in ProRAW, at least for now.
Other camera features
Yes, older iPhones will still get a few extra perks, but don’t expect anything monumental: Apple’s phones from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone X will be able to take selfies that are mirrored, which was originally available for the iPhone XS and newer handsets. You’ll have to individually toggle it in Settings > Camera and tap Mirror Front Camera.
All iPhones will also be able to record in 25 fps, though again, you’ll have to toggle between video framerates manually: head to Settings > Camera, toggle on ‘Show PAL Formats,’ and you can choose from either 1080p HD at 25 fps or 4K at 25 fps.
AirPods Max support
iOS 14.3 makes your iPhone compatible with the pricey AirPods Max, which are coming out on December 15, and start at $549 / £549 / AU$899. If you want to use Apple’s over-ear headphones from your iPhone, you’ll need this app update.
Apple TV Plus gets a tab for Apple’s original shows
Can’t find Apple’s original shows in the TV app on iOS? There’s a new tab on the bottom just for Apple Originals shows within the Apple TV Plus service like The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, See, and movies like Wolfwalkers – as well as A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Check what data apps are collecting
One of the lesser-known iOS 14.3 features is new visibility into what data apps are collecting. Developers will be required to disclose the kinds of personal, financial, and non-identifiable info their apps collect, which will be visible on their App Store listing for users to see before they download.
Expect this to roll out over time, but you'll apparently need iOS 14.3 to see these disclosures in the App Store. Oh, and this applies to iPadOS and macOS apps, too, so update your iPads and Macs to see this data on those platforms' App Stores.
iOS 14.3 also brings bug fixes, too, including allegedly solving the issue of missing Messages notifications. Other fixes include properly-functioning custom iOS app icons (which should no longer route you through the Shortcuts app first) as well as a host of security updates.
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.