iOS 14 has been many months of bad roads. Months following the initial release, users are still complaining about random problems, ranging from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues, battery drain problems, and notifications glitches.
iOS 14.4 is on the horizon, and along with a bunch of new features, it will also bring with it an array of bug fixes.
Over the past few months, I've been conducting an experiment. When people have been getting in touch with me with iOS bugs, I've been suggesting to them -- if they seem technically competent -- to run later, more stable builds of the iOS public betas.
And now that iOS 14.4 public beta 2 is out, I, along with a few readers, have been experimenting with it.
There's a lot to play with in the latest iOS 14.4 build. For HomePod users, there's new audio, video, and haptic effects related to transferring songs to the speaker. On the fitness front, there are some tweaks linked to the Apple Watch.
And for people who have Bluetooth audio devices, you can now specify a type -- Car Stereo, Headphone, Hearing Aid, Speaker, Other -- which allows the Headphone Audio Level monitor to be on the lookout for audio levels that might damage hearing.
Before you grab the public beta, the first thing I suggest you do is make a local backup to your Mac or PC (not an iCloud backup). Apple has detailed instructions on how to do that here for Mac, and here for the PC.
The next thing you need to do is visit Apple's Beta Program home page in the Safari browser on the iPhone you want to switch to the beta and either sign up or sign in.
Betas are available here for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
From here you can enroll the device and then download a profile to your iPhone. Once that's in (it takes seconds), head over to Settings, tap the profile and follow the onscreen instructions to install the profile.
Once that's done, go to Settings > General > Software Update to download the beta. It's a full download so it will take some time.
Note: Installing a public beta does not affect your warranty, and it's also easy to roll back from the beta by unenrolling your device and then carry out a software update to download the latest release of iOS.