Apple releases iOS 14.4 RC and watchOS 7.3 RC for developers
When Apple released iOS and iPadOS 14.2, it made a change to the naming system it had used to denote a beta release on the verge of being disseminated. This beta build of iOS or iPadOS, watchOS, etc. was once called the Gold Master and is now known as Release Candidate (RC). So today we can tell you that iOS 14.4 RC is now available to developers. This is expected to be the near-final beta build.
Other bugs being fixed include one that won't update Activities data in the Fitness widget. On some iPhone units, a bug causes a lag when typing and word suggestions do not appear. A strange bug (aren't they all strange in some way?) that will disappear with iOS 14.4 is one in which a keyboard for the wrong language surfaces in the Messages app. An issue that stops audio from the news app in CarPlay from resuming after being paused for spoken directions or a response from Siri will be repaired. Together with the HomePod 14.4 beta, iOS 14.4 will employ the U1 chip to create haptic, visual, and audio effects when songs are transferred from the HomePod mini to an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 series phone. And lastly, iOS 14.4 will stop a Switch Control in Accessibility from blocking users from answering a call from the Lock Screen.
Update to iOS 14.4 will allow iPhone users to classify Bluetooth devices. Image credit MacRumors
Apple has also released watchOS 7.3 RC for developers which adds a new watch face that is inspired by the colors of the Pan-African flag (red, black, and green). This face will "change throughout the day as you move creating a face that’s unique to you." The update also allows the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature to work in additional countries such as Japan, Mayotte, Philippines, and Thailand. The ECG monitors the rhythm of the user's heart looking for Atrial fibrillation. Afib can cause blood clots, strokes, heart failure and other serious problems. The watchOS 7.3 update will also add a feature called "Time to Walk" which guides Apple Fitness+ subscribers through walking workouts using audio.
To receive either update, you must be registered as a developer with Apple by heading to this website. The update is available OTA on the iPhone by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The final version of these updates could be just days away.