Apple today released the sixth beta of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 beta.
iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded via the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the correct profile is installed on an iPhone or iPad.
iOS 14.5 is the biggest update to iOS 14 to date, and introduces several important new features. First of all, Apple makes it easier to unlock an iPhone when you wear a face mask with a new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature.
This option allows you to use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication method to unlock a iPhone along with Face ID. With this feature, you no longer need to enter a password or remove the mask to unlock iPhone. Both an iPhone running iOS 14.5 and an Apple Watch are required to use this, and Apple Watch cannot authenticate Apple Pay purchases, App Store purchases or unlock third-party apps that use Face ID.
The update also provides worldwide support for 5G in Dual-SIM mode on iPhone 12 models, so if you use multiple lines, both can now connect at 5G speeds. Until now, Dual-SIM mode was limited to LTE networks.
With watchOS 7.4, iOS and iPadOS 14.5 include AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness +, so Apple Fitness + subscribers can start a workout on an iPhone or iPAd and then AirPlay it to a compatible smart TV or digital box. AirPlay 2 supports audio and video, but it does not display on-screen training measurements.
PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers are supported on iPhone and iPad with iOS 14.5, and the code suggests that Apple will add joint account support for the Apple card in the near future.
iOS 14.5 includes a Waze-like Crowdsourcing feature for reporting accidents, hazards and speed checks along a route in Maps when you get directions.
There’s a new “Report” button available in the Apple Maps app that lets you tap to report an accident, hazard, or speed trap at your location in the Apple Maps app, which is a feature that maps the Waze app. This is available directly on iPhone and in CarPlay.
There are several new emoji characters in iOS 14.5 beta, with Apple introducing heart on fire, repairing heart, exhaling face, face with spiral eyes, face in clouds, along with various gender options for people with beards. There are also new paremojis that have new skin color blends.
Apple removed the blood from the emoji from the syringe, updated the headphone emoji to look like AirPods Max instead of a generic set of headphones, and added a helmet to rock-climbing emoji.
The Find MyS app has added a new “Items” tab, which will work with non-Apple products such as Beats headphones and Belkin’s wireless earbuds designed to integrate with the indFind My app. Any item tracking feature that uses Apple’s Find My API will appear right next to your Apple devices, and the Items tab will also work with AirTags when finally released.
IOS 14.5 beta addresses the green hue issue experienced by some PiPhone owners, and Apple confirms that the beta has “optimizations” to help with the issue.
“iOS and iPadOS 14.5 beta 2 include an optimization to reduce the appearance of a faint glow that may appear at reduced brightness levels with a black background,” reads Apple’s iOS 14.5 beta notes. For some users, there are improvements thanks to the optimizations, but for others, the problem still seems to exist, so Apple may have some further work to do.
iOS and iPadOS 14.5 add a new feature to select a preferred streaming music service to use with Siri. For example, if you prefer Spotify over Apple Music, you can now select Spotify as the app you want to use with Siri, and all Siri song requests will go through Spotify without having to add “on Spotify” to the end of Siri requests. This is a new Siri intelligence feature that works with music apps, podcast apps and audiobook apps.
iOS 14.5 is the update where Apple begins to require developers to comply with the app tracking transparency rules. Going forward, developers will need to request and receive your permission to access your random ad identifier and track your activity across apps and websites.
Apple has made design customizations to the Apple News and Podcasts apps, plus there are new printing and sorting options in Reminders. There are new emergency alert settings, a horizontal loading screen on iPad and tons of other minor feature adjustments described in our complete iOS 14.5 feature guide, which we’ve been updating throughout the testing process.