Apple today introduced the second beta version of iOS and iPadOS 14.5, and builds on the comprehensive feature set that was introduced in the first beta.
Changes in the second beta are smaller in scale than what we saw in the first beta, but there are still new additions that are worth noting. Below, we’ve rounded up the changes we’ve discovered in the second beta.
New Emoji characters
As highlighted by Emojipedia, iOS 14.5 introduces several new emoji characters, including Heart on Fire, Heart Repair, Exhaled 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 has removed the blood from syringe emoji to give it a more neutral appearance that also works for vaccinations. The headphone emoji has been updated to look like AirPods Max instead of a generic set of headphones, and rock climbing emoji now include a helmet.
Reports suggest that the second beta version of iOS 14.5 may address the issue of the green color that some iPhone owners have experienced. Some iPhone 12 models have a gray or green glow, a problem that Apple said they investigated back in November. For some users there are improvements, but for others the problem still seems to exist, so it is not entirely clear if the beta definitely addresses the color.
Battery pack is mentioned
There is a vague mention of charging a iPhone with a “battery pack” in the iOS 14.5 code under the optimized charging section. It is not clear what Apple is referring to with the “battery pack” since existing battery options from Apple are the Smart Battery Case. There is either unusual wording in the case or a hint of a future iPhone 12 battery pack. “To improve charging efficiency and maximize available battery life, the battery pack will keep your phone charged at around 90%,” the text reads.
iPad Smart Folio Security
On the 8th generation iPad, 4th generation iPad Air, 2nd generation 11-inch iPad Pro and 4th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple has added a new privacy feature designed to mute the built-in when Smart Folio is turned on of.
This prevents apps from accessing the microphone when the tablet is not in use, with the feature also working with other MFi-smart cases. Apple first introduced this feature in the 2020 iPad Pro models, and is expanding it to more models.
There is a new shortcut action to take a screenshot that can be integrated into different shortcuts, plus new actions to lock the direction of ofiPhone and switch between mobile data modes. With the voice and data mode action, there are options to select 5G, 5G Auto and 4G network options.
There are new slide shows in Apple Music to add a song to the currently playing queue or add it to the Apple Music library. When you press and hold a song, there are also new options for “Last play” and “View album.” In the library, the download button has been replaced by three dots that can be pressed to access a whole range of options for a song. The actions are the same as the actions available when you long press a song title anywhere in the Music app.
Software updated text
The first beta version of iOS 14.5 adjusted the software update text to say “Your” iPhone “has been updated with all the latest bug fixes and security enhancements,” but iOS 14.5 beta 2 is back. Now it only says “iOS is up to date”, which can be placeholder text for a future change.
App Store privacy labels
Apple has adapted the look of App Store Privacy Labels to make it easier to distinguish them in dark mode.
Code changes and minor features
There are a handful of changes to the underlying code that do not necessarily reflect the implementation of new features at this time, but could potentially serve as an indication of what is to come in the future. There are also some minor changes and adjustments that we have included below.
- For the Find My app, there are new wordings for AirTags or future third-party product trackers. “These are objects that are not yours, but have been seen with you continuously.”
- There is a review of Web Apps that access speech recognition.
- There is an Apple Watch accessibility option for headphone alerts, which allows the feature to be turned off.
- Apps can request to connect with your friends in the Game Center for enhanced multiplayer.
Missing iOS 14.5 Beta 2 features?
Do you see anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it.
More iOS 14.5 features
We have a complete list of all the features that are new to iOS 14.5 this spring dedicated iOS 14.5 features guide, which is worth checking out if you want to know what to expect when the software is released to the public in early spring.