As Apple continues beta testing of iOS 14.5, speculation is rife about a potential release to the public. Currently, all signs point to a release sometime in the spring. Read on as we summarize everything we know about iOS 14.5 so far.
What’s new in iOS 14.5?
The biggest change in iOS 14.5 is a new feature that lets you unlock your iPhone with the Apple Watch when you use a face mask. This feature also requires watchOS 7.4, which we expect to be released to the public along with iOS 14.5.
After updating and activating this feature, the iPhone will automatically unlock with the Apple Watch the next time you wear a face mask. When the iPhone is unlocked, you will receive a haptic feedback alert on the Apple Watch telling you that the iPhone was unlocked by the Apple Watch. It is also possible to quickly “Lock iPhone”
iOS 14.5 also includes a major upgrade for privacy in the form of App Tracking Transparency, a feature that was planned for the first release of iOS 14, but delayed until now.
Transparency in app tracking is a new feature that requires apps to ask permission from users before being tracked across other apps and websites. Under Settings, users will also be able to see which apps have requested permission to track, so that they can make changes as they wish.
For example, when this requirement takes effect, you will see a popup when you open the Facebook app and say that Facebook will track you across other apps and websites. There will be two options to choose from: “Ask the app not to track” or “Allow.” The feature has already raised anger from Facebook.
Then iOS 14.5 brings a new Siri intelligence feature that helps the virtual assistant adapt to your favorite music application. Apple has explained that because there are no specific settings in iOS where users can configure a “standard” music service, so this feature is designed specifically as a Siri intelligence feature.
This means that when you ask Siri to play a song for the first time after installing iOS 14.5, Siri will ask you which app you want to use. After pressing one of the options, it becomes the default for the next commands. This works for apps like Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music.
iOS 14.5 also includes notable changes to Siri. Apple says that the voice assistant will no longer be a female voice starting with this release. There are also two additional voice options to choose from.
Other new features in iOS 14.5:
iOS 14.5 release
Apple did not usually announce the release of iOS point updates, but this year we got a hint as to when we expect iOS 14.5 to be released.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important new features that comes with iOS 14.5 is the new privacy feature for App Tracking Transparency. Apple has said that App Tracking Transparency will “roll out in early spring with an upcoming release of iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14.” In a recent interview, Tim Cook said that App Tracking Transparency is “several weeks” away at this point.
In comparison, last year, Apple released iOS 13.4 on March 24 after the announcement of the Magic Trackpad for iPad. iOS 13.4 went through five developer and public beta tests.
iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 can also be linked to the release of new hardware products from Apple. Rumor has it that Apple could release AirTags and new iPad Pro models in April, and AirTags specifically relies on new features in iOS 14.5.
This means that Apple can announce AirTags and then release iOS 14.5 to the public with the new Find My Features. What is unclear, however, is when Apple will release these new products to the world, and whether it will hold a virtual event to do so.
As you can see, we are approaching the official release of iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 and iPadOS 14.5. In fact, we may be within weeks of the release. What are you most excited to see when iOS 14.5 is released to the public? Are you planning to use the new Apple Watch Unlock feature? Let us know in the comments!
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