Apple has rolled out iOS 14.5 update, which brings more privacy controls, the ability to unlock iPhone using Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, new Siri voices, Airtag support, redesigned Apple Podcasts and several other new or enhanced features.
Apple has also released a couple of other updates for their products, including iPadOS 14.5, macOS 11.3 (Big Sur), security updates for macOS Mojave and Catalina, Safari 14.1 for the Mojave and Catalina, Xcode 12.5 for Big Sur 11 and newer and iCloud for Windows 12.3.
iOS 14.5 is available on iPhone 6s and newer phones, including 1st-gen iPhone SE. iPadOS 14.5 is available for all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 and newer, 5th-gen iPad and newer, iPad Mini 4 and newer and 7th-gen iPod Touch.
Enhanced privacy controls
The latest iOS 14.5 update brings an App Tracking Transparency feature that will ask users for permission before any app can track their data across apps or websites (owned by other companies) for advertising or sharing the user information with data brokers.
Users will be able to see the list of apps that have requested permission to track their data across apps or websites and revoke them at any time.
Apple Watch can now unlock your iPhone
Following the update, Apple Watch owners will have the ability to unlock their iPhone using Face ID when wearing a mask. The feature requires iPhone X or newer and Apple Watch Series 3 or newer.
For this to work, the Apple Watch needs to be unlocked, on the wrist and in proximity to the iPhone.
Improvements to Siri
People will choose a Siri voice while setting up their iPhone, and they get a selection from more diverse voice options in English.
Siri can now also initiate Group Facetime or calls with multiple contacts. It can now also make emergency calls and announce incoming calls via Airpods or supported Beats headphones.
Apple Maps update
Maps users in USA and China can now report an accident, hazard, delay or speed check along their route by telling Siri on Carplay or iPhone and also report if the incident is now clear. Passengers can use the ‘Report an issue’ option on Maps.
People can also share their ETA using Carplay or through the keyboard shortcuts.
8 other features that ship with iOS 14.5 update
- Redesigned Podcast app: As reported last week, the iOS update brings a redesigned Apple Podcasts app with an enhanced search tab, top charts, categories and pages for shows. Listeners will also be able to download individual episodes for offline playback.
- Airtag support: iOS 14.5 introduces support for Airtag and allows people to find them using the Find My app.
- Redesigned Apple News: The app gets a redesigned News+ tab and a better search feature.
- Apple Fitness+: Allows streaming audio and video to AirPlay 2-enabled devices.
- Reminders app: People can now sort by title, priority, creation or due date and print reminder lists.
- 5G improvements: Brings dual-SIM support for 5G for iPhone 12 lineup, enhancements to smart data mode and overall improvement to battery life.
- Voice control for accessibility: Added support for English in Australia and Canada; and Spanish in Mexico, Spain and USA.
- Emojis: iOS 14.5 also brings new emojis with different skin tones.