Tech

Everything you need to know about Apple’s iOS 14.5

Apple's latest iOS update is coming next week with at one controversial new privacy update.

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Apple’s latest iOS update is ready for public consumption. Users can now download the first non-beta version starting this week, which includes several new and important features you might want to take advantage of.

Here’s what you need to know...

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App transparency updates

While Apple’s app tracking transparency rules aren’t new to iOS 14.5, the latest update will see full enforcement of a feature that requires developers to send a request when they want to track users across websites. That means anyone running iOS 14.5 will receive a notification when websites attempt to track them, allowing them to either accept or deny the request.

This feature is notably controversial among news publishers and big tech companies like Facebook who say the ability to prevent web tracking could deeply affect advertising revenue.

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Apple Watch unlock

Apple will try to make wearing a face mask less of a hassle for users that rely on FaceID to unlock their phones. In iOS 14.5, you can now unlock your phone your iPhone with an Apple Watch if the two devices are in close proximity to one another. The feature will require you to have iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 on your Apple Watch and won’t apply to Apple Pay or App Store purchases, however. You’ll also need to unlock your Apple Watch first for the feature to work.

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Battery health fix

Apple is making some updates to its battery health feature that gives users a run-down on whether their phone’s battery is underperforming. This fix follows issues with the iPhone 11 that caused inaccurate assessment of battery health and according to a recent statement from the company, only affected the iPhone 11. The fix should happen automatically once you download iOS 14.5 and you can check to see if the feature is recalibrating by navigating to Settings, then Battery, and Battery Health.

New Siri voices

Siri is getting an update in iOS 14.5 with two new American English voice options which can be selected from the Siri & Search tab in the Settings menu. In addition to the new voices, Apple will stop defaulting Siri’s voice to female, and instead will prompt users to select a voice when they set up their phone.

Apple Maps crowdsourcing

Apple Maps will start crowdsourcing accidents and traffic updates in iOS 14.5, borrowing a popular feature from competitors like Waze. To report an accident or traffic, users will be able to simply press a dedicated button in the app.

Game controller support

iOS 14.5 will support controllers from both the PlayStation 5 (the DualSense) and Xbox Series X and S, meaning you’ll be able to play iOS games with all the ergonomic luxury that Microsoft and Sony have to offer.

New emoji

iOS 14.5 will also come with more than 200 new emoji, including skin tone variations, “face in clouds,” and a “flaming heart.” Oh, also a less bloody syringe.

Answering calls with Siri

As reported by 9to5Mac, an update to Siri’s capabilities will let users answer calls hands-free while they’re using headphones. The feature is one of several Siri expansions, including the ability to announce incoming calls and choose whether to accept or deny them. To turn the feature on, you can navigate to Settings, Phone, and then Announce Calls.

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