It is here! iPhone owners can now dive into their settings menu and download the latest major update on iOS. Known as iOS 14.5, the new mobile operating system has all of the usual performance improvements as well as some exciting new features. Apple has incorporated more than 200 new emoji, new stricter privacy regulations, a redesigned Podcasts app, and a fix for Covid-19 face coverings that prevent face recognition from being unlocked for your iPhone.
Apple confirmed that iOS 14.5 will be available to iPhone owners worldwide after its first event in 2021 last week. During the 60-minute presentation streamed online, Apple announced a number of new gadgets, including a redesigned iMac, an updated iPad Pro with as much power as a MacBook, a new color for its iPhone 12, and AirTags. The latter can be attached to wallets, camera bags, backpacks and much more. These real-life objects are integrated into the Find My app on iOS to keep track of their location if they are misplaced.
AirTags require iOS 14.5 before they can be set up and used on your iPhone. Pre-orders for these trackers, which cost £ 29 for a single AirTag or £ 99 for a pack of four, started late last week. The first units are expected to be sent by post in the coming days. Therefore, it makes sense for Apple to make the iOS 14.5 update available today. That means most iPhone owners should have iOS 14.5 downloaded and installed by the time AirTags are available in the Apple Store on April 30, 2021.
When you’re ready to try iOS 14.5, you should go Settings> General> Software update. Be warned, however, it can take Apple a while to flip the switch for these highly anticipated operating system upgrades. Given that millions of iPhone owners are now trying to get their hands on the new operating system, it might be worthwhile to put the handset down and try again in about half an hour.
Whatever you do, don’t buy an iPad or iMac this weekend
If you’ve been lucky enough to start your iOS 14.5 download, here are some of the best features you can expect on your iPhone today.
Apple is bundling more than 200 new emoji with the new operating system to spice up your text messages. Some of the biggest changes to the emoji library in iPadOS 14.5 affect skin tones. The pictograms for couples can now be adjusted so that each member of the couple has their own skin tone.
So far, these emoji have been limited to the standard Simpsons-like shade of yellow. Apple added the same feature to the symbols of couples holding hands back in late 2019.
There are new smiley-style emoji depicting someone exhaling, a face with spiral eyes, and a face covered in clouds. Hearts are among the most popular emoji, so Apple adds a burning heart and a patched one. In addition to the new additions, Apple has also tweaked some existing emoji.
Most importantly, it removed the two drops of blood falling from the needle in its syringe emoji, supposedly to make the whole process look a little less … bloody. The liquid in the syringe will also change from red to clear. People are increasingly turning to this emoji to represent vaccination. Because of this change, the icon looks more like a shot from Oxford-AstraZeneca, rather than a blood sample.
A completely redesigned podcasts app is also available in iOS 14.5. Apple has redesigned the appearance of the app, which now includes show and episode pages that match what we see from the music streaming service Apple Music. In addition, it offers podcast listeners the option to pay a subscription fee to unlock ad-free episodes as well as exclusive content.
In addition, Siri no longer has a female voice by default and now offers more diverse language options in English.
While face coverings are helpful in reducing the spread of coronavirus, they don’t help with facial recognition found on iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and the iPad Pro range. It scans your face to authenticate contactless payments, unlock the handset and open secure apps like mobile banking.
With iOS 14.5, Apple Face ID allows you to unlock your smartphone if a face covering is blocking the scan. To do this without making your iPhone less secure, Apple looks for an unlocked Apple Watch in close proximity.
If the software finds that your Apple Watch is close enough to your wrist, unlocked, and signed in with the same Apple ID account, Face ID is working. That means you can check your bank balance before paying with a card, reply to WhatsApp texts and check a shopping list on your iPhone without having to resort to a PIN code to unlock your smartphone every time.
iOS 14.5 also offers stricter data protection regulations for iPhone owners. This new requirement from Apple, known as app tracking transparency, is forcing all apps to obtain your permission before tracking personal data between apps or websites of other companies in order to advertise or share their data with data brokers. So, in the future, if your searches are being pushed to advertisers to serve targeted ads on the same topic, the app will send a popup asking for your permission before it can act.
In Settings, iPhone users can see which apps have requested tracking permission, so they can make changes to their selections at any time. The change has caused a sensation among some of the largest advertisers in the world, including Facebook, which has spoken out about the impact multiple times App tracking transparency could affect “small businesses”.