Apple

iOS 14.5 / iPadOS 14.5 Released: Some Are Happy, But Some Devs Suffer A Lot

Last year, on September 14, Apple released the iOS 14.0 (iPadOS 14.0). Since this date, we haven’t got anything official from the Cupertino company though we knew an update is on the way. We mean the beta version of the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 has been in the tests unusually longer. And today, the company officially started pushing out an OTA update that will not only change the system version to 14.5 but also bring tons of improvements.

At the end of this article, you can find the full iOS 14.5 release notes. But as for now, let’s get acquainted with a few most-important and long-awaited changes.

App Tracking Transparency

All top tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. earn a lot via their ad services. To provide the best ad service (at least, they prove), these companies need to track users’ activity. Only after collecting corresponding data, they can display target ads, ensuring high conversion rate.

Those ads are displayed in the apps of various developers and companies. The tracking technique in the App Store is known as ID for Advertisers (IDFA). As the name implies, it tracks users’ activity between multiple apps. But as Apple has previously announced and launched today, this technique and the policy will change starting the iOS 14.5 and the iPadOS 14.5.

This simply means, from now on, any app from the App Store should ask permissions from users in advance. Only after that, they can track users’ activity and collect their data. Of course, many users won’t allow concrete apps to track them. And in total, the App Tracking Transparency and the new policy will hugely affect the revenue of the dev companies.    

Of course, not all apps and apps not only earn via ads. So these changes will affect only those apps that rely on advertising. But it seems Apple is not concerned much because it thinks how its users are tracked and how their data is used and accessed is more important.

Face ID Unlocks Even If Wearing Mask

Face ID was first introduced in 2017. It’s been considered one of the best face recognition methods. However, COVID-19 showed that it’s not an ideal biometric identification solution. We mean when wearing mask, in most cases, it won’t unlock your iDevice.

With the iOS 14.5 / iPadOS 14.5 this feature has become even smarter. As you guess, they allow the phone to unlock when you wear a mask. But for this, you have to use the Apple Watch running on recenlty-released watchOS 7.4.

If you wear a mask, you can just unlock the Apple Watch on your wrist, then take a quick glance at the iPhone, and it will unlock. The key point here is that the iPhone unlocks via the watch’s own authentication.

Siri Improvements

Like other popular voice assistants, Apple added two new voices – a Black female voice, and a Black male voice. Plus, now, Siri offers various voice options. So you can chose any when setting up it for the first time.

After updating you iPhone to iOS 14.5 (for iPads, to iPadOS 14.5), you will be able to initiate FaceTime calls with groups of people. Just ask Siri to call any already existing Messages group.

Siri has become a helpful assistant that will announce incoming calls through connected AirPods or Beats headphones or make emergency calls when the iPhone owner is unable to make a call.

Full iOS 14.5 release notes

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

  • Ability to unlock your iPhone X and later with Apple Watch Series 3 and later when you attempt to use Face ID while wearing a face mask

AirTag and Find My

  • Support for AirTag to keep track of and find your important items like your keys, wallet, backpack and more, privately and securely in the Find My app
  • Precision Finding uses visual, audible, and haptic feedback to guide you directly to your nearby AirTag using Ultra Wideband provided by the U1 chip on iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models
  • AirTag can be located by playing a sound via the built-in speaker
  • The Find My network with hundreds of millions of devices can help you find your AirTag, even when it isn’t nearby
  • Lost Mode notifies you when your AirTag is found, and you can enter a phone number where you can be contacted

Emoji

  • Support for separate skin tones for each individual in all variations of the couple kissing emoji and couple with heart emoji
  • New face emojis, heart emojis, woman with a beard emoji

Siri

  • Siri now includes more diverse voice options
  • Incoming calls can be announced with Siri, including who is calling, when you’re wearing your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, and you can answer hands-free
  • Group FaceTime calls are supported by asking Siri to FaceTime a list of contacts or a group name from Messages
  • Emergency contacts can be called by asking Siri

Privacy

  • App Tracking Transparency lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers

Apple Music

  • Share your favorite lyrics using Messages, Facebook, and Instagram Stories, and subscribers can play the snippet in Messages without leaving the conversation
  • City charts showcase what’s popular in over 100 cities from all over the world

Podcasts

  • Podcasts Show Pages are redesigned to make it easier to start listening
  • Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your Library for quick access
  • Download behavior and notification settings can be customized on a show-by-show basis
  • Top Charts and popular categories in Search help you discover new shows

5G improvements

  • Dual SIM support enables 5G connectivity on the line that’s using cellular data on iPhone 12 models
  • Smart Data Mode improvements further optimize your experience on 5G networks for better battery life and data usage on iPhone 12 models
  • 5G international roaming enabled on supported carriers on iPhone 12 models

News

  • Redesigned News+ tab enables Apple News+ subscribers to quickly find, download, and manage magazine and newspaper issues
  • All-new Search experience that helps you find relevant topics, channels, and stories

Maps

  • Accidents, hazards, or speed checks along your route can be reported by telling Siri on your iPhone or on CarPlay
  • Estimated time of arrival (ETA) can be shared when cycling or walking, in addition to driving, by asking Siri or tapping on the route card at the bottom of the screen, then tapping Share ETA

Reminders

  • Ability to sort reminders by Title, Priority, Due Date, or Creation date
  • Option to print your reminder lists

Translate

  • Translation playback speed can be adjusted by long-pressing the play button

Gaming

  • Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller or Sony PS5 DualSense™ Wireless Controller support

Fitness+

  • Ability to stream audio and video content from Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices

CarPlay

  • ETA in Apple Maps can be easily shared while driving with new Siri or keyboard controls in CarPlay

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Messages at the bottom of the thread may be hidden by the keyboard under certain circumstances
  • Deleted messages may still appear in Spotlight search
  • Messages may persistently fail to send texts in some threads
  • Mail would not load new emails for some users until restarting the device
  • Call blocking and identification section may not appear in Phone settings
  • iCloud Tabs may not appear in Safari
  • iCloud Keychain could be prevented from turning off
  • Reminders created via Siri may be unintentionally set for early morning hours
  • Battery health reporting system will recalibrate maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability on iPhone 11 models to address inaccurate estimates of battery health reporting for some users (https://support.apple.com/HT212247)
  • Optimization to reduce the appearance of a dim glow that may appear at reduced brightness levels with black backgrounds on iPhone 12 models
  • AirPods audio routing to incorrect device for Automatic Switching
  • AirPods Automatic Switching notifications might be missing or duplicated
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