Made Waze speed traps less effective
The next iOS 14 update - iOS 14.5 - is currently in beta, but that may change as early as this week. Apple has already released its beta version for iOS 14.5 to developers and given them a strict schedule for implementing the new transparency requirements for app tracking in their apps. And there is also a public beta.
More transparent privacy requirements highlight the upcoming release, but we've found more iOS 14.5 features worth mentioning as we've used the iOS 14.5 public beta. Among these additions, Apple added a way to use Face ID to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask. iOS 14.5 also includes a major update to the Find My app, signaling the arrival of AirTag's Product Finder - a product that Apple is slated to announce this week's Spring Loaded event.
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We assume that many users will update to iOS 14.5 after the final update. Apple recently announced that iOS 14 - specifically iOS 14.4 - is installed on 80% of all active iPhones and on 86% of iPhones launched in the past four years.
We worked through the beta version of iOS 14.5 to find the most important additions. However, this is not a complete, definitive list. Apple could add or tweak more features ahead of the final iOS 14.5 release that we'd expect sometime this month. In Beta 6, Apple added features that we hadn't discovered before.
IOS 14.5 release date
You have been able to download iOS 14.5 as a public beta for a while, with Beta 8 currently available. That could mean a release date is coming soon, although there's no official word on when. The iOS 14.5 update is rumored to be ready in spring - we hope it will be sometime in April.
Apple is hosting a press event on Tuesday (April 20th) this week, with an expected focus on new iPad Pro models as well as other products, including AirTags. If Apple is looking to do a huge amount of iOS 14.5, it could certainly save time on this event, although the company may also be releasing the update like any iOS version. For what it's worth, Bloomberg reports Apple is slated to announce a release date for iOS 14.5 on April 20th.
Apple also set a date for the annual global developer conference where iOS 15 numbers to get a preview before its fall release. Since Apple usually launches the beta program for the next iOS update at WWDC, we expect iOS 14.5 to be released long before the conference starts on June 7th.
iOS 14.5 Beta 8
Apple has now released the eighth beta version of iOS 14.5, with this version following closely behind betas 6 and 7. That fast pace usually suggests that Apple is tweaking things for a full release.
The big changes were made in earlier versions of the iOS 14.5 beta, although the most recent beta 6 update gave us two of the brand new American English voices for Siri. We also learned that Apple's digital assistant no longer uses a female voice by default.
Additionally, iOS 14.5 beta 6 introduced a tool to recalibrate battery health, which we will discuss in more detail later. It is designed to help you extend the battery life of your iPhone, provided it is suitable for the iOS 14.5 update. Some iPhone users have reported better battery life since installing the beta.
Take a look at all of the features iOS 14.5 might have and why you might want to consider the beta version. (Note that some of the following features may not appear in the full version of iOS 14.)
Public beta features for iOS 14.5 and download information
We have a step-by-step guide on how to download the iOS 14.5 Public Beta. However, we recommend that you don't use your primary phone. It's best for a secondary device to try out the new features. Note that you will need to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program page to try the iOS 14.5 Public Beta.
Unlock using Apple Watch with iOS 14.5
We learned about Face ID's shortcomings when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Face masks confused the face ID sensors, which meant we had to manually unlock our iPhones last year. Fortunately, Apple found a workaround, although there is one major caveat: you need an Apple Watch.
Unlocking with Apple Watch is exactly what it sounds like. Apple's wearable lets you bypass Face ID to unlock your iPhone. It is necessary that both devices are very close to each other. Otherwise, you will have to unlock the phone manually. The Apple Watch must also be unlocked for this to work.
Once you have iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, you're good to go the settings under Facial ID and passcode. Note that you cannot use Unlock with Apple Watch to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases. These still require your face or passcode.
App tracking transparency in iOS 14.5
iOS 14.5 adds new guidelines for app tracking transparency. An important change that Apple has planned since iOS first announced last summer. App developers like Facebook will need your permission to access your advertising ID. With this ID they can track you across apps and websites. A report by AdWeek is expected to see around two-thirds of iPhone users using the feature, which could particularly affect free iOS apps.
Some of these privacy features are already in iOS 14, but 14.5 is the deadline for app developers to implement the new policy before the apps are removed from the app store. Developers are reporting a spate of rejections on the App Store for not fully complying with Apple's new privacy requirements, leading us to conclude that the arrival of iOS 14.5 is imminent.
If everything is live, a new popup will ask you if you want to be tracked by the app. Apple is once again striving for sheer simplicity. This is a huge advancement for privacy and we are excited to see it come to fruition.
Apple Maps crowdsourced accidents (and over speeding) in iOS 14.5
In iOS 14.5, Apple Maps is set to copy a popular key feature from Waze. It will use real drivers to help crowd out traffic accidents, speeding and other traffic hazards just like its main competitors can. There is a special report button in Maps that is available both on the phone and in CarPlay - simple but effective.
Crowd data from Apple Maps in iOS 14.5
Accidents and speed traps aren't the only crowd source data available in Maps, at least according to one rumor. MacRumors reports that the iOS Location Services menu now detects that certain apps are launched when you are at a point of interest or when companies are sending anonymously encrypted information that the Maps app can use to determine how many people are a specific point in time on a website from the day. That would allow maps to show whether or not the place you are headed to is crowded and when the crowd is expected to peak. Google Maps offers a similar function.
It's unclear if this feature will be available at the time iOS 14.5 releases, or if Apple is collecting the data for a future update to add Cap's crowd-tracking capabilities.
Further app improvements in iOS 14.5
Apple optimizes more than just apps in iOS 14.5. IOS 14.5 beta users have noticed various changes to podcasts and reminders. None of the improvements are earth-shattering, but they should make using iOS 14's built-in apps easier.
The Podcasts app has a redesigned Show page for easier playback management with more control over the episodes you've downloaded. In reminders, you can now sort tasks by priority, date, and other factors. You can also print out a list of tasks. Finally, there's now a dedicated search tab in the News app, and Apple News Plus subscribers get their own redesigned tab to help them discover new content.
Teach Siri your favorite music app in iOS 14.5
IOS 14 lets you choose your own default browser and email apps. This is a long overdue change. Unfortunately, iOS 14.5 doesn't let you set a default music service app. Apple has confirmed this - but you can teach Siri your favorite apps over time.
If you tell Siri to play a song without specifying an app, you'll be prompted with a list of possible apps. Just tap the one you want. Over time, Siri may learn your settings to the point where you are no longer asked. However, this may cause the final version of iOS 14.5 to work completely. Siri will ask again if you suddenly change your app usage habits.
New voices for Siri in iOS 14.5
Speaking of changes to Siri, iOS 14.5 introduces a few. One of the most visible changes - or more specifically one of the most audible - is the addition of two new language options in the American English section of Siri's Settings. The idea is to encourage inclusivity and give users a greater chance of choosing a voice that seems familiar to them.
We have a guide on how to enable Siri’s new voices in iOS 14.5, but just open the Settings app and select Siri & Search. In the Siri voice menu, you now have four options under American English, with options 2 and 3 being the new options.
In addition to the new voices, Siri will no longer use a female voice by default in the future. Instead, you'll be asked to choose a voice when setting up a new iPhone. This feature is unlikely to affect iPhone users simply upgrading to iOS 14.5. It sounds more like this feature will be used the next time you buy a new Apple iPhone.
Battery health calibration in iOS 14.5
Beta 6 for iOS 14.5 has added a new feature that makes it easier to tell if your iPhone's battery is performing poorly. The new battery health recalibration tool aims to correct "inaccurate battery health reporting estimates". It sounds like the feature runs automatically, with the goal of more accurately showing the maximum capacity of your phone's battery. When that capacity has dropped, it is usually a sign that you need to replace your battery.
From an Apple Support document, battery level recalibration currently only works on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. It is unclear whether the finished version will be rolled out to other iPhone models.
PS5 and Xbox Series X support | S controller in iOS 14.5
While both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. remain in short supply, you can still get your hands on one of the new controllers easily enough. If you have one, either a PlayStation 5 DualSense or an Xbox Series X | S controller, you can pair it with your iPhone in iOS 14.5.
Apple Fitness Plus AirPlay 2 support in iOS 14.5
iOS 14.5 enables AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness Plus, which means that you can transfer your workout to any AirPlay 2 compatible display.
Note that Apple Watch metrics won't show up on the larger screen. You need to view these data points on your iPhone or iPad.
Support for dual SIM 5G in iOS 14.5
Dual SIM iPhone users can use 5G worldwide on iOS 14.5 with iPhone 12 series. Dual SIM means that you can have two separate service lines on one device. This is great for people who keep their work and personal relationships separate, or for international travel.
When iOS 14.5 lands, both SIM cards will have access to full 5G speeds.
Find my app in iOS 14.5
It looks like Apple is about to launch the AirTags, which you can use to find your keys and wallet, for example. Twitter user @ IceCoolTech posted a few screenshots of iOS 14.5 Beta 3 showing the new Apple Find My app. The app relates to third-party accessories, including an item section that allows you to track various items.
The Find My What's New image says, "Add non-Apple products to Find My. Find your backpack, luggage, headphones, or other item. This signals that the AirTags should be on their way.
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPhone users can also use Apple's Find My app to find their PowerBeats Pro headphones. The wireless earbuds are connected to several other products that support the Find My app, including the iPhone, MacBooks, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Users can trigger a sound played by the PowerBeats Pro to help locate the buds.
To prevent people from abusing AirTags to stalk someone against their will, iOS 14.5 also features an "anti-stalking" function, in which you are warned on your iPhone if an unrecognized AirTag tries to steal your Keep an eye on location.
Features of the Apple Card Family
There is currently no way to share a single Apple Card between multiple family members. This is a headache when you want all of your expenses and balances under one roof. That seems to be changing in iOS 14.5. The latest beta indicates features in the Apple Card family.
In particular, you can use the iCloud family share to give other people access to your Apple Card. You can give them full account access if you want them to have access to balances and expense history, or you can just limit that access to just allowing them to use the card for purchases.
iOS 14.5 Outlook
There's a lot more that we haven't covered here, but this update will include many improvements and new additions. Apple plans to make this release a big one, and we're excited to see it hit our iPhones and iPads.
If you don't want to wait for the final version of iOS 14.5, you can download the public beta right away as long as you sign up for Apple's beta program. It's easy - just go to the Apple Beta page in a browser on the device on which you want to install the beta. From there, register your iPhone in the program and log in with your Apple ID. Then follow the on-screen instructions to download a beta profile and install it on your phone.
A common word of caution: while the beta version of iOS 14.5 is pretty stable, it is still a beta version, which means problems can arise. If you rely heavily on your phone during the day, you may not want to expose it to the vagaries of beta software. If it does, wait for the finished version of iOS 14.5 to come out.
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