iOS 15 will be announced in June, but until then we have perhaps the last major update for the current generation. Apple just released iOS and iPadOS 14.5 with a bunch of added features, plus bug fixes and security enhancements. This version has been in beta for two months and it shows. So what’s new?
The big news from this update is that Apple’s promised “App Tracking Transparency” will go live, adding a level of privacy that forces developers to list the data types collected from users within their apps and to get permission before tracking users. It’s a rule that’s got Facebook in a real bad mood – maybe because the list of ways that Facebook tracks you is comically long.
It’s a modern-day conundrum brought about by the pandemic: your phone unlocks with Face ID, but you’re wearing a mask and it doesn’t recognize you! Instead of typing in your password, you can now use an Apple Watch to authenticate your identity for quicker logins.
This update covers the annual emoji update, with over 200 new symbols added to the repertoire. That said, the vast majority are variations on a theme, so there are only a handful of all-new designs. Take a look at what’s new here.
A new battery recalibration tool for iPhone 11 and up is here to fix inaccurate battery life readings. The tool runs automatically but takes a couple of weeks to finish its work, but afterwards you’ll see much more accurate stats when you look up your battery’s max capacity and performance.
The first beta release of iOS 14.5 included a change that allowed users to switch their default music app away from Apple Music. That meant you’d be able to set Spotify or another favorite streaming app to take the lead when asking Siri to play a song. However, this change disappeared from later betas and it’s not present in the official release. Maybe it’ll be back for iOS 15?
That’s not all. Apple has added a raft of smaller changes too: better protection from fraudulent websites in Safari; dual 5G SIM support on iPhone 12; additional voices for Siri, new gestures and shortcuts, AirPlay 2 support for Fitness+, the ability for Siri to call emergency services, and wireless support for the latest PlayStation and Xbox controllers.
How to update
To get iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5, head to Settings > General > Software Update. Then simply follow the instructions to download and install the update. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you may find it has already installed – in which case you’ll see a message stating that your device is up to date.