After months of beta testing and delays, Apple has finally announced the release of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, the latest and greatest versions of Apple’s mobile operating systems featuring a series of long-awaited features.
Perhaps the most notable — and most controversial — new feature is App Tracking Transparency, also called ATT. The feature essentially allows users to determine whether or not apps are allowed to track them across other apps and services. This tracking tactic is used by the likes of Facebook and Google to collect data on users that could ultimately be used to advertise to them.
Of course, that’s not the only feature on offer in iOS 14.5. In fact, there are a range of other features that could come in handy. For example, iOS 14.5 now makes it easier to unlock your phone when you’re wearing a mask, as long as you have an Apple Watch. Basically, if your watch is being worn, and is nearby when you unlock your phone, it can unlock your phone automatically — without you having to punch in your PIN code.
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Siri is getting a few updates, too. There will no longer be a default voice for Siri — users will be prompted to select a voice when setting up a new device. And you can now select a new default music service, which means that Siri can play songs from a different service when asked to play music.
Apple Maps is getting more interactive, too. Maps now allows users to report things like speed traps and accidents, bringing the service one step closer to Waze. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how it all works, but the assumption is that Maps will use data to route users around things like accidents. Apple Maps could already alert users to accidents, however the new changes may speed up this process.
Other smaller updates are being released with iOS 14.5, too. For example, users can now stream their Fitness+ workouts using AirPlay. And the operating system now finally supports new game controllers like the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller and the Xbox Series X controller.
iOS 14.5 is likely to be the biggest update to iOS until iOS 15 rolls out.