Apple has delivered the next big update iOS 14.5 which will help iPhone users unlock the device with Apple Watch when attempting to use Face ID while wearing a face mask in the pandemic times, along with requiring apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data.
The iOS 14.5 also brings exciting new features to the iPhone like more diverse Siri voices, skin tone options to better represent couples in emoji, and much more.
Apple said in a statement late on Monday that iOS 14.5 is now available as a free software update.
“With Apple Watch on the wrist, unlocked, and in close proximity to iPhone, users can simply glance at their iPhone and they will receive haptic feedback from Apple Watch, indicating their iPhone has been unlocked,” the company informed.
The new feature works with iPhone X and later and Apple Watch Series 3 and later.
With iOS 14.5, Siri no longer has a default voice, allowing users to choose the voice that speaks to them when they first set up their device, and in English, users can now select more diverse voice options.
Siri also gains new capabilities with support for Group FaceTime, making it easier to initiate calls with multiple contacts or ask Siri to FaceTime the name of any group in Messages.
“In addition to incoming messages, Siri can now announce incoming calls through AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, and supports calling emergency contacts if the iPhone owner needs assistance and is unable to make a call,” Apple said.
On new privacy controls, Apple said that the App Tracking Transparency requires apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies for advertising, or sharing their data with data brokers.
Apps can prompt users for permission, and in Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes to their choice at any time.
iOS 14.5 introduces an exciting update for the couple kissing emoji and couple with heart emoji with the ability to select different skin tones.
Additional emoji include characters for face exhaling, face with spiral eyes, face in clouds, hearts on fire, mending heart, and woman with a beard, among others.
Maps users in the US and China can now safely and easily report an accident, hazard, or speed check along their route by telling Siri on iPhone or CarPlay.
With iOS 14.5, “Apple Podcasts gets redesigned show pages to make it easier to start listening, as well as an option to save and download episodes so they are automatically added to Library for quick access”.
The company said that AirTag support now allows users to keep track of and find important items, such as keys, a wallet, backpack, or more, privately and securely in the Find My app.
“5G improvements for iPhone 12 models include Dual SIM support for 5G connectivity and Smart Data Mode enhancements to further optimize the experience on the network, including better battery life and data usage,” Apple said.