Apple’s iOS 14.4 update may have arrived only last week but the next rendition is already in Beta mode. iOS 14.5 was made available to developers earlier today and with it came the news of some new features in the pipeline for iPad and iPhone users.
Here’s what to expect from the iOS 14.5 update.
You’ll be able to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask
Considering we spend a lot of time wearing masks these days, this new feature is particularly welcome. iOS 14.5 will introduce a new integrated unlocking feature for Apple iPhone and Apple Watch users.
In settings, users will be able to allow their authenticated Apple Watch to unlock their iPhone. The connected Apple Watch must be nearby and unlocked via its own passcode for this feature to work. It means you won’t need to remove your face mask every time you want to access your phone with Face ID.
However, this feature will only be available for Apple Watch owners.
Apple Fitness+ AirPlay 2 compatibility
A pretty big update for Fitness+ will be the ability to cast the app to your TV via AirPlay 2. Currently, users can access Fitness+ only via the app on their iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
This new feature will allow for any AirPlay 2 compatible smart TV or top box to display Apple Fitness+ workouts. This opens the door for a lot more people hoping to play their workouts on a bigger screen.
Unfortunately, streaming via AirPlay 2 will not display workout metrics like the Burn Bar or heartbeat monitor on screen. Users will need to look to their connected iPhone or iPad device for these stats.
Next-gen controller support
Apple has previously supported a number of gaming controllers for use with its devices. The iOS 14.5 update will expand this to include the next-gen PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers.
Users will be able to wirelessly pair their controllers with their iPhone and iPad device and use them for things such as playing Apple arcade games or navigating the App Store. It’s likely this feature will also come to Apple TV OS 14.5.
App Tracking Transparency Feature
Apple announced last week that its App Tracking Transparency feature would be rolled out in the iOS 14.5 update. This feature essentially forces apps to provide users with the option to choose whether an app can track their data or not.
App developers will need to notify users in the form of a pop-up notification which offers users a choice to select “ask app not to track.” This is an effort from Apple to improve its privacy and data security standards.
A couple of Apple’s home brand apps will get a makeover with iOS 14.5. MacRumors reports that the Podcasts app is getting a redesign for its “shows” tab with more prominent episode descriptions. The search tab will also allow users to browse categories.
The Reminders app will give the option to sort lists with filters such as due date, creation date and priority. Not to mention you’ll now be able to print a Reminder list.
The Apple ‘News’ app is also getting a layout shuffle with a ‘For You’ feature in the News+ section and a separate search tab.
New features from this latest iOS Beta are still being discovered. Apple will publish a full list of features and fixes in the patch notes, as always, when iOS 14.5 is available for public download.
The iOS 14.5 update is expected to be available to the public in Autumn.