iOS 14.5 has finally been released and with it comes some chunky updates. Here are some of the best.
iOS 14.5 introduces Unlock with face mask
The biggest change is that iOS 14.5 finally lets you unlock your iPhone with a face mask on.
This is great news, but it’s worth noting that you can only do this if you also have a compatible Apple Watch running WatchOS 7.4.
You can learn all about how to get this set up in our dedicated guide.
App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5
The other huge change that comes with iOS 14.5 is app transparency.
What the feature does is allow users to opt in (rather than opt out) of being tracked by apps across other apps and websites.
You can choose to either give individual apps permission to track you or block every app from being able to do this.
It’s been in the works for awhile and its been controversial to say the least. This is because it prevents an app from using tracked activity for targeted advertising purposes.
Unsurprisingly, companies such as Facebook are not happy about this.
In fact Facebook has said this could make the internet more expensive in the long run and has said this could negatively impact smaller online businesses.
Facebook has also argued that Apple is abusing its power in regards to what is allowed on iOS devices.
The company even took out full page advertisements in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post decrying the move.
To get started, download iOS 14.5 and head over to Settings and then Privacy. Go to Tracking and toggle “Allow Apps to Request to Track.”
If you would prefer that no apps can track you at all, keep it toggled off.
You can recalibrate your iPhone 11 battery
The iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have had issues inaccurate battery health estimates. This has also included battery drain issues and peak performance capabilities in some instances.
iOS 14.5 will now recalibrate the maximum battery capacity of these devices to address these inaccuracies.
Once iOS 14.5 is installed, the Battery Health section of the iPhone 11 phone settings will include a message about the recalibration process.
According to Apple this can take a few weeks to complete.
Select your preferred music streaming app with iOS 14.5
Back in March there were reports that the iOS 14.5 beta allowed users change their default music app on iPhone from Apple Music.
This is because when Siri was asked to play a song, she would subsequently ask which app you wanted her to use. That app would then be remembered for future queries.
According to Apple, this is not the same as changing the default and that, in fact there is no default music streaming app on iOS.
If this seems like weird semantics, it’s because it is.
Apple is currently involved in multiple antitrust cases in regards to the App Store and the Apple ecosystem in general.
Conveniently, Spotify is one of the companies that has raised significant complaints against Apple.
Spotify claims that Apple has created an anti-competitive ecosystem that favours its own products, but then also takes 30 per cent commission of all in-app purchases.
So perhaps it’s unsurprising that iOS 14.5 will now let you select which third party app you’d like to use the next time you ask Siri to play a song, audiobook or podcast.
Siri is no longer female by default
Speaking of Siri, it will no longer have a female voice be default. In fact, nine years after becoming part of the Apple ecosystem, Siri is no longer gendered at all.
iOS 14.5 should now allows users to change the ‘variety’ of Siri in the Siri Voice settings to choose a different voice.
Disclosure: the author owns shares in Apple.