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What You Need to Know About IOS14.5

The new update will change the way businesses interact with potential consumers, features new tracking transparency updates, as well as a host of new features for the Apple user

IOS 14.5 is the next version of iOS14, which was first released in September of last year, just before the launch of the then-new iPhone 12. Although it won't bring as much of an 'update' as that expected from iOS15, it hosts a wide range of new features, some which are changing the way businesses are connecting with customers. iOS15 isn’t expected to be released in its finished form until September. Developers and members of the of the public are commenting on what they expect to be included, but because iOS14.5 is already in beta, there is plenty of information about it already available. The rollout was initially delayed in the end of 2020, but following new guidance released in January by Apple, which gave lots of insight on what was to be expected, many assume they would be seeing the update in February, many are now expecting to see the update available some time this month.

Release Date

The latest version of Apple's operating system, is now available as a public beta, which means you can download it, but it may contain some bugs and other fixes that are being worked on before the final release. Because these fixes still need to be made, it's not recommend that you download the public beta on a device you use regularly. Apple usually doesn't announce when a new version of iOS will be released, but as the developer beta for iOS 14.5 became available on Feb. 1, and the public beta shortly after, and releases come out roughly once a month, so it is expected that the final version will come during March, but of course no particular date can be pinned down.

Public Beta

If you do decide to download the iOS 14.5 public beta and try out some of the new features, despite the bugs that may occur, you will have to sign up for Apple's Beta Software Program at beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram. to sign up you'll need an Apple ID and password, and of course you'll need to agree to the terms and conditions. Once you're on the site just click 'signup', then 'iOS', and under 'Get Started', click 'Enroll your Apple device'. From there you'll find more instructions on how to do so.

Compatible Devices

iOS 14.5 will be compatible with all the same devices as iOS 14.4, which should already e installed (or available to be installed), so any device from the iPhone 6s and upwards to the iPhone 12, as well as the news iPod touch models. Some of the new features may only work with additional devices, which will be further detailed below.

New features

The new update is expected to bring a host of new features to Apple products, while not all of them are mentioned, and many are being saved for the pending iOS15 update, below are some of the best and most interesting features to come (hopefully this month!).

Tracking transparency

The update to tracking on the new update has been a widely spoken about topic, the Mobile Grown Online series touched on it too, which you can read about in our blog post on the event, as it was discussed how this may effect both the user experience, and the way businesses market to us and use our data. Essentially, iOS 14.5 includes privacy changes that will require apps to ask for user permission before tracking data and activity, although this seem simple, it has completely changed the way users will give permissions, and will likely damage the opt-in rate because of the extra steps involved in giving permissions. This privacy change comes as an addition to the change released in iOS 14.3, which allowed users to see what data apps collect before downloading. This update is known as App Tracking Transparency, and is mostly used by advertisers, like Facebook so with this new feature you'll be able to choose to opt in, Apple is insisting that users will still have full access to apps even if they don't choose to opt-in.

Unlocking your phone with mask support

Many people have complained about Face ID since face masks became the new norm, but Apple are looking to combat this struggle. Another new feature will allow you to use Face ID to unlock your iPhone , but unfortunately this feature is only for Apple Watch owners. But you'll be able to unlock your iPhone when your watch is on and unlocked, even if your face is obscured by a mask, the watch will also provide haptic feedback letting you know your iPhone has been unlocked. So essentially the watch is being used to authenticate your identity on your phone, meaning you can raise your phone as if to use Face ID, and it will unlock, followed by a notification on your watch. Although the downside is that it doesn’t currently work for other things that rely on Face ID, like authenticating purchases. But this might be something to look forward to in iOS15, and for now its a useful tool for Apple Watch users.

Siri and your music players

When it caught wind that there would be a change to selecting your default music player (aside form Apple Music), many assumed this would mean users could actually, and simply change the default music player in iOS 14.5, but a new update from Apple has confirmed that it is slightly less simple. While the new feature will allow users to have their choice of music players rather than defaulting to Apple Music, it isn't a specific change you can make within a Settings menu. Rather, Siri will use its learning of how you listen to music, and other audio pieces, so when asked to play a something, it Siri will ask from where you want it to be played. After a short while Siri will learn your listening habits, so it will gently integrate and perhaps get to know from where you want specific audio to be played from.

Console controller Support

There is also an addition of support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers as part of iOS 14.5, which was reportedly found in the public beta, which should make a great upgrade for users who own one of these games consoles. Apple is adding iOS and iPadOS support for these controllers, so you can play games from your phone or tablet.

Crowdsourcing in Applemaps

Although there is a much smaller than usual percentage of people going out and driving at the moment, but in the spirit of looking forward there is going to be an exciting update to Apple Maps, reported from users of the public beta. The MacRumors site reported that users can now report hazards, accidents, and speed checks along your journey, and that it's likely that if multiple people flag the same issue, a warning will appear on Apple Maps. Although as mot many people are travelling the feature is not getting enough use for that to have been confirmed, but it might be a great time to be testing it out in beta, so the influx of reports isn't too high.

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