Eight beta versions, over a period of two and a half months, that usually only happens for major releases. From WWDC to the final version of iOS 15 in September we will see this again, otherwise intermediate udpates get from Apple’s labs via beta testing to the devices of end users much faster, sometimes it’s just a matter of a few weeks.
iOS 14.5 and the closely related systems iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5, however, bring plenty of significant innovations, which justify the expense. Among them are important security updates, a recently introduced feature for white balancing TVs and the Ad Tracking Transparency announced almost a year ago . In addition, there are some security updates and support for the new Airtags. Here’s an overview of all the new features:
More security for all
Apple plans to offer security updates or other standalone installers for iOS and iPadOS separately in the future, as is already the case with macOS. This has the advantage that Apple could also maintain older systems without immediately issuing point updates. Only in rare cases Apple had after the release of a new version of iOS the previous one or twice updated, but most recently arose the need to lift even iOS 12 again to a new version, so that the Corona warning app is also usable on iPhone 6 and 5S. Read more details about the separate security updates here .
Apple continues to expand its emoji collection, new are additional variations of the couple emoji added, which can now also have different skin colors, now there are about 200 variations of it. An emoji for a bearded woman is completely new, a certain singer from Austria will be happy about it. The syringe emoji now comes without blood, so it’s perfect to use it to illustrate vaccinations. The headphone emoji now reminds us of the Airpods Max. Still sorely missed: emojis for white wine, white beer and white sausages. We wanted to add borscht to this row, but doing so would destroy the beautiful alliteration. But we don’t give up and remind the responsible consortium of our wishes every year.
Unlock despite mask
Israel could lift the mask obligation in the public, until it is so far with us, still some months will pass. In the meantime, however, you can unlock your Face ID iPhone despite the mask if you have paired it with an Apple Watch. On this is watchOS 7.4 provided. Read more here:
Color cast bug fixed
Some users report that iOS 14.5 the green tint resp. Yellow tint bug fixed on some iPhones 12. The first reports of this came as recently as November 2020 , Apple has promised an improvement.
Adjust white balance
While most of the new features had already been revealed through the public beta tests, a new one was added just a week ago to. Apple had it together with the new Apple TV 4K on its show "Spring Loaded" introduced: With the help of iPhone and Apple TV, you can not really color calibrate your TV, but adjust the white balance so that the Apple TV outputs better colors. This also works with older set-top boxes, as long as they have tvOS 14.5 installed and an iPhone with True-Depth camera, i.e. Face ID, as known since the iPhone X. How it works in detail, you can read here .
There are a couple of new options for Siri shortcuts: First, the automation app can be used to take the screenshot, this action can be integrated into your own shortcuts. There is a new shortcut that locks the orientation of the screen, and one that switches between 4G and 5G.
In addition to the obvious new features on the surface, Apple has fixed a few bugs behind the scenes that were. How Carplay works as intended, even if the iPhone shares contacts via Carplay. iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 (third generation and up) failed to connect to an external display via the USB-C multi-port adapter, this is now fixed.
Privacy for iPads
From iPadOS 14.5 the tablets with a Smart Folio will hijack the connection to the built-in microphone as soon as the smart case is closed.
Start screen in landscape format
Although not for the iPhones, but for the iPads with iPadOS 14.5 the system will show an alternative graphic if the device is in landscape mode at startup, for example at a keyboard. So far, the system only recognizes landscape mode when the iPad is docked to a Magic Keyboard. Without the keyboard attached, the iPad will launch in portrait mode as usual, even if the user holds the device crosswise.
Somewhat belatedly, the emoji search also comes to the iPad keyboard. The field for this already appeared on the iPhones in the fall with iOS 14.
For advertisers, Apple will bring a way to identify the origin pages and apps where users come from. Apple promises in its developer notes to design this identification in a privacy-friendly way.
The corresponding screen in the Settings app has been almost empty most of the time: If no update from Apple was available, the user could only read the standard sentence "Your software is up to date". Now a green tick will appear to indicate that this is indeed the case. The default set is extended by the notices of fixed security vulnerabilities, in addition, the screen shows when the user last checked for updates.
The developer combines all the suggestion algorithms from existing automated playlists and brings as a single playlist "For you" in the media library section. In addition, Apple Music can display the release dates of the individual songs and albums more precisely, so far only the year is displayed. As of iOS 14.5 the month and day can also be seen.
Apple Music presents "City Charts" for this purpose For 100 cities worldwide, so the most popular streams in New York, Rio, Tokyo and other cities. NFC tags, which Apple could install in its stores around the world, will bring information about Apple’s subscription services such as Apple Music, Apple TV+ or Apple Arcade directly to the screen of the iPhone.
Apple Music remains the default app for music, as does the "Podcasts" app for podcasts. But now Siri remembers if you don’t prefer listening to music or podcasts on another app. As soon as you say "Play the new album by Steve Lukather on Spotify" Siri will automatically redirect you to Spotify the next time you ask for the next music, similarly with podcasts.
Apple consistently goes the way to give Siri less and less screen real estate. Since the launch in the fall, personal assistant responses appear in the form of a notification and no longer cover the entire screen. Now Apple also has the fields for "Type Siri requests" Revised. These appear in the form of several bars at the top and bottom of the screen, the center remains free.
In the U.S., Apple now lets you choose which voice Siri should use when you set it up. Until now, the female voice was the default. Some new voice options are now added to the digital assistant, but they don’t have a gender, they are just called voice 1 to 4. For now, this only applies to US English, in all other languages there is a choice of "female" and "male".
"Where is?" for third parties
What used to be "Find my iPhone" was called and now "Where is?" is no longer just for finding a misplaced phone, the app also finds iPad, Mac and Airpos, and also gives the location of family members, if they have allowed the location to be tracked. Since last Friday, you can now order Airtags, which you can put in your wallet, attach to your suitcase or keychain, or leave in your car. In the app "Where is?" there is a new "Objects" tab for the Airtags and other. Apple has updated its "Where is?"-Network opened to everyone weeks ago: Those who meet Apple’s criteria can have their hardware included in the system so they can be found again. Among other things, this is interesting for bicycles, the e-bike manufacturer Van Moof is already there with some models, also Chipolo with its keychains and Belkin with a headphone.
Dual SIM and 5G
If you wanted to use 5G standard connectivity with iPhone 12, you had to limit yourself to using it with a SIM card. A second SIM card installed reset the connection to 4G with both providers, now you can control the selection between mobile standards more granularly. In the U.S., starting with iOS 14.5 still supports 5G standalone. This is a type of cellular connection, where the device uses the antenna already upgraded to 5G. In Germany, 5G Non-Standalone, i.e. 5G NSA is currently still being operated. Even for 5G connection still relies on a 4G antenna.
Data protection and privacy
Apple has been announcing for weeks that already the next version of iOS would turn on the app tracking transparency, in iOS 14.5 are factory disabled trackers and need to be unlocked by the user to be able to track it across apps and through the web. Read more here.
More workout options and controllers
The new Fitness+ service, which is not yet available in Germany, now gets support for Airplay 2, so it can be used not only on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV, but also on Mac or smart TV, for example, when streaming workout instructions from iPhone.
In addition, starting with iOS 14, Siri can.5 also inform emergency contacts on voice command, the update will also support the latest game controllers for Xbox and Playstation.
Battery health recalibrated
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max users will notice that the battery health setting recalibrates after the update, this could result in incorrect displays on the models.
Apple’s release notes read as follows:
Unlock iPhone with the Apple Watch
-Ability to unlock iPhone X (and newer) with Apple Watch Series 3 (and newer) when trying to use Face ID while wearing a mouth-to-nose covering
AirTag and app "Where is?"
-AirTag support to privately and securely track and find important objects like keys, wallet or backpack in the app "Where’s?"
-Accurate Search feature with visual, audible and haptic feedback to help locate a nearby AirTag – using ultra-wideband technology from the U1 chip on iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models
-AirTags can be located by playing a sound through the integrated speaker.
-Network for the app "Where’s?" with millions of devices to help find an AirTag – even if it’s not nearby
-Lost mode notifies you when your AirTag is found. You can specify a phone number where you can be reached.
-Support separate skin tones for singles in all variations of the "kissing couple" and "couple with hearts" emoji
-New emoji faces, heart emojis, and "woman with a beard" emoji
-If you wear AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, incoming calls can be announced by Siri by mentioning the caller’s name and accepted by you with your voice.
-FaceTime group calling is supported via a Siri command to call a contact list or via a group name in the Messages app.
-Emergency contacts can be called using Siri.
-With the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, you can control which apps are allowed to track your activity in apps and on other companies’ websites to serve you ads or share your data with data brokers.
-You can now share the lyrics of your favorite songs via the Messages app, Facebook, and Instagram Stories. Subscribers can play the song excerpt in the Messages app without leaving the current conversation.
-City charts show which titles are hot right now in more than 100 cities around the world.
-The pages for shows in the Podcasts app have been redesigned to make listening easier.
-For DeepL access, episodes can be loaded and automatically added to your library and backed up.
-Download behavior and notification settings can be customized for each podcast separately.
-Charts and popular categories in the search function make it easier to discover new shows.
– "Dual SIM" support enables 5G connectivity on the line using the mobile data network on iPhone 12 models.
-Smart Data mode enhancements optimize user experience on 5G networks with increased battery life and smart mobile data usage on iPhone 12 models.
-International 5G roaming on supported carriers on iPhone 12 models
-Use Siri or tap the route map at the bottom of the screen and then tap "Share arrival time" to tell others your estimated time of arrival when you’re driving, biking or walking.
-Reminders can be sorted by title, priority, date or creation date.
-Option to print reminder lists
-Translation playback speed can be adjusted by long pressing the playback button.
-Support for Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller or Sony PS5 DualSense™ Wireless Controller
-New Siri commands or buttons in CarPlay allow for easy sharing of estimated time of arrival in the Maps app while driving.
This release also fixes the following issues:
-Messages at the end of conversations were obscured by the keyboard under certain conditions.
-Deleted messages were still displayed in Spotlight search in some cases.
-Some conversations could permanently not send texts in the "Messages" app.
-For some users, the Mail app did not load new emails until the device was restarted.
-In iPhone settings, the sections to block and identify calls were missing.
-Safari did not display iCloud tabs in some cases.
-In some cases it was not possible to disable the iCloud keychain.
-Reminders created with Siri were mistakenly scheduled for early morning hours.
-The battery health reporting system will recalibrate maximum battery capacity and maximum power for iPhone 11 models to correct inaccurate estimates in some users’ battery health reports (https://support.apple.com/HT212247).
-Optimizations to prevent the display of a dim glow that could occur with reduced brightness and a black background on iPhone 12 models
-The Auto Switch feature was routing audio from AirPods to the wrong device.
-The notifications for the Auto Switch feature were missing or duplicated on AirPods.