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An App Tracking notification (Image credit: Apple)
iOS 14.5 also includes a big new privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency. This require apps to get your permission before sharing your activity and data with websites and apps owned by other companies.
This sharing of data is often used for adverts, with Facebook for example making big use of it, but with App Tracking Transparency you’ll be able to opt out if you’d prefer, and Apple is insisting that users still have full access to apps even if they do opt out of this.
3. A change to your music players
Previously, we’d thought this change meant that you’d be able to change your default music player in iOS 14.5. A new update from Apple has confirmed that it doesn’t work in the exact way we had expected though.
The new feature allows you to better use your own choice of music players rather than your iPhone defaulting to Apple Music, but it isn’t a specific change you can make within a Settings menu.
Instead, Siri will use its learning of how you listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts. When you ask it to play a specific piece of audio, it’ll then ask you where you want to listen to it.
Then it’ll gently integrate that into your future listening, and that likely means that in the future your iPhone will learn you listen to music on Spotify and podcasts on the Apple Podcasts app.
4. New Emojis!
Some of the new emoji in iOS 14.5 (Image credit: Apple)
Privacy features and easier Face ID unlocks are great, but many of you are only downloading iOS 14.5 for the emojis. Thankfully, over 200 new emojis will be added to your phone once iOS 14.5 is downloaded.
The vast majority of the 217 new emojis are different variations of couples kissing. You can customize the genders, skin tones, and hair of both partners, and choose whether or not they’re kissing or simply next to one another with a heart between them.
Beyond those, there are a few other new emoji: a relieved emoji exhaling; a face with spinning eyes; a face shrouded in fog; hearts either on fire or on the mend; and a woman with a beard.
5. PS5 and Xbox Series X controller support
If you’re a gamer then you’ll probably appreciate the addition of support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers as part of iOS 14.5. It should be a handy upgrade for anyone who owns one of these consoles, especially those who also make use of Apple Arcade.
Arguably this would be even more useful for gaming on an Apple TV, and while the feature isn’t yet confirmed for tvOS, we’d expect it will soon be added to that too.
6. Crowdsourced alerts in Apple Maps
How Apple Maps looks in iOS 14.5 (Image credit: Apple)
Many of us aren’t really going anywhere at the moment, but for those who do have much use for Apple Maps, there’s a potentially handy new feature in iOS 14.5.
You can now report accidents, hazards, and speed checks on your journey, and presumably if enough people flag the same thing a warning about it will appear on Apple Maps.
7. No more default voice for Siri
For years Siri has been defaulting to a female voice (or a male one in a few countries), but with iOS 14.5, you’ll be prompted to select which voice you want when first setting up your phone, with no default pre-selected.
This change also comes alongside two new voices for English-speaking users to choose from.
8. Battery calibration
iOS 14.5 also lets you recalibrate your phone’s battery, so your phone can provide more accurate readings as to the remaining life. If you find the readings currently seem off, this could be worth doing.
Oddly this feature only seems to be supported by the iPhone 11 range right now, but we’d expect it would make its way to other models too.
9. AirTag support
An Apple AirTag (Image credit: Apple)
Ready to keep track of your most important valuables? To use Apple AirTags – which let you track belongings using a Precision Finding tracking feature – you’ll need to download iOS 14.5.
You can read our linked review to learn more. We were generally impressed with the tracking/ privacy features and compact design, even though they’re a bit pricey.
One thing to keep in mind: you can use AirTags with any iOS 14.5-compatible iPhone, but only iPhone 11 and up can actually track AirTags using the ‘Find My’ app.
10. New 5G features
The iPhone 12 added 5G support, but anyone using dual SIM mode was stuck with 4G speeds. That’s all changing with iOS 14.5, which adds Dual SIM support for 5G connectivity. You’ll now be able to connect both cards to 5G-enabled accounts.
It’s also enhancing its Smart Data mode features, which optimizes your iPhone 12’s 5G usage to preserve battery life and reduce your monthly data usage.
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