Apple has rolled out its iOS 14.5 and iPad OS 14.5 update. From giving us better control over our private app data and enabling a feature particularly useful in these pandemic times, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know.

In our opinion, Apple kills two birds with one stone – first, giving us the much-needed transparency of how applications manage our personal data and second, allowing us to unlock our iPhones while we still wear our face mask. Which is a digital necessity considering the ‘rona lifestyle. There’s obviously much more, but these are the ones getting most of the attention.

Let’s talk about Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency. Good ol’ Zuck wouldn’t be too happy hearing with this one. We’re quite familiar with their digital user data fiasco, however, they’re not the only tech corp biting their nails right now. Privacy is on everyone’s mind these days, but with iOS 14.5 and its much tighter rules, we might be getting more control over the situation. You’ll very soon start seeing a prompt from apps asking permission to use and share your data.

apple iOS update facemask unlock
The new Apple update allows for enhanced privacy. (Image: Apple)

This choice matters because, even in the subtlest of ways and without our knowledge, our user data might have been sold to third-party companies. This is the same reason why we keep seeing these oddly specific shopping ads, they tend to track our user behaviour even after we use exit the app. While some of us might be okay with apps using our data for targeted advertisements, others aren’t. This new update is in respect to that.

apple face mask unlock update
Finally, we’ll no longer need to remove our face mask to unlock our iPhones using Face ID. (Image: Maxim Potkin/ Unsplash)

Next, being able to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, with your Apple Watch. This actually makes it a much easier to get through the day especially because the Face ID can’t recognise us with that mask on. Apple newest update with the iOS 14.5 is that, if your watch and iPhone are in close proximity, you’ll be able to unlock the device by just turning on the screen. However, there’s a twist here that we’re not particularly happy about — with this update, your iPhone isn’t looking for your Face ID with a mask, it’s looking for just a face with a mask. Yes, pros and cons.

On a much more refreshing note, we see tons of new emojis with this update, 217 to be precise. Something we’re certainly looking forward to goof around with, as usual. This is something we usually see with their annual updates, instead of mid year. Also something new, is that Siri will no longer be a woman’s voice by default.

When it comes to the gaming department, oh boy, you’re in for a real treat. The new update now allows users to pair Playstation DualSense5 and Xbox’ Series X controllers to their iPhones now. This is something we’ve already seen by Android smartphone brands but it’s certainly interesting to see Apple pick up on it too. Talking about pairing things, the iOS 14.5 also offers support for AirTags, Apple’s new easy-finding keychain.

apple face mask unlock update
Apple’s AirTag. (Image: Apple)

We also noticed that Apple has taken a play out of Google’s books here. The Apple Maps app now sees a common Google Maps feature of reporting accidents and speeding points. Miscellaneous pointers include new podcasts, smarter reminder features and battery recalibration for iPhone 11 models. More details here.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

(Main and featured image: Maxim Potkin/ Unsplash)

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