iOS 14.5 rolling out with mask-based Face ID and App Tracking Transparency

The new podcasting app and updated game controller support is here too

It’s finally here. Apple is rolling out iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to its hardware devices with a host of new features.

Chief among them is App Tracking Transparency, a new way to unlock your phone with Face ID if you’re wearing a mask, a new podcasting app, and even more.

App Tracking Transparency

This is a new privacy feature that blocks third-party apps like Facebook from selling the data it collects from users to third-party sites without each user’s individual permissions. This is a huge win for mobile privacy and something that most people should enable once they update. We have a longer explainer about the feature, and we recommend reading it to wrap your head around why this new concept is so important.

Face ID works if you’re wearing a mask

This new form of Face ID will allow users to unlock their iPhones if they’re wearing a mask and wearing an Apple Watch. You can read more about it here. You also need to have the latest Apple Watch software, which is also rolling out today.

Xbox Series X/S and PS5 controller support

Cutting-edge gamers will be delighted to know that they can now use their fancy PS5 or Xbox Series X/S controllers with their iPhone or iPad to play games.

New emoji

As with most updates, there a few new emojis. These focus on inclusivity, meaning that there are more skin tones for all of the emojis that represent couples.

Podcasting revamp

At Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event last week, the company showed off a new Podcasts app that looks better and allows creators to lock some features behind a paywall. That is also part of iOS 14.5.

Siri is no longer female by default

New iPhone users won’t be greeted by the old email Siri voice when they set up their phones and instead will be presented with a few voice options to choose from.

Accident reporting in Apple Maps

Apple is adding a new feature to Apple Maps that allows drivers to report accidents, hazards, and speed traps, so other Apple Maps users will know if their route is blocked. This is similar to how Google Maps and Waze function.

Other features

  • AirTags support
  • Apple News update
  • You can stream Apple Fitness+ to AirPlay 2 compatible devices
  • 5G improvements
  • New reminders sorting features

Source: Apple