APPLE’S latest iPhone update has added a host of handy new features to your mobile.
From a new way to unlock your handset to better protections against snooping apps, here are some of the highlights.
What is iOS 14.5?
Apple periodically releases software updates for iOS, the operating system that powers iPhones around the globe.
As well as bug fixes and security upgrades, the downloads add new features that Apple’s engineers have been working on.
The latest major update is iOS 14.5. Apple began rolling it out on April 26.
If you haven’t already, you can download iOS 14.5 by heading to settings > general > software update > download and install.
Unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask
The iOS14.5 update includes the option to unlock your mobile with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask.
The feature is a clever way to get around now commonly-worn masks – which typically scupper your iPhone’s Face ID scanner.
If you use Face ID and your mobile spots that your mouth and nose are covered, you can now unlock it using your Apple Watch, instead.
The wearable gadget needs to be on your wrist and also unlocked.
Wake your iPhone by raising it, and then move your Watch close to your handset. Glance at your iPhone to unlock it.
Your watch will give you a little buzz to confirm that your phone has been unlocked, and the padlock on your mobile’s screen will open.
The system is opt-in through settings, so it won’t be on by default.
To activate the feature, head to settings > Face ID and Passcode.
Under “unlock with Apple Watch”, hit the marker under the Watch you wish to unlock with, so it turns green.
To use the feature, you’ll need:
- An iPhone that uses Face ID (iPhone X or later) and has iOS 14.5 or later
- An Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7.4 or later
App tracking protections
Apple has changed its policies on data-tracking to protect the privacy of iPhone users.
Following the release of iOS 14.5, app developers like Facebook now have to ask your permission to access your advertising ID.
That ID allows them to track you across the internet, storing data on your browsing history and more for targeted advertisements.
Now, iPhone users receive pop-up notifications asking if they want specific apps to track you.
The new system is very simple.
When you load up an app for the first time after the update, you’ll see a pop-up.
This notification will appear if the app you’re using wants to track your activity across other apps and websites.
In the pop-up, the app-maker has a chance to explain why it wants to track you.
And then you can either allow the tracking, or ask the app not to virtually follow you around.
If you change your mind later on, you can edit your choice.
Simply go into your iPhone settings and find the app you’re looking to tweak, and then change your choice.
Not all apps will show a pop-up right now, as Apple is gradually adding apps to the system over the coming weeks and months.
Around two-thirds of iPhone users are expected to take advantage of the feature to protect their privacy, according to a report from AdWeek.
It could impact free apps like Facebook and Instagram that heavily rely on hoarding user data to generate revenue.
New Siri voices
Apple has also released new voices for Siri in the name of inclusivity.
Following the release of iOS 14.5, users are no longer be assigned the original female Siri voice by default.
People setting up a device are instead asked to choose their preferred Siri voice from a list of four.
They include white male and female voices as well as new black male and female voices.
Siri was previously a white female by default, though you could go into your device’s settings and change this if you wished.
That’s still the case, of course. Apple wants the new voices to promote diversity and inclusion.
The company sourced new talent for the Siri voices and has worked to make them sound more natural.
PS5 and Xbox Series X/S support
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 remain seriously difficult to get hold of.
However, their brand spanking new controllers are in plentiful supply at retailers across the globe.
Following the iOS 14.5 update, you can now hook up your next-gen controller to your iPhone via Bluetooth.
It allows you to play your favourite Apple Arcade games in style.
To connect your iPhone to a controller, ensure your joypad is turned on and fully charged.
One your Apple device, tap settings and then “Bluetooth”. Make sure your Bluetooth is turned on.
Now it’s time to put your controller into pairing mode.
On your PS5 controller, hold down the Create button on the top left and the central PlayStation logo button for three seconds.
The device should start flashing which means it’s in pairing mode.
On an Xbox Bluetooth controller you can hold down the Pair button until it starts flashing.
Then look back at your Apple device and you should spot the controller listed under devices ready to pair.
Click the controller name on your Apple device and your two gadgets should connect.
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Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…
In other news, Apple experts have leaked some interesting details about the 2022 iPhone lineup.
Facebook is trialling a video call speed dating app called Sparked.
And, Google is bringing out a feature to help Android users avoid collisions while texting and walking.
Have you downloaded iOS 14.5 yet? Let us know in the comments!
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