Apple has already rolled out the long-awaited 14.5 update for iOS and iPadOS to its millions of users worldwide. The main focus is likely to remain on the new data protection regulations, which have already caused quite a stir. The advertising industry in particular, sees itself and its business models as victims and are in danger of losing their competitive edge.
But there are also a number of other improvements and features that Apple wants to bring to the iPhones with iOS 14.5. By the way, if you want to know which iPhones will enjoy the update, read all about it here.
1. App Tracking Transparency (ATT): The privacy feature that soured Zuckerberg's day
Let's begin with the most important new feature: Apps will have to ask for permission from you, the user, to track your user data on other apps or websites in the future.
What actually sounds normal, or should be, is a novelty in reality. Many apps diligently collect data covertly and behind the scenes, even when they are not actually active, in order to customize the advertising or sell it to data brokers for a lot of money.
In the future, iOS users will be able to choose with whom they want to share their data. Each app will have to ask for the user's explicit permission.
2. Yay! Unlocking your iPhone with the Apple Watch
This is my favorite feature in this release. As if the current worldwide pandemic wasn't horrible enough, it also adds to the annoyance of trying to unlock your iPhone via Face ID while wearing a face mask. The iPhone then does what it is supposed to do and denies access, requiring you to enter the Passcode instead. Especially during winter, this annoyed me to a great extent as I had gloves on to keep my mitts nice and warm, only to subject them to the bitter cold so that I can access my smartphone.
Those days are long gone now! It isn't just because spring has arrived in Europe, and you can slowly make do without gloves. With iOS 14.5, the iPhone can be unlocked if you are wearing an Apple Watch while having your face mask on since the unlocking process is now done on your wrist within the immediate vicinity of the iPhone.
If you then look at the display with your face mask on, you will receive haptic feedback from the Apple Watch - which indicates that the iPhone has been unlocked.
Unfortunately, not all iPhones and Apple Watches support this new feature. You'll need an iPhone X or newer, or an Apple Watch Series 3 or newer, respectively.
3. AirTag: Damn it! Where's my key...ah, right there!
We already reviewed the new Apple AirTags. With these new Apple accessories, items can be "tagged" and then (mostly) found via the iPhone easily. For me, the most common items to go missing would be my keychain and wallet.
Again, Apple has been mindful of customer privacy. The data itself is not transferred directly to Apple, so as not to allow any party to obtain crucial information about the user. In any case, all of the information relayed is anonymous and encrypted.
4. New emojis and even more possibilities
Apple is a company that is clearly committed to diversity and, above all, lives out this principle. With iOS 14.5, users can also select different skin colors for couples.
There are also brand-new emojis, including an exhaling face, a face with spiral eyes, a face in clouds, a burning heart and one with a bandage, and a woman with a beard.
5. Apple Maps: 'I'll be there soon....' Really?
It's just a small thing on top of what Apple Maps already offers in the U.S. - bike paths, landmarks, and more. With the new iOS update, you can tell friends and family when you'll arrive at your destination - even if you're biking or walking. With CarPlay, the "Share ETA" (Estimated Arrival Time) feature can also be launched via new Siri or keyboard commands.
I know a number of people who desperately need to use this feature more often. There are those famous last sentences, like: "I'm just leaving". But what was meant was "I'm just starting to think about what to wear today".
This new feature probably won't change such situations. But for those who like to be on time and communicate that, it's certainly a nice little improvement.
6. Apple Podcasts: Listening to NextPit podcasts even nicer with the new facelift.
Podcasts are all the rage for some time now. Not only have we at NextPit realized this, but so has Apple. While we here at NextPit are podcasting enthusiasts, Apple is giving its podcast app a redesign that makes it easier to follow, listen to, and share shows or episodes.
The new "Smart Play" feature helps with listening to episodic shows. You can resume listening from the last episode and save individual episodes if you want to listen to them at a later time. Using the improved search, such podcast shows can be discovered more quickly.
7. Reminders: Remember and find
The "Reminders" app has also been improved. Reminders can now be sorted by title, priority, due date, or creation date, and you can print reminder lists.
8. Siri speaks differently now
Were any of you getting annoyed with Siri's voice? If so, there's an alternative now. Siri no longer has a default voice. Instead, you pick a voice that you like best.
Other new features for Siri: support for FaceTime group calls, the ability to announce incoming calls through AirPods and compatible Beats headphones, and support for calling emergency contacts.
My take on iOS and iPadOS 14.5: I have received it and like it a lot!
In my view, the new iOS 14.5 update for iPhones and iPads is a must-have for every Apple device user. This recommendation is not necessarily just for the new features, but the main point would be because of the new privacy features that offer a greater degree of protection.
With the new version, users will definitely receive more control at their fingertips and can better decide if you want to give an app provider access to your data - or not.
Yes, this is likely to see many companies get into trouble as a lifeline has just been cut. After all, they have based their business models all this while entirely on the more or less clandestine method of collecting and selling user data. Apple has put a stop to this by introducing some order into the wild, wild west of data collection.
One can only hope that other companies will follow suit. Eventually, it will be good for all of us if the main currency on the web is no longer our data.