Apple will roll out iOS 14.5, its next big software update coming to iPhone, this week. The update promises some big changes and new features. Here's what you need to know.
Also, your iPhone might be able to download iOS 14.5 right now — to check, open the Settings app > select General > select Software Update. If you're not able to download iOS 14.5 just yet, don't worry. Apple is slowly rolling out the update this week, so just check back for the update over the coming days.
Unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch while wearing a mask
Last May, Apple attempted to make it easier to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask. The iOS 13.5 update allowed Face ID to detect if you were wearing a mask and then quickly switch to the passcode screen, but it was still a cumbersome process. With iOS 14.5, there's a new feature that allows you to unlock your iPhone even quicker if you're wearing a mask — but only if you also have an Apple Watch. The feature, when enabled, will automatically unlock your iPhone even if you are wearing a mask, and vibrate your Apple Watch to let you know that it happened.
You'll have to enable this feature by going into the Settings apps on your iPhone and going to the Face ID & Passcode section. Also, it won't work if your Apple Watch has a passcode on it, which might be a deal-breaker for some.
App Tracking transparency
Letting apps have access to your personal information has been a big topic in the greater world of technology and personal gadgets, and the iOS 14.5 update wants to make sure that you are aware of which iPhone apps are keeping tabs on your activity. The new app tracking feature requires apps to have a pop-up notification that asks you if you want to enable or disable that app from tracking your activity. So expect to see more pop-up notifications asking you if you want this app to track your activity (most likely for ad purposes) or not.
Once the iOS 14.5 update is installed, you'll be able to see which apps you've given permission to track you (as well as which apps you've declined permission). All you have to do is go to the new Tracking page: open the Settings app on your iPhone > select Privacy > select Tracking. You'll be able to quickly adjust tracking permissions for various apps on this page, too.
Siri now has four different voices to choose from
If you're somebody who talks to Siri quite frequently, this might actually be a big change for you. With iOS 14.5, Apple will no longer set the default voice of Siri to the female voice you're accustomed to. You'll now be able to four different voices for Siri. There will be the female (previously default) and male voices that you've been able to use for some time now, as well as two new male and female "American English" voices. You'll be able to select which Siri voice you want during the Siri setup process or through the Settings app and going to the Siri & Search section.
Siri is now able to announce incoming calls
If you frequently wear AirPods or AirPods Pro (or any pair of earbuds or headphones that use Apple's W1 or H1 chipsets), you'll know that Siri has been able to read your incoming iMessages if you get one. That way, you don't have to take out your iPhone or look at your Apple Watch to see your text messages. Well, iOS 14.5 is taking this one step further and allowing Siri to tell you who is calling. You can also use your voice answer or decline these calls, too.
Maps allows bikers and walkers to share ETA
Apple is giving its Maps app several new features with iOS 14.5. It's going to allow you to report accidents, hazards and speed checks (in case you're seeing too many speeding cars on your street). The other cool feature is that Maps is going to finally allow walkers and bikers share their ETA with other people. You've previously only been able to share your ETA on Maps if you were driving in a car.