Apple has released its latest iOS 14.5 operating system and it comes with some interesting features that were not in old versions. iPadOS 14.5 is also out and both software is being rolled out to users already.
The last iOS 14 brought new features like the smart widget stack that popped up at different times of the day depending on when they are most used. Picture-in-picture also came with the iOS 14 update, allowing users to facetime without leaving the app they are working on.
iOS 14.5 builds on all these and packs features that let people watch Apple Fitness Plus workouts on a TV with AirPlay 2, support for the latest video game controllers for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. It also now lets people choose if they want Siri to speak as a female or male. Here are the 5 most interesting of the updates.
Siri can now be male or female
Unlike before, Siri no longer has a default voice. Users can now choose the voice that will speak to them when they set up their device and decide if it should male or female. The voice options are more diverse and have a more natural feel.
When the phone is connected to AirPods or compatible headphones, Siri can now announce incoming calls as well as call emergency contacts if the iPhone owner needs assistance and is unable to make a call.
Users now control which companies can track their activities on apps
The update comes with a new feature called App Tracking Transparency (ATT). This feature makes it possible for apps to obtain the user’s permission before tracking their data across other apps or websites owned by other companies. The data tracking is used by companies like Facebook for advertising or sharing users data with data brokers.
With the ATT, apps will prompt users for permission and a user may give or withhold permission. iPhone users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so that they can make changes to their decisions at any time by visiting their Settings.
Send real-time updates on Apple Maps
Apple Maps also got a number of tune-ups. While using the map, users can now report or clear hazards, automobile crashes, traffic jams and other incidents that other road users should know about. This “Report an Issue” feature is only live in the US and China for now.
From the map, Siri can be called upon to check for the speed limits on the route being taken. These features are already available for android users on Waze, a navigational app.
Like on Google Maps and Waze, Apple Maps now lets its users share their routes and estimated time of arrival (ETA) with friends and family so that their movement can be monitored. This can be used to let friends and family know what time the iPhone user might arrive.
Alert! New emojis with more skin tones are on the block
The couple kissing emoji and couple with heart emoji now come in different skin tones to promote inclusivity. Users from Africa and other backgrounds can now select the skin tones that best represents them.
New emojis have also been included. They include characters for face exhaling, face with spiral eyes, face in clouds, hearts on fire, mending heart, and woman with a beard, among others.
iPhone can be unlocked with Apple Watch
Covid-19 protocols mean that more people wear face masks for long periods of time during the day. There will be times when an iPhone needs to be unlocked using Face Unlock and the iOS 14.5 update takes care of it.
Users can now use their Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone when trying to use Face ID while wearing a face mask. For this to work, the Apple Watch has to be on the wrist, unlocked and in close proximity to the iPhone.
The owner can glance at his/her iPhone and receive haptic feedback from Apple Watch, indicating that the phone has been unlocked. This new feature works with iPhone X and models after it as well as Apple Watch Series 3 and models after it. The watch requires watchOS 7.4, which is also available with the new software updates.
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