May 14, 2021

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iOS 14.5 features: How app tracking works in new Apple iPhone update – and what else is in the latest version

3 min read

Apple has released its iOS 14.5 operating system for both its iPhones and iPads.

With it comes a series of key changes, with highlights including the ability to unlock your phone while wearing a mask and more transparency around apps tracking your activity.

Here is everything you need to know about the updates.

Unlocking your phone while wearing a mask

Not being able to unlock your phone with Face ID while wearing a mask has been one of the irritating minor inconveniences caused by the pandemic.

Apple has sought to fix the issue, however, there is a significant catch – you need an Apple Watch for this new feature to work.

If you are wearing your Apple Watch and look at your phone while wearing a mask, the watch will communicate with it and unlock it for you.

You will find the function in the Face ID & Passcode section of Settings.

More transparency around app tracking

From now on, when you download an app a message will appear asking for permission for it to track your online activity.

This tracking is used by apps to send you targeted advertising.

Facebook has been publicly fighting against this change, as targeted ads are an important part of its business model.

The change gives Apple users more control over their data and how it is shared.

AirTags support

AirTags are Apple’s answer to tile. They are small plastic tags you can attach to things like your keys or your wallet, which you can track with your phone, meaning you (hopefully) won’t lose them anymore.

The new operating system allows your Apple devices to support this new technology, letting yo u keep track of your valuables with the Find My app.

Dual-SIM 5G Support

This only works with the iPhone 12, and allows for two lines of service on a single ‌iPhone.

The feature is particularly useful for people who have separate work and personal numbers but want to use the same device, or for people who spend a lot of time abroad, so have a foreign number.

New emojis

Apple has added plenty of new emojis for this update, with highlights including kissing couples, a burning heart, a face with spiral eyes and different gender options for beards.

The blood has also been removed from the syringe emoji, meaning it now works better for vaccinations.

Improvements to Siri

Lots of new voice options have been added to Siri, making them more diverse and also less robotic.

Apple says the update gives the voice assistant an “incredibly natural sound”.

Other small improvement have been made to Siri, including its ability to announce who is calling when you are wearing headphones, with calls then able to be answered hands-free.

App improvements

Finally a number of Apple’s key apps have been upgraded.

Apple Maps now uses crowdsourcing for reporting accidents, hazards, and speed checks, much like the popular Waze.

Apple Music has been made more intuitive, with slide tools to add songs to your queue and a “share lyrics” feature that lets you send song clips to others, or add them to your Instagram story.

The Podcasts app has a new interface, and Reminders now allows you to sort by by due date, creation date, priority, or title.

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