iOS 14.5 is out now with new Face ID mask features and Apple’s App Tracking Transparency

Apple has begun rolling out iOS and iPadOS 14.5. The latest software update includes the new App Tracking Transparency feature, which lets users decide whether to allow apps to track their activity “across other companies’ apps and websites” for advertising purposes. A pop-up will now appear whenever apps are designed to share your activity in this way. Facebook has heavily criticized Apple over App Tracking Transparency, claiming that it presents “a false tradeoff between personalized ads and privacy.” The new option could have a detrimental impact on Facebook’s ad business.

Perhaps more important to day-to-day iPhone usage, iOS 14.5 also includes a very helpful and timely new trick: if you own an Apple Watch, you can set your iPhone to automatically unlock without requiring a Face ID match or passcode as long as Apple’s smartwatch is on your wrist. This is designed to make getting into your phone that much quicker while we’re all still wearing face masks so frequently throughout the day. Installing watchOS 7.4 is necessary for this feature to work; that update is also available as of today.

iOS and iPadOS 14.5 include a ton of new emoji with a focus on inclusivity. The update adds the ability to watch Apple Fitness Plus workouts on a TV with AirPlay 2. Apple’s Podcasts app is getting a new design and optional subscriptions. The latest video game controllers for the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S are now supported on the iPhone and iPad as of this update. And all iPhone 12 models will allow for 5G connectivity in dual-SIM mode in more countries. Starting with the 14.5 update, Apple will no longer default to a female-sounding voice for its Siri assistant. Instead, you’ll be prompted to choose your preferred voice during device setup. Apple has a post up with all of the miscellaneous improvements and additions.

iOS and iPadOS 14.5 is rolling out to iPhone and iPad users now; you can check the “software update” section in settings to begin the update process right away.

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