The last few months have been rather interesting for iPhone owners, as we have seen four new models roll out. This comes on the heels of the Apple Watch Series 6 launch, along with the latest versions of iOS and watchOS.
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iOS 14.5 comes to developers
Apple has been hard at work rolling out steady updates, and we are now up to iOS 14.5 for the iPhone, iPadOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.4. This brings some rather useful features with it that are sure to improve your day-to-day life.
Unlock Your iPhone Using Apple Watch
Arguably the biggest new feature coming to iOS 14.5 is the ability to unlock your iPhone using your Apple Watch. This is perfect for those who need to be unable to unlock their iPhones, but are unable to due to the need for wearing a mask or having another face covering. Here’s how you can enable this new feature.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap Face ID & Passcode.
- Enter your passcode.
- Under Unlock With Apple Watch, tap the toggle to the On position.
There are a few things to note about this feature. First, your iPhone must be updated to iOS 14.5, while the Apple Watch must be updated to watchOS 7.4. When activated, your watch will vibrate and make a sound, letting you know that the iPhone has been unlocked.
Support for next-gen Controllers
Owners of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S can rejoice with full support for the DualSense and Xbox Controllers. Previously, it was still possible to connect your controllers to the iPhone or iPad. However, this was in a limited capacity, and now you have the ability to use your new controller with your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how you can pair those controllers to your iOS 14.5 device.
- Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap on Bluetooth.
- Power on your controller of choice.
- Put the controller in pairing mode.
- The controller will appear under “Other devices” from the Bluetooth pairing menu.
- Tap on your controller to pair it with your iPhone or iPad.
App Tracking Transparency Controls
One key issue with many applications on iOS is that there has not been a way for users to know when an app is tracking them. Applications rely on “random advertising identifiers”, which keeps track of your activity and usage across apps and websites.
In previous iterations of iOS, applications could access these identifiers without letting the user know. With iOS 14.5, that all changes, as you can enable which applications are able to track you. Apple’s bringing the heat with transparency from developers, and some aren’t too happy about it (i.e. Facebook).
Apple Card Family
This new feature is not officially rolling out just yet, but the code strings have been discovered for Apple Card Family. This will allow for multiple people to use the same Apple Card account, sharing a single card. The account holder will be able to invite certain users to the account while setting spending limits for each member.
Dual-SIM 5G Support
One of the biggest reasons to get the iPhone 12 has everything to do with 5G connectivity. And with the iPhone, having this functionality is doubly important, thanks to the ability to use multiple SIM cards. However, until iOS 14.5, the iPhone did not support 5G when in Dual SIM mode. That has changed, and you are able to use 5G network speeds on both lines connected to a single iPhone.
AirPlay 2 Support for Fitness+
After being teased last fall, Apple Fitness+ finally launched for iPhone and Apple Watch users on December 14th. Being able to perform various workouts with the help of your Apple Watch and Apple TV has been extremely useful and helpful for many. However, one limitation was that you were unable to use AirPlay 2 in order to follow along with the workouts with a non-Apple TV-connected device. iOS 14.5 changes that, as you can now use AirPlay 2 to stream your workouts. The only catch is that your Apple Watch information will not appear on the television throughout the session.
Exciting Times for iOS Users
This is just the first developer beta for iOS 14.5, so we are sure to see more features added (or removed) in future releases. We don’t recommend using the developer beta on your primary iPhone, as there are other bugs and kinks that still need to be worked out before the final release. Nevertheless, it’s wonderful to see Apple working so hard to make life easier for iPhone and Apple Watch owners. Let us know what your favorite new features are in iOS 14.5 in the comments below.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.