With the Release of iOS 14.5, Apple Allows Masked Users to Unlock Their Phones and Gives Siri a Variety of Voice Options

Other New Features Include New Privacy Controls, City Charts, and Crowd-Sourced Accident Reporting

The new Apple iPhone 12 Pro

By Paul Riegler on 26 April 2021
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With Apple’s launch of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 on Monday, the Cupertino-based company brought multiple exciting new features to the iPhone and iPad lineup.

Here’s a look at some of what was introduced.

The highly anticipated update of Apple’s mobile operating systems allows a masked iPhone user to unlock his phone using an Apple Watch, and addresses multiple bugs including a mysterious green tint some users saw on iPhone 12 displays.

The new release introduces support for Apple AirTags, small discs that help people keep track of easily misplaced items such as keys and wallets.

Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, no longer has a default voice and users can choose, at the time of setup, the voice that speaks to them.

The major update also adds 5G support for dual-SIM users, new emoji characters, the ability to select a preferred and non-Apple music service for use with Siri, AirPlay 2 support for Fitness+, and crowd-sourced data collection on Apple Maps of accidents.  It also adds support for Precision Finding on iPhone 12 models, plus it marks the debut of App Tracking Transparency.

With iOS 14.5, a user will only have to look at his iPhone much as he does now in order to unlock it, with the proviso that he’s wearing an unlocked Apple Watch when doing so. Simply put, the feature allows the iPhone to unlock despite significantly lower face recognition accuracy because the watch, in effect, vouches for the user.

App Tracking Transparency, a feature Facebook and others have been dreading, allows users to control which apps are allowed to track user activity over other companies’ apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.

In other areas, users will be able to sort reminders, perform searches in the News app, and share lyrics from the Music app in Messages and Facebook. Music will also offer city charts that list what music is popular in 100 cities across the globe.  Over 25 of the new so-called City Charts are in North America, while in Europe they will be available for Berlin, Cologne, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Manchester, Moscow, Munich, Milan, St. Petersburg, and Vienna.  Other cities include Johannesburg in Africa, Tel Aviv and Istanbul in the Middle East, and Bangkok, Manila, and Seoul in Asia.

Finally, CarPlay gets new functionality as well with this release: a driver can share Apple Maps ETAs more easily now with new Siri or onscreen controls.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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