Apple has released a new beta verison of iOS 14. The latest beta version is iOS 14.5 and this time the focus is on strengthening personal privacy, something that has led companies like Facebook to launch a fierce attack on Apple.
Apple began beta testing iOS 14.5 on 1 February 2021. It’s available for developers and public beta testers.
Apple has also released a new beta for the iPad. iPad OS 14.5 is similar to the iPhone software. There is also a new beta for tvOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4.
What’s in iOS 14.5?
Unlock iPhone wearing a mask: We are most excited to hear that a change in iOS 14.5 could make it possible to unlock your iPhone even when wearing a face mask as long as you are wearing an Apple Watch.
The new feature means that if your watch is unlocked and your iPhone detects that you are wearing a mask it will ‘tap’ your wrist to ask you to confirm that the iPhone should be unlocked.
Improved privacy: Apple has already indicated that the 14.5 release will focus on privacy.
Apple has said that it’s going to change the rules relating to how developers and advertisers can track users in iOS 14.5.
The new rules have received criticism, but almost exclusively from companies that make a living from tracking for advertising purposes, with Facebook at the forefront. Apple points out that the rules do not prohibit tracking but only mean that users themselves must decide whether they want to be tracked or not.
Share Apple Card: Another potential new feature, identified by MacRumors, will allow multiple people to use the same Apple Card account, probably via Apple’s Family Sharing feature.
There may be other new features, including bug and security fixes.
How to get the iOS 14 beta
One of the best things about Apple’s beta program (read: How to become an Apple beta tester) is that it gives us an insight into the new features and change that are coming to iPhones.
If you are interested in participating in testing the new updates, you can go to the Apple Beta Software Program and enter your details. Note that beta versions usually contain a lot of bugs, so the installation is at your own risk.
There are also new beta versions of the software for iPadOS, tvOS, and WatchOS.
Beta testers will find new beta versions of iOS 14.5, as well as iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4.
For more information read: How to join Apple’s beta program and try out new software. Also read: How to get the iOS beta.