Apple continues to march ahead with the next software updates for iOS and iPadOS. The company today seeded yet another beta of the upcoming software.
Update (03/03/2021): Apple on Wednesday seeded the corresponding public betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to public beta testers. If you are not part of the public beta program, you can sign up here. If you are, the new public beta can be downloaded and installed as an over-the-air update via the Settings app.
The original article continues below.
On Tuesday, Apple seeded the third betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to developers. This is a pretty big update, adding a variety of new features to the mix for the end user. However, as is par for the course with these betas, it’s not meant for a daily driver. The prerelease software should only be installed on testing devices. Even when Apple does seed the corresponding public betas.
For registered developers, the latest betas can be installed as over-the-air (OTA) updates via the Settings app. The software can also be downloaded and installed via Apple’s Developer Center.
If there are any additional changes discovered in this beta, we will update this post accordingly.
Here’s what’s new in iOS 14.5
As mentioned above, Apple is adding quite a bit into the newest iOS version. Here are the major bullet points:
- Support for 5G in dual-SIM mode for iPhone 12: Apple’s newest iPhones are equipped with both a physical SIM card and a digital eSIM. This is a dual-SIM design, making it possible to have two separate phone numbers on the same device. Right now, dual-SIM supports LTE. However, that will change with the public release of iOS 14.5.
- Apple Fitness+ adds AirPlay 2 support: One of the drawbacks of Apple’s fitness-centric subscription service was the fact it didn’t support AirPlay 2 at launch. So, as of right now, you need an Apple TV set-top box to watch the workouts on your primary TV. Either that, or rely on your iPhone or iPad to watch the workouts. That’s changing with iOS 14.5, as the new software adds support for casting Fitness+ to AirPlay 2-enabled devices. It won’t allow for showing real-time metrics on the screen, though.
- iOS 14.5 will let Apple Watch owners unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask: Another oft-requested feature, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Apple doesn’t support Touch ID in it is newest iPhones, which can make unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask a pain. But Apple is helping with that. Apple Watch owners will be able to confirm unlocking their iPhones while wearing a mask with iOS 14.5.
- Support for new wireless game controllers: iOS already supports a range of wireless controllers, mostly to help with playing games available in Apple Arcade. But the support also makes it possible to play games not available in Apple’s subscription service. With iOS 14.5 beta 1, Apple is adding support for the newest game controllers on the market: Sony’s DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5, and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X controllers.
- Siri lets you choose a default music streaming app: With iOS 14.5, users will be able to select a default music app for streaming content. This means users will no longer have to specify to use Spotify (or another service) to play a song. They can simply set it as the default, ask Siri to play the song, and it will use the correct service to play the audio.
- iOS 14.5 adds Find My support for some Beats headphones: In addition to the other features, iOS 14.5 also adds Find My support for certain Beats-branded headphones. That includes the Powerbeats Pro and Flex headphones.
Resource: Here’s what’s new in iOS 14.5 beta 1
The other tidbits
And here are some additional changes in the upcoming update:
- Multi-user support for Apple Card: Yet another feature being added to something that probably should have been present right from the jump. With the impending launch of iOS 14.5, Apple will add multi-user support for the Apple Card at some point in the future. It will handle this via Family Sharing, and account owners will be able to track spending, invite family members to share the card, and more. Unlike the other features, though, this is just a tease. There’s no specific information saying this feature will arrive with the public launch of iOS 14.5. However, it’s certainly possible it rolls out then, though.
- There’s a new interface in the Settings app and Watch app for when your software is up-to-date.
- Apple has tweaked the interface, albeit slightly, in the Podcasts app
- There’s a new “Hey Siri, call emergency” feature
Apple also seeded the third betas of watchOS 7.4 and tvOS 14.5 to developers.