Tim Cook recently confirmed that the public launch of iOS 14.5 is “a couple of weeks” away. As such, there’s still time for more beta seeds to keep ironing things out before that happens.
On Wednesday, Apple seeded the seventh betas of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 to developers. As is expected, this is pre-release software. This means the software should not be installed on a daily driver, even if we are seven betas deep. There’s still a possibility that the software has some kinks that may make day-to-day usage rough and uncertain.
To update, developers simply need to use the over-the-air (OTA) software update tool on their properly registers devices. It’s likely Apple will seed the corresponding public betas today as well. The same can be said for watchOS 7.4, but the Apple Watch must be connected to its charger, have at least 50% battery, and be paired with the iPhone.
Apple also seeded the HomePod 14.5 beta 7 as well.
As far as what’s new, here’s how it shakes out:
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.
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 is said to be working on the A14X processor, hinted at in a previous beta of iOS 14.5.