23 February 2021
Apple has pushed the iOS 14.5 beta build to a number of beta testers revealing what new features would be arriving. There are a couple of new features that are worth noting. The first major change is to the Face ID mechanism that has now been improved to support face masks. As for the second change, the team has added support for Sony's PlayStation 5 DualSense and Microsoft's Xbox Series X controllers.
Most of the modern-age iPhone models rely only on Face ID as a biometric authentication method. It has been working great for users until the pandemic hit and forced everyone to wear a mask. This has led to Face ID being unable to recognize the user's face and thus prompting them to enter Passcode. It has resulted in users feeling inconvenient as one usually needs to unlock their phones a number of times in a day.
In an effort to make the iPhone unlocking as convenient as pre-pandemic times, Apple has updated Face ID in iOS 14.5 developer beta with Apple Watch integration. It means if you have your Apple smartwatch paired with the iPhone and within close proximity, you will be able to unlock the iPhone without taking off your mask or entering the Passcode. The users will also get haptic feedback from the smartwatch alerting them that their iPhone is now unlocked. It should be noted that this will work only for unlocking purposes and not for authenticating App Store and iTunes purchases.
Lastly, iOS 14.5 is capable of working with the newest gaming controllers i.e. PlayStation 5 DualSense by Sony and Xbox Series X by Microsoft. These controllers can be used with any of the Apple Arcade games. There are speculations that we might see tvOS getting the support as well but it is not confirmed yet.