29 April 2021
Apple has started rolling out the newest operating system builds for its respective hardware devices. These include iOS 14.5 for iPhones, iPadOS 14.5 for iPads, macOS Big Sur 11.3 for iMac and MacBooks, watchOS 7.4 for Apple Watch, and tvOS 14.5 for Apple TV models. Each of these is an OTA release and should land on your eligible model anytime soon if it has not already. You can even check for the update manually and install it.
iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 changelogs are exactly the same for the majority of them. The biggest new feature is that iOS 14.5 makes it possible to unlock their iPhones without having to pull down their masks. It does so with the help of an Apple Watch so you will need to have the smartwatch and the iPhone nearby to be able to use this new facility. You will also need to be wearing a mask as well as have both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity enabled on both devices.
You can set the desired Siri voice for your future interactions and choose between male and female voices during the setup. It now also works with Group FaceTime so that you can use voice commands to place a group FaceTime calling session. The update also makes it necessary for all app developers to follow the new privacy rules where they have to give users an option to avoid getting tracked. The feature is available on iOS for quite some time but it was an optional thing for devs until now.
Other important features include new emoji characters, improved Apple Maps application, AirTag support, redesigned Podcast application, Apple Music lyrics sharing, dual-SIM 5G support on iPhone 12 series models, and tons of bug fixes and performance improvements.
As for iPads, the all-new iPadOS 14.5 brings the same features as the iPhone but with an additional specifical benefit. It brings support for Sony's DualSense wireless controller and Microsoft's Xbox Series S | X wireless controller.
With macOS Big Sur 11.3, Apple has improved the way iPhone and iPad applications work with the M1 MacBook models. It also adds compatibility with the latest-gen Xbox and PlayStation wireless controllers. It will be helpful for playing iPhone and iPad games on an even bigger display.
The Start page section of the Safari browser can now be customized. The M1 models can finally be hibernated which is a good thing for many of the users. The team has added WebM and Vorbis video and audio formats. And yes, AirTag support is also here.
watchOS 7.4 adds for following changes and features to supported Apple Watch variants:
- Unlock iPhone X or later if the owner is wearing a mask
- Classify Bluetooth device type within the settings
- Stream Apple Fitness+ workout content audio and video
- Security fixes
If you have an Apple TV eligible to run tvOS 14.5, you would be seeing the following features:
- Adjust TV's color balance using the iPhone
- Updated Siri support
- Use voice command to type on the screen
- Support for current-gen PlayStation and Xbox wireless controllers
- Auto-removal of apps from Home screen that are not used regularly
- Security fixes