iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 Beta 1 Features: What’s New

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 1 Feb 2021

iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 Beta 1 Features

Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.5 to developers. This comes a week after Apple released iOS 14.4 to the general public. iOS 14.5 brings in a number of much-required changes to the operating system. Here’s everything new in iOS 14.5 Beta 1.

The official developer notes of iOS 14.5 don’t reveal many details about the updates. The official release notes don’t really mention anything specific about the release but say that it contains some bug fixes and stability improvements. However, as noted by the iPhone community, there are some major changes in iOS 14.5 beta 1 like dual DIM 5G, ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch. Let’s take a closer look at the new features and improvements in iOS 14.5 beta 1.

iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 Beta 1 Features

1. Support for Unlocking iPhone With Apple Watch When Wearing a Mask

Apple Face ID Icon

Pandemic has changed the world, hasn’t it? With the need to wearing a face mask all the time, unlocking iPhones, at least those with Face ID, has been a hassle. With iOS 14.5, Apple has added an ability to which makes it easier to unlock while wearing a mask.

Currently, while wearing a mask, Face ID on the iPhone doesn’t work, and the phone immediately shows the passcode screen to unlock the iPhone. With the new update, if you’re wearing an unlocked Apple Watch, and use Face ID to unlock your iPhone, the phone will unlock after a ‘partial scan’.

Apple says:

“iPhone can use your Apple Watch to unlock when Face ID detects a face with a mask. Your Apple Watch must be nearby, on your wrist, unlocked, and protected by a passcode.”

2. Dual-SIM 5G on iPhone 12

iPhone 12 has dual SIM support. Depending upon the variant you have, you might have a physical dual SIM iPhone 12, or an iPhone 12 with a single physical SIM card slot and a single eSIM.

Initially, when Apple released iPhone 12, 5G support was limited to only one sim at a time. That means, on iOS 14.4 or below, if you use dual SIM, both the lines were restricted to LTE. But with iOS 14.5 Beta 1, Apple has introduced support for 5G on both the lines.

3. App Tracking Transparency Goes Live

iO 14 Disable App Tracking

With iOS 14.5, developers will have to comply with iOS 14’s app tracking transparency feature. App Tracking Transparency (ATT) gives users an option to allow developers to track, or not track, an app’s usage. The feature is set to roll out in the Spring of 2021, hinting that the update might get released in late February or early March.

4. Hey Siri, Call Emergency!

ios 14.5 beta siri emergency

Apple has added an ability to contact emergency services quickly in iOS 14.5 Beta 1. iOS 14.5 introduces a command, “Hey Siri! Call Emergency” to Siri that will immediately call emergency services without any delay. The phone will show you a 5-second timer, which it generally shows before it contacts emergency services. You can cancel the call during this time.

5. Support for Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 Dual Sense Controllers

dualsense ios 14.5 beta

iOS 14.5 Beta 1 adds support for the latest gaming controllers from Microsoft and Sony. The update adds the ability to use PlayStation 5’s Dual Sense and Xbox Series X controller with iPads and iPhones. It is also said that Apple is working on the support for these controllers on tvOS 14.5 as well.

6. Apple Fitness+ Gains AirPlay 2 Support

Apple has added AirPlay 2 support to Apple Fitness+ in its new update. You can already cast your Fitness+ content to Apple TV, but with iOS 14.5 Beta 1, Apple has added an option to cast audio and video to supported AirPlay 2 set-top boxes and smart TV. TechCrunch has noted that though the update brings support for Fitness+ to AirPlay 2, it won’t display key-metrics like rings and calories burned on the TV screen.

7. UI Tweaks to Podcast App

ios 14.5 beta podcast

iOS 14 brings in a redesigned Podcast app to the iPhone. With iOS 14.5, Apple has tweaked the user interface on the app.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your thoughts on iOS 14.5 Beta 1? Have you installed the latest update yet? Noticed some change that hasn’t been mentioned above? Do let us know in the comment section below!