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THE next major iPhone update is right around the corner, bringing what promises to be a host of handy new features.
Due for release worldwide month, iOS 14.5 is expected to add a new way to unlock your mobile as well as major upgrades to Apple Maps.
The latest version of the iPhone’s iOS operating system is right around the cornerCredit: Alamy
What is iOS 14.5 and when is it out?
Apple periodically releases software updates for iOS, the operating system that powers iPhones around the globe.
As well as bug fixes and the patching of security holes, the downloads add new features that Apple’s engineers have been working on for months.
The latest major update is iOS 14.5.
App developers have been testing an early “beta” version of the software since February, meaning we already know plenty of its upcoming features.
iOS 14.5 is rumoured to be rolling out to general users in the coming weeksCredit: Alamy
It’s unclear precisely when Apple plans to release the update to general users, though it’s heavily rumoured to rollout sometime in April.
Read on for some of the headline features coming to an iPhone near you in the coming weeks.
Of course, to make the most of iOS 14.5, you’ll need to download it once it’s been released by Apple.
The Cupertino firm will send a notification once the update is ready. To get it, head to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone.
Apple is adding the ability to unlock your iPhone using your Apple WatchCredit: apple
Unlock iPhone while wearing a mask
One upgrade coming to iOS 14.5 is new way to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask.
The new feature is a clever way to get around now commonly-worn face masks – which typically scupper your iPhone’s Face ID scanner.
However, there’s a catch – you’ll need an Apple Watch
The wearable gadget needs to be on your wrist and also unlocked. Simply move it close to your iPhone and, hey presto, your mobile will be unlocked.
The system is opt-in through settings, so it won’t be on by default.
You’ll soon receive pop-up notifications asking if you want apps to track youCredit: apple
App tracking transparency
Apple is changing its policies on data-tracking to protect the privacy of iPhone users.
Following the release of iOS 14.5, app developers like Facebook will have to ask your permission to access your advertising ID.
That ID allows them to track your across the internet, storing data on your browsing history and more in order to target adverts at you.
Once the feature is live, you’ll receive a pop-up notification asking if you want an app to track you.
Around two-thirds of iPhone users are expected to take advantage of the feature to protect their privacy, according to a report from AdWeek.
It could impact free apps like Facebook and Instagram that heavily rely on hoarding user data to generate revenue.
The move follows the addition of privacy labels to the App Store in December.
They lay bare the ways that apps such as WhatsApp track their users online.
Apple is making some major changes to the iPhone very soonCredit: Apple
Apple Maps upgrades
Apple Maps is getting a hefty upgrade with the addition of crowd-sourced data.
The app will use real-time data from drivers to work out the locations of speed traps, road accidents and other traffic hazards.
Users will be asked to hit a button within Maps to report such incidents as they travel.
Maps will reportedly also use crowd-sourced data to work out whether the café, restaurant or other location you’re headed to is crowded.
The app will then send you a warning message if your destination looks a little busy.
Similar features are already available on digital map services such as Google Maps and Waze.
Two new Siri voices have been developed by AppleCredit: Getty – Contributor
New voices for Siri
Apple is reportedly binning Siri’s default voice and bringing in two new ones in the name of inclusivity.
The original Siri has a female voice but iOS 14.5 could change this for English speakers across the world.
According to TechCrunch, the sound of the AI assistant will be changed on iPad, iPhone and HomePod when iOS 14.5 comes out.
It will mean people setting up a device will be asked to choose their preferred Siri voice.
Right now, Siri is on a default female setting but you can go into Settings and change this if you wish.
Apple wants the new voices to promote diversity and inclusion.
The company reportedly wants to move away from associating its AI assistant with specific genders.
Apple is said to have sourced new talent for the Siri voices and has worked to make them sound more natural.
The company said in a statement: “We’re excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device.
“This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”
Apple is updating its popular Find My app with new featuresCredit: Apple
Find My app
Appel is providing a way for you to track down lost items – including bicycles and headphones.
Better yet, with tracker tags you could even locate unconnected belongings, like a backpack or suitcase.
The revolutionary new feature is built into a revamped version of Apple’s Find My app.
Previously, the app was used to locate missing Apple devices – like an iPhone or iPad.
You can find the gadget on a map, play sounds from the device itself, lock it, or display a contact message on the screen.
But the new version of the app coming with iOS 14.5 reportedly broadens this location tech out to a new Apple tracking gadget.
Called Air Tags, the gizmo has been rumoured for months, but Apple has been slow to get it off the ground.
Once released, you’ll be able to strap the tags to your beloved possessions, allowing you to track them from your iPhone if they go missing.
Support for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X controllers is on the wayCredit: Sony PlayStation
PS5 and Xbox Series X/S support
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 remain seriously difficult to get hold of.
However, their brand spanking new controllers are in plentiful supply at retailers across the globe.
Following the iOS 14.5 update, you’ll be able to hook up your next-gen controller to your iPhone.
It’ll allow you to play your favourite mobile games in style.
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In other news, Apple experts have leaked some interesting details about the 2022 iPhone lineup.
Facebook is trialling a video call speed dating app called Sparked.
And, Google is bringing out a feature to help Android users avoid collisions while texting and walking.
Are you excited for iOS 14.5? Let us know in the comments!
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