Tag Archives: iOS 14.5

Make the Most of iOS 14.5

By Tracey Dowdy 

Monday, Apple released iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 worldwide. If you’re using a supported device, you can find the software update in your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch’s Settings app. The most significant change for many is App Tracking Transparency, Apple’s new policy whereby app developers are required to get user opt-in to track users between apps. Arguably, the best feature is one we could have used a year ago – the ability to unlock your phone without removing your mask. The downside? You need an Apple Watch for the feature to work. 

The App Tracking Transparency feature and policy are now fully enforced, starting with today’s release of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14. Apps must ask for permission to track you across your Apple devices. If you decline the request or block apps from asking you, they have to honor your decision. Should an app get caught tracking you without your consent, Apple reserves the right to remove it from the App Store. Go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking on your iPhone or iPad to enable. 

Face ID now works with a mask, well, sort of. If you have an Apple Watch, you’re all set. If you don’t, we can only hope developers will introduce a way to unlock in the next update. In the meantime, with iOS 14.5, your iPhone will look for your paired Apple Watch to unlock itself if it sees the bottom half of your face is covered. If your watch is nearby, your iPhone will open just as it usually would when using Face ID. 

Siri has added new voices, so the default voice is no longer female. There are now four voices English speakers get to choose from, including two new voices modeled after Black American English. You’ll find these on the Siri page for voices within the Settings app. Choose “American” under variety and, in addition to the two existing American accents, you’ll find two more voices: a Black female voice and a Black male voice.

Apple has also added features to its Shortcuts app. One of the more labor-intensive yet popular additions is the ability to create your own app icons and customize the look of your phone. For example, instead of the Apple Mail app icon, you can download an icon and replace it with your customized choice and use it to launch the app.

Perhaps one of the best features of 1OS14.5 is App Clips, a miniature version of the full app that will save you time and storage space. App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly to allow users to open and complete a task in seconds. Without downloading or installing an entire app, you can still access its features for basic features like renting a tourist bike while you’re out sightseeing or making reservations at a restaurant without having to install a new app every time.  

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Hidden features in iOS 14.5

By Tracey Dowdy

Apple’s release of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 brought users several new features, including unlocking your iPhone while wearing your mask as long as you have an Apple Watch. There are new Siri voice options, and you can now force apps to ask your permission to track you; and another feature Android users have had for years is the ability to fully customize your home screen, complete with custom app icons and placing widgets wherever you choose.

These are some of the updates that have garnered the most attention, but there are several other features you’re going to want to take advantage of – here are some of my favorites. 

Apple Maps reporting feature 

Like Waze’s functionality, Apple has added tools to report an accident, road hazard,s and speed checks to Apple Maps. Apple verifies the Report and then shows an icon to alert drivers of the hazard, but not speed traps -you’ll only get an alert for speed traps while using turn-by-turn navigation. 

To report, either say something along the lines of, “Hey, Siri, there’s a speed check here,” “report an accident,” or “there’s something in the road.” You can also tap the card at the bottom of the screen to view the options card while using turn-by-turn navigation, then select Report and pick the appropriate option.

Delete Mail and Safari

In a move we thought we’d never see, Apple is finally allowing users to drop native apps like Safari and Mail. Finally, die-hard Gmail fans like me can make it my default email and Google my default search engine. Open your iPhone or iPad’s Settings app, then scroll down to the bottom, where it lists all installed apps. Choose your preferred mail or browser app and tap on it. If it’s been updated for iOS 14 – not everything has yet, so keep checking – you’ll see either Default Browser App or Default Email App. Tap it, then make your selection. So far, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Outlook, and Hey email are updated to include this new “default” toggle. 

Easily search the emoji keyboard

Speaking of updates that have been a long time coming, iOS 14 has refined the search feature for emojis, making it much easier to find precisely the emoji you need. Once you launch the emoji keyboard, you’ll see a search bar at the top of the keyboard. 

Send Downloaded Apps Directly to App Library 

It takes time to curate your Home screen, get those App icons customized and widgets in place. 

Previously, when you downloaded a new app, it defaulted to your Home screen, but with iOS 14, you can send it directly to your app library. Simply open Settings > Home Screen and choose App Library Only in the top section. Your recently downloaded apps appear in the App Library’s Recently Added category, making them easy to find when you’re ready to move them to their new home. 

Hide – and this time they mean it – photos you want hidden

Apple included the ability to hide photos in iOS and iPadOS for quite some time. However, photos you didn’t want to see anymore – or didn’t want others to see if they were scrolling through your phone – were stored in a Hidden Album in the Photos app that was way too easy to find. With iOS 14, Apple finally gets it right. 

Go to Settings > Photos and make sure the Hidden Album switch is turned off. That may seem counterintuitive but in this case, enabling the setting means the Hidden Album will show in the Albums tab. Now, images and videos you hide in your camera roll will still be saved on your device and in the iCloud Photo library, but you can’t access them unless you go back and turn the Hidden Album feature on.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.