Apple introduced a bunch of new features and handy improvements as part of its latest iPhone update.
After the release of iOS 14.5, users can now unlock phones without removing face masks, change the voice of the Siri virtual assistant, connect PS5 and Xbox X Series controllers, and block unwanted data tracking.
The latest upgrade might not be as big as expected from iOS 15 – which should be available from around September – but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to useful features.
Here, we take a look at some of the main benefits of the latest version, explaining where to find them and how to use them.
Face ID mask support
Users can now open their iPhone while wearing a face mask. Clever, eh?
Since face covers became mandatory in the UK last year to reduce the spread of Covid-19, unlocking iPhones using its Face ID tool had become impossible without removing your mask.
This can cause real problems, for example when you try to use the âApple Walletâ function to pay for goods at the supermarket, where the removal of masks is prohibited.
Fortunately, Apple has launched a practical workaround, which allows you to open mobiles using an Apple Watch.
To access the function, the watch must be worn and already unlocked. Users can then place the watch near the woken handset and look at the phone to unlock it.
However, the tool must be enabled in Settings> Face ID> Password for it to work.
And it only works on Apple Watch Series 3 or higher and have watchOS 7.4 or later installed.
New Siri Voices
Fed up with the sound of Siri? Well, the good news is that you now have multiple voices to choose from.
Yes, new Siri voices have also been included in the new iOS update.
Instead of having to settle for the default female voice we’ve known for some time, users can now choose from four options – white male, white female, black male, or black female.
Siri’s voice functionality has also been improved for more natural sound.
Next Generation Controller Connectivity
While Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles are rare, gamers can now connect their next-gen controllers to their Apple devices via Bluetooth.
To play games with the latest controllers, first make sure Bluetooth is turned on on your device.
To pair your PS5 controller, press and hold the “Create” button and the PlayStation logo button for three seconds.
For Xbox controllers, simply press the “Pair” button until it flashes.
The controller should be listed on your device’s Bluetooth page, under âdevices ready to pairâ.
Improved privacy protection
There have also been huge changes in Apple’s data tracking policies.
To improve privacy protection for iPhone users, apps like Facebook and Instagram must now ask for your permission to access your Advertising ID.
This means that they will no longer be able to track your internet usage and browsing history to target you with advertisements. without asking you first via pop-up notifications. These can also be changed later in âSettingsâ.
iOS 14.5 was released on April 26. It is available for installation now.