Apple has begun rolling out iOS and iPadOS 14.5. The latest software update includes the new App Tracking Transparency feature, which lets users decide whether to allow apps to track their activity for advertising purposes "in other companies' apps and websites. Now, whenever an app is designed to share your activity in this way, a pop-up window will appear.
Facebook has been heavily critical of Apple's app tracking transparency, claiming it presents a "false trade-off between personalized ads and privacy." The new option could harm its business as well as that of third-party advertisers.
Perhaps even more important for everyday iPhone use, iOS 14.5 also includes a very useful and timely new trick: If you have an Apple Watch, you can set your iPhone to unlock automatically without a Face ID match or passcode, as long as Apple's smartwatch is on your wrist. Getting into your phone system becomes faster, especially if you wear a watch all day and night this is especially important.
Installing watchOS 7.4 is necessary for this feature to work, and that update is also available as of today.
iOS and iPadOS 14.5 include a host of new emojis with an emphasis on inclusivity. The update also adds the ability to watch Apple Fitness Plus workouts on your TV with AirPlay 2.
Apple's Podcasts app has a new design and optional subscriptions. Gamepads for the latest PS5 and Xbox series X/S are now supported on iPhones and iPads, starting with this update. And all iPhone 12 models will allow 5G connectivity in dual-SIM models in more countries.
Starting with update iOS 14.5, Apple will no longer default its Siri assistant to a female voice. Instead, you will be prompted to select your preferred voice during device settings.
iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 is rolling out to iPhone and iPad users now; you can start the update process immediately by clicking "Software Update" on the Settings page.