iOS 14.5 goes live with Watch unlocking, tracking transparency and kissing emojis

At its big event last week, Apple tipped off the forthcoming arrival of the latest point update to iOS. Today 14.5 goes live for all users, and it’s shaping up to be one of the bigger updates to the mobile operating system in a bit.

The most long-awaited update from a purely user standpoint is probably the ability to unlock the phone using an Apple Watch. It’s another useful addition for the company’s wearable, but more importantly, it comes after a year of frustrated mask wearers hoping for a workaround for face unlock.

Image Credits: Apple

When wearing a mask, the handset will default to the Watch (once watchOS 7.4 is installed), sending a notification to the wearable, along with a haptic buzz.

A big new arrival on the security side, as well, with the addition of app tracking transparency. Anthony wrote about the feature in a post earlier this month, noting:

Apple will actually start enforcing its new rules, meaning that iPhone users will probably start seeing a lot more requests. Those requests will appear at various points during the usage of an app, but they’ll all carry a standardized message asking whether the app can “track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites,” followed by a customized explanation from the developer.

So, get ready for a lot of pop-up notifications — but for a good cause.

Image Credits: Apple

Also arriving:

  • A ton of new emojis. We’ve got kissing couples, fiery hearts and additional gender inclusivity.
  • Updates to Siri, including an additional voice (there is no default voice now) and the ability to dial an emergency number.
  • AirTag support!
  • Apple Podcasts app redesign.
  • Fitness+ can now be streamed to devices with AirPlay 2 enabled.
  • Reminders can be date, priority and title.
  • Updates to voice control accessibility.
  • Users can directly report traffic incidents to Apple Maps, using Siri commands like, “There’s a crash up ahead” and “There’s something on the road.” Also on board are speed checks.
  • The News+ tab gets reorganized to make it easier to find relevant stories and publications.