Apple's iOS 14.5 Update With a Masked Unlock Feature Is Here

Illustration for article titled Apple's iOS 14.5 Update With a Masked Unlock Feature Is Here
Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

iOS 14.5 is officially rolling out today as an over-the-air update for iPhone owners.

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One of the most useful features in this update is one for our pandemic times: the ability to unlock your phone while still wearing a mask. Those with an Apple Watch can enable their paired and unlocked watch as a kind of key for unlocking their iPhones with Face ID.

Illustration for article titled Apple's iOS 14.5 Update With a Masked Unlock Feature Is Here
Image: Apple

Another long-awaited feature is a privacy tool that will actively prompt you to opt out of tracking across websites and apps. Apple now requires app developers to ask users to consent to any app tracking, a move that aligns with Apple’s greater privacy push (and has made Facebook really mad).

Then there’s a Waze-like Maps feature that will allow users to crowdsource incident reporting. iPhone users will be able to report an accident, for example, or a speed trap at a given point on your drive. If you happen to pass the accident, hazard, or speed trap again, you can update Siri that it’s still present or, alternatively, let Siri know that the incident has been cleared so that it will no longer appear in Maps.

The update will further support Apple’s long-expected AirTags. The company specified during its product event last week that the iOS 14.5 update would be required to set up and use its Bluetooth trackers.

And those of us who rely on Siri will notice that Siri no longer defaults to a feminine-presenting voice. When you set up your iOS device, you have the option to choose the voice you want to hear. For those who use English as their iPhone language, there are now more diverse voice options to choose from.

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You can install iOS 14.5 by opening Settings, tapping General and then Software Update.

DISCUSSION

mrfurious72
Mr. Furious

The Watch-based unlock feature seems to work well. Now, though, it makes me wish there was a way to unlock apps that require FaceID, like my online banking app, without momentarily removing my mask.