Apple on Wednesday seeded the eighth betas of its iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers and public beta testers. The new betas come one week after the release of the seventh betas.
Beta builds are available to developers through the Apple Developer Center or over the air on the devices with the proper configuration installed.
Public builds of the new operating systems can be downloaded via the Apple Beta Software Program website by users signed up to take part in the testing program. If you’re interested in trying out the betas of the upcoming operating systems you can sign up for the program by clicking the same link.
Beta six added two new Siri voices that are available in English and added a new setup selection option that allows users to choose their preferred Siri voice rather than defaulting to the usual female voice in the United States.
The new beta also brings a new process for recalibrating the battery health reporting on some iPhones. An Apple support document says the update brings a feature where the battery health reporting system will recalibrate maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate estimates of battery health reporting for some users.
As noted by Emojipedia, the beta includes several new emoji characters including a heart on fire, an exhaling face, and gender options for the people with beards. Also included in this update is a vaccine-friendly syringe emoji, and support for couples with a mix of skin tones.
The second beta of iOS 14.5 was thought to fix the green tint issue that some iPhone owners have been experiencing.
There was also a vague mention of charging an iPhone with a “battery pack” in the iOS 14.5 code under the optimized charging section.
When iOS 14.5 is released to the public, Apple will begin enforcing its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature. App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track and make changes as they see fit.
Users will see prompts that include options to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App not to Track” when opening apps that wish to track their activity. While developers have been allowed to voluntarily add the tracking prompt to their iOS 14 apps by using the App Tracking Transparency framework. However, it has not been required and few apps have implemented the prompt voluntarily.
When a user selects “Ask App not to Track,” the app will be blocked from accessing the user’s IDFA. The developer is also required to respect the user’s tracking preference overall and is not allowed to use other methods to track the user. Developers that violate the app tracking rules could see their app removed from the App Store.
Also included in the iOS 14.5 beta are the following features:
- A new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature that allows the iPhone to use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch running watchOS 7.4 (which saw its first beta release today) as a secondary authentication method. This will come in handy for users who need to authenticate while in public and wearing a mask. This feature must be enabled in the Settings app by going to Face ID & Passcode and toggling on “Unlock with Apple Watch.”
- iOS 14.5 introduces global support for 5G in Dual-SIM mode on iPhone 12 models. Dual-SIM on the iPhone 12 allows for two lines of service on a single iPhone. Before now, Dual-SIM mode was limited to LTE in all countries except for China.
- iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and watchOS 7.4 enable AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness+. Betas of all three operating services were released today.
- The latest PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers can now be used with the iPhone and the iPad.
- Code in the update indicates that Apple will add a new feature that will allow for multiple people on the same Apple Card account, allowing family members to share a single card.
As usual, MacTrast and Apple both warn users to not install any betas on their daily driver iPhone or iPad, instead only install betas on a device set aside for testing purposes.