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iOS 14.5 – The Pandemic Update A Year Late

Apple today released the much anticipated iOS 14.5 update… a year late. Ok, fine… it’s only been in testing for a month, but the hallmark feature needed to be brought out a year ago! What happened a year ago? We all started wearing masks and were unable to use FaceID in public!

iOS 14.5 FaceID unlock

iOS 14.5 Update Unlocks While Wearing A Mask

The frustration of the past year has only been needled further by the fact my FaceID simply cannot get enough data from my masked mug to safely unlock my phone. I know, FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS! And for whatever reason, the world’s largest technology company didn’t figure out a solution at the beginning of this pandemic. 

But, with iOS 14.5 Apple has finally introduced a feature that will allow you to unlock your phone using FaceID while wearing a mask! Just one catch… it requires an Apple Watch. Now, before you go and shout from the mountain that Apple is trying to make you spend more money, you have to remember how seriously Apple takes privacy and security. Apple touts the security of FaceID endlessly, and to think they would just toss that to the wind is antithesis. In order to offset the reduced security of only measuring a portion of your face, Apple has decided to co-opt the security of your Apple Watch to enable the feature. 

So, if you have a FaceID enabled phone running iOS 14.5, an Apple Watch running watchOS 7.4 you can resume using FaceID to unlock your phone while wearing a mask! Once you’ve updated your devices, just head down to:

Settings –> Face ID & Passcode –> Unlock With Apple Watch

From then on, if you are wearing a mask and use FaceID, a notification will pop up on your watch, I suppose to give you the warm & fuzzies?

iOS 14.5 Has Lotsof Bits & Bobs

This update has introduced a hefty slew of features and enhancements, some small, some larger. Support for the new AirTags of course, App tracking transparency, City Music charts, 5G dual sim support, sorting of reminders, and Xbox Series X/S or PlayStation 5 controller support.

Siri has two new voices as well! A new male and female voice has been introduced for a total of 4, and there is no longer a “default” voice, now you can choose between Voice 1, Voice 2, ect. You can now also start group FaceTime calls with Siri by saying the people’s names, and you can tell her to call “emergency services”. 

A collection of over 200 new emojis have been introduced including a heart on fire, and exhaling face, and the ability to customize the couples emoji for mixed skin tones.. useful for mixed races couples like yours truly!

iOS 14.5 New Emojies

Some nices changes to Apple Maps will allow you to use Siri to report accidents, just say “There’s a crash up ahead” or “There’s something on the road,”. You can also ask Siri to share your ETA with someone as well. 

Apple has made some changes to Battery Calibration on iPhone 11 and 12, detailed here, but you may see “Your battery health reporting system is recalibrating Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability. This process may take a few weeks.” 

Oh, and in an earth-shattering mind-blowing why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment, the Apple logo on your iPad will start-up in the horizontal orientation!

iOS 14.5 horizontal Apple logo


Notice anything cool with iOS 14.5, contact us!




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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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