iOS 14.5 update: The top new features set to come to your iPhone

iOS 14.5

Apple is one of the premium smartphone manufacturers. The Silicon Valley tech giant is known for releasing innovative and impressive phones as well as updates. The iOS 14.4 update was quite impressive, it addressed the security concerns present in the previous versions and brought numerous new features. Whereas this update solely focuses on bringing the newest features and improving the overall user experience.

The highlight of the iOS 14.5 update is the privacy highlights which have been the center of controversy ever since its announcement. The feature has triggered one of the biggest tech feuds between Apple and Facebook. However, Apple has made it clear it has no intention of backing out.

It seems that iOS users are getting plenty of features with the 14.5 update; we have selected the top five and explained everything you can expect.

Face ID works with Masks

The pandemic has changed how a lot of things work including the ability to unlock our phones while wearing face masks. Apple has finally come up with a solution at least for Apple Watch owners; users can unlock their iPhones via face ID as long their Apple Watch is unlocked. You will now be able to verify your identity on your phone, you simply have to keep your Apple watch unlocked and use the Face ID as you normally would. A buzzing on your wrist indicates that your iPhone has been successfully unlocked. However, at the moment this does not work for authenticating purchases.

Choose your default music player

iPhone users do not have a say in selecting a default music player. This has been the case since the first iPhone and has stayed till the iOS 14.4 update but the 14.5 update changes that. In the beta version when you request a song from Siri it should ask what player you want to use. Multiple music players including Spotify can be set as default, after selecting your default once, you will not have to specify with each request. It is worth mentioning that this feature still has some kinks since it does not work consistently for some people. It is expected that Apple will fix the bugs in the final build.

App Tracking Transparency

Aforementioned, this update has been the center of controversy ever since its announcement. Apple is going t great lengths to ensure its user’s privacy is being respected. After the “App Tracking Transparency” is implemented users will have the option to opt-out of being tracked by websites and apps. Companies such as Facebook usually share this data to use for adverts but once the iOS 14.5 update rolls out, data sharing will no longer be mandatory. Developers will have to ask for permission to track and those who do not comply with the new regulations will face severe sanctions. Additionally, Apple insists that user experience should not be affected if they opt-out of tracking.

PS5 and Xbox Series X controller support

The gaming community will surely rejoice with this feature. The iOS 14.5 update will include support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers. It is a beneficial update for those who own these consoles and those people who use Apple Arcade. This feature cud further be improved if it is introduced to Apple TV but there is no news on that as of yet.

Apple Maps will have crowdsourced alerts

This update seems a bit futile at the moment since people rarely go out due to the pandemic. The selected few who use Apple Maps have not reported a significant change in the application. It was reported by Macrumors that this feature allows users to report accidents, hazards, and speed checks on their journey, and presumably if enough people flag the same thing a warning about it will appear on Apple Maps.

In Conclusion

The iOS 14.5 update seems to be a major step up from the previous versions. It wholly focuses on improving user’s experience and giving them a window for customization. However, it won’t come as a surprise that everyone is focused on the App Tracking Transparency rather than the other updates since the feature will change the business model for websites and apps. The most vocal opposition to this new policy is Facebook; they are vehemently reluctant to g along with the change and are doing everything in their power to disrupt the transition. This has triggered the biggest tech feud in the decade. It’s Apple vs. Facebook and the entire world is awaiting the verdict.

Moreover, the Face ID solution seems to be a temporary one since most users do not own an Apple Watch hence we can expect further improvements regarding that. Overall, the 14.5 seems to focus on allowing the user to control what happens on their iPhone rather than forcing them to comply with the decisions made by companies and third parties. One thing is certain; Apple is pioneering the data rights movement.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at