Apple today seeded a new version the of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming a few days after Apple released the first iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. This beta appears to be an update to the first beta rather than a second version.
iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Apple has also released iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 betas for public beta testers, with the software able to be updated with the proper profile from Apple’s public beta testing website.
iOS 14.5 is the biggest update to iOS 14 to date, introducing several significant new features. First and foremost, Apple is making it easier to unlock an iPhone when you’re wearing a face mask with a new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature.
This opt-in option lets you use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication method to unlock an iPhone alongside Face ID. With this feature, you no longer have to enter a passcode or remove your mask to unlock your iPhone. Both an iPhone running iOS 14.5 and an Apple Watch are required to use this, and the Apple Watch cannot authenticate Apple Pay purchases, App Store purchases, or unlock third-party apps that use Face ID.
The update also brings worldwide support for 5G in Dual-SIM mode on iPhone 12 models, so if you use multiple lines, both can now connect at 5G speeds. Prior to now, Dual-SIM mode was limited to LTE networks.
With watchOS 7.4, iOS and iPadOS 14.5 include AirPlay 2 support for Apple Fitness+, so Apple Fitness+ subscribers can start a workout on an iPhone or iPAd and then AirPlay it to a compatible smart TV or set-top box. AirPlay 2 supports audio and video, but it does not display on-screen workout metrics.
PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers are supported on the iPhone and the iPad with iOS 14.5, and code suggests that Apple is going to add joint account support for the Apple Card in the near future.
iOS 14.5 is the update where Apple will begin requiring developers to comply with its App Tracking Transparency rules. Going forward, developers will need to ask for and receive your permission to access your random advertising identifier and track your activity across apps and websites.
Apple has made design tweaks to the Apple News and Podcasts apps, plus there are new print and sort options in Reminders. There are new settings for emergency alerts, a horizontal loading screen on the iPad, and tons of other smaller feature tweaks that are outlined in our full iOS 14.5 features guide.
Update: Apple has also made the new version of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 available to public beta testers.
Update 2: There’s also a new tvOS 14.5 update for public beta testers.