Apple has released its first iOS 14.5 beta for developers, revealing a number of new features that will make life easier for iPhone users. Perhaps the most notable addition for the average user is the ability to unlock an iPhone with Face ID when wearing a face mask, assuming you’re also wearing an Apple Watch.
If you’re an iPhone and Apple Watch user, iOS 14.5 will allow you to unlock your iPhone with Face ID by authenticating it using your Apple Watch.
The feature works if the Apple Watch is unlocked and the phone/watch are near each other. You won’t be able to use this feature to authenticate purchases, however.
In addition to the new unlocking feature, iOS 14.5 has added the app tracking control requiring developers to get uses’ permission to track them for ad purposes. Apple refers to this as ‘App Tracking Transparency,’ something that helps protect users’ privacy — and that has stoked the fury of companies that operate ad networks.
Likewise, the update adds global 5G dual-SIM support and the ability to call emergency contacts using a Siri voice command. For gamers, the update also brings support for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X controllers, making your mobile Minecraft gameplay a bit more sophisticated.
It’s important to note that iOS 14.5 beta is only available to developers right now; everyone else will have to wait until this spring for the update to roll out broadly.