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iOS 14.5: release date, beta download and all new features



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iOS 14.5 gets some new features compared to previous versions, pictured here.

Patrick Holland / CNET

iOS 14 was first released in September 2020, ahead of the launch of the iPhone 12. Since then, new versions of the operating system have been released once a month, with new features and bug fixes. The latest version — iOS 14.4 – was released on January 26.

iOS 14.5 is likely to be released later this month; the beta version for developers is now available. The latest version of the OS includes new features that make it easier for you to unlock your phone while wearing a mask (as long as you also have an Apple Watch ($ 169 at Amazon)), and requires apps to ask for user consent before tracking data and activity.

Here’s everything we know about iOS 14.5 so far, including when it will be generally available for download and what new features to expect.

Read more: The best new iPhone features from iOS 14

When is the iOS 14.5 release date?

The latest version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 14.5, is now available as a developer beta. That means you’ll need an Apple Developer account to test it out, and it may have some bugs, as Apple is still working on it before it’s finally released.

Apple isn’t publicly announcing when it will release a new version of iOS, but we can follow some pointers. Since the developer beta for iOS 14.5 became available on February 1, with releases about once a month, we can expect the final version of iOS 14.5 sometime in February.

Will there be a public beta of iOS 14.5 that I can download?

Apple typically releases a public beta for the latest version of iOS shortly after the developer beta. However, that was not the case with iOS 14.5. It’s possible we could see a public beta next week, if at all, according to MacWorld. And even if one does become available, keep in mind that betas are often buggy – it’s best not to download it on your primary phone.

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Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

How do I download iOS 14.5 when it is generally available?

When it is released, you should get a prompt saying iOS 14.5 is now available and asking if you want to download it. Or you can do the following:

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select General.

3. Crane Software update.

Your device will connect to Apple’s servers and prompt you to download and install the update. Follow the prompts to complete the installation. When your device reboots, iOS 14.5 will be running. (Check out our full instructions on how to prepare your phone and download iOS 14 here.)

Which devices are compatible with iOS 14.5?

iOS 14.5 will be compatible with the same devices as iOS 14. Generally, this includes the iPhone 6S ($ 450 at Boost Mobile) all the way up through the iPhone 12, along with the iPhone SE ($ 85 at Back Market) and the iPod Touch ($ 135 at Amazon) (seventh generation). For the full list of devices compatible with iOS 14, click here.

What new features does iOS 14.5 include?

The latest version of iOS will bring several useful new features, including:

Use Face ID on your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone, even if you’re wearing a mask

Apple Watch owners can sign up for a feature that lets you use use Face ID to unlock your iPhone when your watch is on and unlocked, even if your face is covered by a mask. The Watch provides haptic feedback to let you know your iPhone is unlocked.

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If you have an Apple Watch, iOS 14.5 allows you to use it to more easily unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask.

Aleksandar Georgiev / Getty Images

Stream Fitness Plus workouts with AirPlay

iOS 14.5 and WatchOS 7.4 allow it Apple Fitness Plus users stream workouts directly to AirPlay 2 compatible TVs and devices.

Transparency of app tracking

iOS 14.5 includes privacy changes that require apps to ask for user consent before data and activity are tracked. This builds on a change released in iOS 14.3 that you can see what data apps collect before you click download.

Dual-SIM 5G global support

iPhone 12 users now have dual SIM support worldwide, which means you can take advantage of the physical SIM slot and digital e-SIM to have two lines of service on the same phone. Previously, this support was only available in mainland China.

Siri updates

Siri now has the option to make emergency calls for you, with the prompt “Hey Siri, call emergencies.” You will see a three-second countdown, giving you the option to cancel the request.

Console controller support

With the update, Apple is adding iOS and iPadOS support for PS5 and Xbox series X controllers so you can play games on your phone or tablet.

You will also find some design changes in the Podcasts, News, and Reminders apps.

For more information, check out some of the best hidden iPhone features we found in iOS 14. And before making OS updates, make sure your iPhone and iPad are ready.


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