Last night Apple released iOS 14.5 beta 1 to the public and unlike the previous beta software, this one actually includes some helpful new features. Namely, the new Face ID enhancement that lets users unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask as long as they have an Apple Watch on their wrist. For those of you who own an iPhone with this biometric system, you would know that unlocking the phone while wearing a mask does not work. Not unless you reregister your face while half wearing a mask (it is not ideal).
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Thankfully, the new software now combines your Apple Watch on your wrist to quickly authenticate and unlock your iPhone. This system is similar to the authentication method used on the Mac. When a user lifts their iPhone to unlock device the Apple Watch will give off a little haptic nudge informing the user that the device has successfully authenticated the phone.
The devices need to be kept in close proximity to one another for this to work. This way the method is a lot more secure. Of course, if your Apple Watch is not unlocked and on your wrist, then it won’t work either. Apple also says that this new method only works for unlocking your iPhone and won’t work for App Store purchases. To be extra safe, your Apple Watch will ask for a passcode every few hours when using the method.
iOS 14.5 also brings with it Apple’s new controversial app tracking transparency controls and permission pop-ups. This forces developers to inform the user when and why their app wants to track them across the software. The users can then deny access to the app. This is definitely a good move for Apple and iPhone owners. However, app makers such as Facebook have slammed the move saying that it will affect their add-supported businesses in the long run.
The new software also brings support for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 controllers and 5G dual-sim functionality in new regions. The current iOS 14.5 is in beta and should release in the coming weeks if testing goes well.