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Apple Rolls Out iOS 14.5 With Improved Siri, Privacy, Face Unlock

Apple has released its new iOS 14.5 update for mobile devices, including a slew of much-speculated new features such as the ability to unlock iPhones with Apple Watches.

Customers wearing face masks can now use their Apple Watches (Series 3 or later) with Face ID to unlock models starting with iPhone X. If the watch is unlocked, on their wrist, and in close proximity to the phone, it will give haptic feedback signalling that the phone has been unlocked.

Also introduced in the update is Apple’s new privacy crackdown, known as App Tracking Transparency, which requires apps to get user permission before tracking data for advertising, or sharing data with brokers.

“Apps can prompt users for permission, and in Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track so they can make changes to their choice at any time,” says Apple.

The Siri voice assistant has been enhanced as well, with a number of new voice options; users will pick their Siri’s voice at device setup, with the assistant no longer having a default voice setting. Additionally, Siri now supports Group FaceTime, can announce incoming calls through AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, and can call emergency contacts if the owner is unable.

Other new features include new emojis; the ability to report traffic incidents through Apple Maps (US and China only); support for AirTags; revamps for Apple News and Apple Podcasts; and 5G improvements for iPhone 12 models.

Separately, Apple Watch’s ECG feature is now available in Australia following TGA approval.

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