Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming two weeks after Apple released the third iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas.

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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.

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.

iphone apple watch unlock
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.

iPhone 12 5G Dual Carrier Feature orange
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.

Apple fitness plus feature
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.

play station dualsense controller
iOS 14.5 includes a Waze-like crowdsourcing feature for reporting accidents, hazards, and speed checks along a route in Maps when getting directions.

apple maps report accident
There's a new "Report" button available in the Apple Maps app that lets you tap to report an accident, hazard, or speed trap at your location in the ‌Apple Maps‌ app, which is a feature that mapping app Waze offers. This is available directly on the ‌iPhone‌ and in CarPlay.

There are several new emoji characters in the iOS 14.5 beta, with Apple introducing heart on fire, mending heart, exhaling face, face with spiral eyes, face in clouds, along with different gender options for people with beards. There are also new couple emojis that have new skin tone mixes.

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Apple removed the blood from the syringe emoji, updated the Headphone emoji to look like the AirPods Max rather than a generic set of headphones, and added a helmet to the rock climbing emoji.

In the Find My app, there's a new "Items" tab that's been added, which will work with non-Apple products like Beats headphones and Belkin's wireless earbuds that have been designed to integrate with the ‌Find My‌ app. Anything item tracking function that uses Apple's ‌Find My‌ API will be shown here right alongside your Apple devices, and the Items tab will also work with AirTags when those are finally released.

The iOS 14.5 beta addresses the green tint issue that some ‌iPhone‌ owners have been experiencing, with Apple confirming that the beta has "optimizations" to help with the issue.

"iOS and iPadOS 14.5 beta 2 includes an optimization to reduce the appearance of a dim glow that might appear at reduced brightness levels with black backgrounds," reads Apple's iOS 14.5 beta notes. For some users, there are improvements thanks to the optimizations, but for others, the issue still appears to exist, so Apple may have some further work to do.

iOS and iPadOS 14.5 add a new feature for choosing a preferred streaming music service to use with Siri. So if you prefer Spotify over Apple Music, for example, you can now choose Spotify as the app you want to use with ‌Siri‌ and all ‌Siri‌ song requests will go through Spotify without the need to add "on Spotify" to the end of ‌Siri‌ requests. This is a new ‌Siri‌ intelligence feature that works with music apps, podcast apps, and audiobook apps.

siri music app default
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.

app tracking transparency prompt ios 14

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. Apple says iOS and iPadOS 14.5 will be released in the spring, so we can expect a launch date sometime after March 20.

Related Forum: iOS 14

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Top Rated Comments

dtrj787 Avatar
43 months ago

The build number is 18E5178a. The previous beta 3 was 18E5164h.

Only 14 builds (5164 vs 5178) separate beta 3 and beta 4. And I think "a" postfix signifies internal test build. "a" means it passed the first test, meaning it is very stable and very close to launch.
Meaning release next week. More than likely, invites go out tomorrow for an event next week.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Barron Avatar
43 months ago
What's the crystal ball say for the public release of iOS 14.5?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
azmscle Avatar
43 months ago

Is it me, or are they "beta-ing" the ever living crap out of 14.5? I'm not complaining, I've been using a public beta for a while now and I've had no issues. But this one seems like it's getting tested to the point it could actually keep one of Musk's space contraptions from crashing to the ground.

Or maybe run a Mars rover or something....
It’s only beta 4 with two weeks in between each beta and significant changes within the OS to warrant needing at least 4 betas.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krfr Avatar
43 months ago
Alright! Let’s get this iOS 14.5 out now so my watch can unlock my phone! (I’m not in the beta program)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
43 months ago

What's the crystal ball say for the public release of iOS 14.5?
It can't be too much longer. I'm thinking by the end of the month ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aesc80 Avatar
43 months ago
Pretty interesting on a Monday release. Guess Apple knows just how eager we are for betas (or just deploys at will - whatev)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)