Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, watchOS 7.4 and tvOS 14.5

Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 14.5, macOS Big Sur 11.3, watchOS 7.4 and tvOS 14.5

Apple has released software updates for all of its major platforms, including the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and HomePod. The updates are rolling out to users worldwide. Here’s what’s new in Apple’s major software releases.

iOS 14.5

iOS 14.5, the critical software update for the iPhone, is now available to download. Interestingly, Siri can also learn to play music from Spotify and other services. But the headline feature of iOS 14.5 is the new privacy change. With iOS 14.5, Apple is giving you more control over apps that want to track for advertisements. 

The new change is bad news for companies like Facebook, the social media giant, which is a bit concerned about the privacy change. The update also includes support for the recently launched AirTag Bluetooth tracker.

It brings a lot of new features, including the ability to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch while wearing a mask, Siri voice assistant no long defaults to a female voice when you set up your device, support for the latest game controllers, 5G support for dual-SIM devices, new Emoji characters, AirPlay support for Fitness+, an overhauled Podcasts app, and more.

iPadOS 14.5

As usual, iPadOS 14.5 is getting all the new features coming to iOS 14.5. However, there are some specific features that are reserved for iPadOS, the operating system that powers the iPad. These include iPad emoji support, a feature that lets you search for a specific emoji in iPadOS 14.5, a new smart folio security option that will mute the built-in microphone whenever smart folio is shut, Scribble language support, and more. 

Additionally, on the iPad, the loading screen with the Apple logo now shows up in a horizontal position if the tablet is positioned in that way.

macOS Big Sur 11.3

macOS 11.3 is rather a subtle update. The Mac software update includes optimisations for using iOS apps on M1 apps, additional customisation options for Safari, support for the latest PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers, to be used with macOS games, and more. 

Moreover, macOS Big Sur now works with AirTags, which will go on sale on April 30. Then there’s also a new set of emojis, a redesigned Apple News+ tap with a dedicated “For You” selection, and the Apple Music app a new autoplay option.

watchOS 7.4, tvOS 14.5

Meanwhile, watchOS 7.4 adds a new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature that basically lets you use the watch to unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing a mask, an option to choose a Bluetooth device type in settings to correctly notify audio notifications, and AirPlay 2 support for Fitness+ subscription service.

Apple also released tvOS 14.5 and HomePod update 14.5. tvOS 14.5 brings a new colour balance feature. Basically, there’s a new setting in tvOS 14.5 that lets you quickly calibrate your TV’s colour using your iPhone. As far as the HomePod is concerned, the new update offers bug fixes and stability improvements.