Apple's new iPhone operating system is almost here. iOS 14.5 was expected in March by many people (myself included) and then in early April. When that didn't happen, I expected to hear an update and roundup of the new features at Apple's press event on Tuesday.
iOS 14.5 was overshadowed in a big way by Apple's announcements of new iPads, iMacs, and a totally new product called "Air Tags" which allows users to track things like keys and wallets using a Tile-like gadget and their smartphone. We'll try those out later.
I was hoping to hear Apple CEO Tim Cook mention iOS 14.5 or at least let one of Apple's experts talk about it. The beta version of the operating system was released in February and I began using it as soon as the beta was released.
Here are some of the new features iPhone users will see when they download the update next week:
Privacy and a new "App Tracking Transparency" will ensure iPhone users will know what apps are doing in the background and what they do with the data they're collecting. Starting with iOS 14.5, you'll be asked to allow or not allow an app you're installing to gather data across the internet. For example, if you're installing the Facebook app, you'll see a popup message asking if you will allow Facebook to track "your activity across other companies' apps and websites" and given the option to "ask app not to track" or "allow."
If you choose "ask app not to track" you'll still be able to use the app and you will still see advertisements but those ads may not be relevant to you. Facebook has responded to the new feature saying it will hurt small businesses. The thinking is that businesses using Facebook for advertising will not reach potential customers who've expressed an interest in their products and services. If a person searches Google, for example, for a hotel in New Orleans, Facebook would post ads for hotels with locations in New Orleans in that users' news feed. The business has a much greater chance to reach potential customers and their paid advertising dollars would have greater success at reaching people who are looking for hotels.
Facebook responded to Apple's new feature by saying it's more about profits than privacy.
There are other new features in iOS 14.5 including:
● Unlocking an iPhone while wearing a mask if you also have an Apple Watch.
● New emoji
● New Siri voices
● A new look for the Apple Podcast app
● Improvements and enhancements to Apple Maps, including the capability for users to report traffic accidents (similar to Waze).
The new update will be available sometime around April 27th.
Apple's press event also unveiled:
● New iPad Pro models and a new iMac
● Air Tags, similar to the popular Tile tracking devices
● An improved Apple TV
A new iPhone, iPhone 13, will most likely be introduced this fall with a release date in October or November.