Apple started this week off with a bang. The company seeded the first beta of iOS 14.5 (and iPadOS 14.5) to developers on Monday. The prerelease software is packed with new features.
Apple doesn’t always add new features to a software update. Sometimes it’s just meant to iron out some bugs or otherwise make improvements. However, while iOS 14.5 is more than likely adding plenty of those to the mix, the company is also bringing along a variety of new features and support to the mobile OS.
So we’ve put together a quick list of what’s new in the first beta of iOS 14.5, which you can find below.
iOS 14.5 beta 1 new features
The big ones
- Support for new wireless game controllers: iOS already supports a range of wireless controllers, mostly to help with playing games available in Apple Arcade. But the support also makes it possible to play games not available in Apple’s subscription service. With iOS 14.5 beta 1, Apple is adding support for the newest game controllers on the market: Sony’s DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5, and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X controllers.
- Support for 5G in dual-SIM mode for iPhone 12: Apple’s newest iPhones are equipped with both a physical SIM card and a digital eSIM. This is a dual-SIM design, making it possible to have two separate phone numbers on the same device. Right now, dual-SIM supports LTE. However, that will change with the public release of iOS 14.5.
- Apple Fitness+ adds AirPlay 2 support: One of the drawbacks of Apple’s fitness-centric subscription service was the fact it didn’t support AirPlay 2 at launch. So, as of right now, you need an Apple TV set-top box to watch the workouts on your primary TV. Either that, or rely on your iPhone or iPad to watch the workouts. That’s changing with iOS 14.5, as the new software adds support for casting Fitness+ to AirPlay 2-enabled devices. It won’t allow for showing real-time metrics on the screen, though.
- Multi-user support for Apple Card: Yet another feature being added to something that probably should have been present right from the jump. With the impending launch of iOS 14.5, Apple will add multi-user support for the Apple Card at some point in the future. It will handle this via Family Sharing, and account owners will be able to track spending, invite family members to share the card, and more. Unlike the other features, though, this is just a tease. There’s no specific information saying this feature will arrive with the public launch of iOS 14.5. However, it’s certainly possible it rolls out then, though.
- iOS 14.5 will let Apple Watch owners unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask: Another oft-requested feature, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Apple doesn’t support Touch ID in it is newest iPhones, which can make unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask a pain. But Apple is helping with that. Apple Watch owners will be able to confirm unlocking their iPhones while wearing a mask with iOS 14.5.
The other interesting additions
- There’s a new interface in the Settings app and Watch app for when your software is up-to-date.
- Apple has tweaked the interface, albeit slightly, in the Podcasts app
- There’s a new “Hey Siri, call emergency” feature:
iOS 14.5 beta 1. pic.twitter.com/ibzhDOPWP7
— Bas van der Ploeg (@basvanderploeg) February 1, 2021
- iOS 14.5 users can sort lists in Reminders, and printing is available, too:
You can *finally* sort lists in the Reminders app in iOS 14.5. Multiple sorting options included. Printing support has been added as well. pic.twitter.com/aD9OG3gGJ0
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) February 1, 2021
If there are any additional new features discovered in the first beta of iOS 14.5, we will update this post accordingly.
This post is being updated…