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5 Things to Know About the iOS 14.5 Update

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Apple’s finally pushed the iOS 14.5 update and the milestone upgrade brings a long list of changes to iPhone users.

iOS 14.5 beta is over and the software is available to download right now if you have a compatible iPhone model. iOS 14.5 is compatible with all iOS 14-powered phones, a list that includes the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Unlike iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.5 is a huge upgrade and it brings a mix of new features, bug fixes, and security patches to iPhone owners around the world.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there is to know about Apple’s iOS 14.5 upgrade.

In this guide we’ll walk you through iOS 14.5’s changes, the software’s performance, iOS 14.5 problems, the iOS 14.5 jailbreak status, and more.

We’ll start with iOS 14.5’s early performance.

iOS 14.5 Review

If your iPhone is currently running iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.5 requires a pretty large download.

For iOS 14.4.2 users, the iOS 14.5 download will be around 1GB. iOS 14.5 is a 1.21GB download for iPhone 12 Pro users moving up from the previous versions of iOS 14.

iOS 14.5’s exact size depends on your iPhone model and the version of iOS it’s currently running. So if your iPhone is running an older version of iOS, you’ll likely see a bigger download because your upgrade will include the features, fixes, and/or patches from iOS updates you skipped.

If you’re jumping up from iOS 14.4.2, the iOS 14.5 installation should take less than 15 minutes. It took about nine minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro and an iPhone X.

For more on the iOS 14.5 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using iOS 14.5 on a few iPhone models for a few days now and here’s what we’ve noticed about its performance thus far:

iOS 14.5 Connectivity

  • Battery life is currently stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
  • Bluetooth is working normally.
  • GPS and cellular data are both stable.

iOS 14.5 App Performance

  • Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
  • First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are also stable.

iOS 14.5 Speed

  • iOS 14.5 currently feels as fast as iOS 14.4.2.

If your iPhone is struggling on iOS 14.4.2 or an older version of iOS, you might want to install the iOS 14.5 update on your iPhone right now.

If you need help making a decision, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the iOS 14.5 update. It should help you make a decision.

We’ve also published our mini iOS 14.5 reviews for the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE so check those guides for additional feedback if you need it.

iOS 14.5 Problems

iOS 14.5 is causing problems for some iPhone users. Some problems are brand new, others have carried over from older versions of iOS 14.

The current list of iOS 14 issues includes installation problems, lag, Exchange issues, problems with first and third-party apps, hotspot problems, severe battery drain, touchscreen issues, issues with Touch ID and Face ID, green tint issues on the iPhone 12, random stuttering, charging issues, and various other bugs/performance issues.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
  • This phone is unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice on GSM and CDMA networks (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, Cricket, Metro, Tracfone, Mint Mobile, etc.).
  • Please check with your carrier to verify compatibility.
  • When you receive the phone, insert a SIM card from a compatible carrier. Then, turn it on, connect to Wi-Fi, and follow the on screen prompts to activate service.
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a generic (Mfi certified) charger and charging cable.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.

If you encounter a problem on iOS 14.5, take a look at our fixes for the most common iOS 14 problems. We’ve also released some tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance and some tips that could help fix bad iOS 14 battery life.

Apple is currently signing on iOS 14.4.2 which means you can drop back to it if iOS 14.5 starts giving you trouble.

You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 14.4.2 so keep that in mind if you’re having a good experience on iOS 14.4.1 or below. If you’re on iOS 14.4.1 or older, and you move to iOS 14.5, there’s no getting back.

For more on the downgrade process, check out our guide.

iOS 14.5 Update: What’s New

As expected, iOS 14.5 is a massive upgrade for iPhone. It’s the biggest release since iOS 14’s arrival back in September.

The iOS 14.5 update includes important bug fixes and security patches and it also brings an assortment of new features that could enhance your experience.

Here are iOS 14.5’s changes:

New Features

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

  • Ability to unlock your iPhone X and later with Apple Watch Series 3 and later when you attempt to use Face ID while wearing a face mask

AirTag and Find My

  • Support for AirTag to keep track of and find your important items like your keys, wallet, backpack and more, privately and securely in the Find My app
  • Precision Finding uses visual, audible, and haptic feedback to guide you directly to your nearby AirTag using Ultra Wideband provided by the U1 chip on iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models
  • AirTag can be located by playing a sound via the built-in speaker
  • The Find My network with hundreds of millions of devices can help you find your AirTag, even when it isn’t nearby
  • Lost Mode notifies you when your AirTag is found, and you can enter a phone number where you can be contacted

Emoji

  • Support for separate skin tones for each individual in all variations of the couple kissing emoji and couple with heart emoji
  • New face emojis, heart emojis, woman with a beard emoji

Siri

  • Siri now includes more diverse voice options
  • Incoming calls can be announced with Siri, including who is calling, when you’re wearing your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, and you can answer hands-free
  • Group FaceTime calls are supported by asking Siri to FaceTime a list of contacts or a group name from Messages
  • Emergency contacts can be called by asking Siri

Privacy

  • App Tracking Transparency lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers

Apple Music

  • Share your favorite lyrics using Messages, Facebook, and Instagram Stories, and subscribers can play the snippet in Messages without leaving the conversation
  • City charts showcase what’s popular in over 100 cities from all over the world

Podcasts

  • Podcasts Show Pages are redesigned to make it easier to start listening
  • Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your Library for quick access
  • Download behavior and notification settings can be customized on a show-by-show basis
  • Top Charts and popular categories in Search help you discover new shows

5G improvements

  • Dual SIM support enables 5G connectivity on the line that’s using cellular data on iPhone 12 models
  • Smart Data Mode improvements further optimize your experience on 5G networks for better battery life and data usage on iPhone 12 models
  • 5G international roaming enabled on supported carriers on iPhone 12 models

News

  • Redesigned News+ tab enables Apple News+ subscribers to quickly find, download, and manage magazine and newspaper issues
  • All-new Search experience that helps you find relevant topics, channels, and stories

Maps

  • Accidents, hazards, or speed checks along your route can be reported by telling Siri on your iPhone or on CarPlay
  • Estimated time of arrival (ETA) can be shared when cycling or walking, in addition to driving, by asking Siri or tapping on the route card at the bottom of the screen, then tapping Share ETA

Reminders

  • Ability to sort reminders by Title, Priority, Due Date, or Creation date
  • Option to print your reminder lists

Translate

  • Translation playback speed can be adjusted by long pressing the play button

Gaming

  • Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller or Sony PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller support

Fitness+

  • Ability to stream audio and video content from Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices

CarPlay

  • ETA in Apple Maps can be easily shared while driving with new Siri or keyboard controls in CarPlay

Bug Fixes

  • Messages at the bottom of the thread may be hidden by the keyboard under certain circumstances
  • Deleted messages may still appear in Spotlight search
  • Messages may persistently fail to send texts in some threads
  • Mail would not load new emails for some users until restarting the device
  • Call blocking and identification section may not appear in Phone settings
  • iCloud Tabs may not appear in Safari
  • iCloud Keychain could be prevented from turning off
  • Reminders created via Siri may be unintentionally set for early morning hours
  • Battery health reporting system will recalibrate maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability on iPhone 11 models to address inaccurate estimates of battery health reporting for some users
  • Optimization to reduce the appearance of a dim glow that may appear at reduced brightness levels with black backgrounds on iPhone 12 models
  • AirPods audio routing to incorrect device for Automatic Switching
  • AirPods Automatic Switching notifications might be missing or duplicated

iOS 14.5 also includes security patches and you can read about those over on Apple’s website.

iOS 14.5 Jailbreak

The developer teams behind the Checkra1n and unC0ver jailbreaking tools have released versions that are compatible with newer versions of iOS 14 but they aren’t compatible with iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1, or iOS 14.4. At least not yet.

The newest version of unC0ver is compatible with newer iPhones including the iPhone 12 series. That’s big news if you’ve been waiting to jailbreak your new phone.

That said, there’s no way to downgrade your phone’s software to iOS 14.3 or older versions of iOS which means you’re out of luck if you upgrade, or you already upgraded, to iOS 14.5, iOS 14.4.2, iOS 14.4.1 or iOS 14.4.

Apple plugged up the exploits used by these jailbreaks so there’s no telling how long it will be until we see tools for these versions of iOS 14.

What’s Next

Apple’s confirmed a new version of iOS 14 though it could be weeks before it touches down for the general public.

The company’s put iOS 14.6 into beta testing and the pre-release version of the firmware is available to download right now via the company’s beta programs.

Like iOS 14.5, iOS 14.6 is a milestone upgrade which means it should carry new features, fixes, enhancements, and security patches.

We don’t have an official iOS 14.6 release date yet, but we’ll let you know if we hear anything about its arrival.

For more on iOS 14.6, take a look at our guide.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14.7 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14.7 for Better Security

Install iOS 14.7 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.7 right away.

Apple says iOS 14.7 includes 31 security patches and you can about them on Apple's website. If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install iOS 14.7 in the near future. 

If you skipped iOS 14.6, you'll get the update's 38 security patches with your iOS 14.7 update. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.

If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit. 

If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.

iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.

If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.7. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well. 

If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.7. You can read about that patch right here.

If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here

If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site

iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.

If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.7 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website

If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.7 includes iOS 14.0's security updates. 

iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.

In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari. 

For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.

With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them. 

There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.

Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app. 

You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here

Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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