Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 14.5 update and the software is in beta testing ahead of a release for iPhone.
iOS 14.5 is another milestone release for iOS 14 which means it will bring a mix of new features, security enhancements, and bug fixes to iPhones.
There’s a chance iOS 14.5 serves as iOS 14.4’s successor, but we could also see the company release an iOS 14.4.1 update before it arrives.
We don’t have an official iOS 14.5 release date yet, but iPhone users who don’t want to wait for the official roll out can try the update out through Apple’s beta program.
With iOS 14.5 in the works, we want to take you through everything there is to know about the next big update for iOS 14 and iPhone.
In this guide to 14.5 we’ll take you through the update’s known changes, what you can expect from the iOS 14.5 release date and release time, key information about the iOS 14.5 beta, and more.
iOS 14.5 Beta
If you don’t want to wait for the official version of iOS 14.5 to arrive, you don’t have to.
Apple’s pushed the iOS 14.5 beta to developers and that means those enrolled in the company’s developer program can download the pre-release version of the firmware right now.
The company’s also pushed the iOS 14.5 beta to those enrolled in the Beta Software Program. While a developer account requires an annual fee, the Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and working Apple ID. Most people should install the public iOS 14.5 beta.
Before you download the iOS 14.5 beta onto your phone remember that pre-release software is almost always plagued with bugs and performance issues. These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your device’s battery life, and its overall speed which makes it a less than ideal daily driver.
You should be able to fix some of these problems on your own, but some bugs and performance issues will probably require a fix from Apple down the road.
If you can’t stand the beta’s performance on your iPhone, you can always downgrade back to iOS 14.4. The downgrade path to older iOS firmware is closed.
Apple is currently on iOS 14.5 beta 3.
iOS 14.5 Release Date
Apple hasn’t confirmed an official iOS 14.5 release date for iPhone, but we do have a clue.
The company says its new App Tracking Transparency privacy measure will be required starting with the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates.
Apple says iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be pushed to the public sometime in early spring though it hasn’t provided a specific date yet.
The company is reportedly planning to launch new products (including a new iPad Pro) in March. If that pans out, we could see the iOS 14.5 release date land in and around those announcements.
At this point we’d expect a release in late March or early April.
iOS 14.5 Release Time
We don’t have an official iOS 14.5 release date yet, but we know exactly when Apple will roll the software out on whatever day it chooses.
The official version of iOS 14.5 will most likely arrive in and around 10AM Pacific. It sometimes takes a few minutes for iOS updates to show up so there’s no need to worry if you don’t see new software right away.
Apple will also release iOS 14.5 beta updates for developers and those in the Beta Software Program in and around 10AM Pacific. The company typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks.
Keep this timeline in mind if you plan to install the official version of iOS 14.5, or new iOS 14.5 betas, right away.
iOS 14.5 Update: What’s New
Apple’s x.x updates almost always bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s exactly what you can expect from iOS 14.5.
Developers digging through the iOS 14.5 beta have found a number of changes on board. iOS 14.5 looks like it will be the biggest update to iOS since iOS 14’s initial release in September.
Here are the most notable changes on board iOS 14.5 right now:
- 200+ new Emojis.
- AirPlay 2 support for Fitness+.
- A new option to unlock your iPhone with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask.
- Support for joint Apple Card accounts.
- Support for PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X Controllers.
- Global support for 5G in Dual-SIM mode on iPhone 12 models.
- Support for T-Mobile’s standalone 5G network.
- New search tab in the Apple News app.
- Minor tweaks to the Podcasts app’s design.
- New options in the Reminders app including the ability to print a Reminder list.
- Waze-like improvements to Apple Maps. You can report hazards, speed traps, and accidents.
- Upgrades to the company’s Fraudulent Website Warning.
- The ability to share lyrics from Apple Music.
- Multiple improvements to Shortcuts.
- App Tracking Transparency.
- AirPlay support for Fitness+.
- Improvements to Subscriptions.
iOS 14.5 includes a new “Items” tab that will allow users to use Find My for non-Apple branded devices like Powerbeats Pro, Beats Flex, and select third-party devices.
The new “Items” tab is expected to tie-in with the company’s upcoming AirTags accessory. AirTags are item trackers that will help users locate missing items. They’re expected to launch alongside the new iPad Pro in March.
The iOS 14.5 beta also has a new Item Safety feature on board and it will help prevent someone from stalking you with an item tracker like AirTags.
Beta testers have also discovered that Picture-in-Picture also works on YouTube’s website. It works in Safari and third-party browsers like Google Chrome. YouTube killed the feature last year so it’s unclear if this is a permanent change.
In the latest iOS 14.5 beta, Picture in Picture mode is working again on YouTube’s website, in not just Safari, but in every browser I have on my iPhone. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/pP8cRsO3xU
— Tim Hardwick (@waxeditorial) February 10, 2021
It looks like iOS 14.5 will fix two annoying iPhone 12 problems. According to beta testers, the iOS 14.5 beta fixes a pesky green tint issue, an issue we’ve been seeing on our iPhone 12 devices, and a stuttering problem that’s been plaguing iPhone 12 users since launch.
In addition, Motherboard says iOS 14.5 will make zero-click attacks on iPhones far more difficult. The change has been confirmed by Apple which means it’ll be included in the final version of the software.
Apple could add, or subtract, from the iOS 14.5 change log as the beta progresses so keep an eye out for changes as the software makes progress behind the scenes.
iOS 14.5 Jailbreak
We don’t expect them to release a tool that’s compatible with the iOS 14.5 beta. And given that Apple patched up the exploits used by jailbreak devs in iOS 14.4, we may not see a jailbreak for the official version of iOS 14.5 right away.
Install iOS 14.4 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.4 right now.
iOS 14.4 has important security patches on board and you can read about them right here. These patches will help protect your iPhone from harm.
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 14.4 update includes iOS 14.2's 24 security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.4 include 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.
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.