Do I need iOS 14.5, macOS 11.3 and tvOS 14.5?

The new iOS, iPadOS and tvOS 14.5 and macOS Big Sur 11.3 brought some great new features, but what are they and how do they work? Let’s take a look.

App Tracking Transparency

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5 tvOS 14.5

If an app wants to track you as you use your device, gathering information that might be of use to advertisers, it now needs to ask your permission first. Choose to allow or not allow, it’s up to you. If you change your mind, you can give or refuse permission later in Settings > Privacy > Tracking.

app-tracking

The Hello Screensaver

macOS 11.3

If you’re lucky enough to have a new M1-powered iMac, there’s a great new screensaver on offer. Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screensaver and choose the new ‘Hello’ screensaver.

Improved Controller Support

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5 tvOS 14.5 macOS 11.3

The updates bring support for the PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers to Macs, Apple TV and mobile devices. If you have an M1 Mac, you can map the keyboard control buttons to the joypad, for example, mapping WASD to the joypad’s directional pad and functions such as ‘jump’ and ‘fire’ to the face buttons.

controller-support

Autoplay in the Music App

macOS 11.3

Click the three-lines icon in the top right of the Music window to see what’s playing next. Click the infinity symbol to toggle Autoplay on and off. When on, similar music continues to play even after the album or playlist finishes.

Music: New Menu Options

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5

Long press on a song in Music on your mobile devices, and there are two new options in the pop-up; Play Next and Show Album. The Download icon to the right of each song has been replaced with three dots. Tap it to get this same menu.

Music: Play Next, Play Last

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5

If you swipe a song to the right, there are now two option buttons; Play Next and Play Last respectively. These options are also available on the menu when you long press a song or tap the three dots to the right of a song.

Music: Share Lyrics

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5

When playing a track in Music on your iPad or iPhone, tap the bar at the bottom which shows what’s playing now to see real-time lyrics, when available. Long-tap a section of lyrics. Share the song using one of the available options, and the lyrics are sent too. If you use Messages to share, and the person you send it to subscribes to Apple Music, that portion of the song plays when received.

Share Lyrics 1

Music: City Charts

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5 macOS 11.3

The City Charts feature lets you see the most played songs in more than 100 cities around the world. Tap the Browse option, then scroll down until you see City Charts. Tap See All to, erm… see them all.

Podcasts: Follow

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5 macOS 11.3

Apple has introduced paid-for subscriptions to the Podcasts app, so for free Podcasts, instead of ‘subscribing’, you now ‘follow’ them.

podcast Follow

Podcasts: Downloading

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5 macOS 11.3

Tap the three dots icon next to a podcast episode, and there are now options to save or download it. Downloads and notifications can be configured on a show-by-show basis too.

Unlock iPhone With Apple Watch

iOS 14.5

Face ID isn’t much use when you’re wearing a face mask to protect from COVID, so now you can unlock it with your Apple Watch instead. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, and turn on the Unlock with Apple Watch option. For security, Face ID still scans the upper part of your face, and your iPhone will not unlock unless it’s near your watch. You need iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4.

Face-ID-Apple-Watch

Using AirTags

iOS 14.5

iOS 14.5 adds support for Apple’s new lost-item tracker, AirTags. Use the instructions supplied with an AirTag to pair it with your phone, and you can then track it (the AirTag) in the Find My app. If you have an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, you can take advantage of Precision Finding, giving visual, audible, and haptic feedback to help you find your tag.

Apple_airtag-pairing-screen

Crowdsourcing in Apple Maps

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5

This one’s yet to roll out in every territory, but it soon will. If you’re following directions in Maps and come across an incident such as a speed trap or an accident, tap the route card at the bottom of the screen and then tap the relevant button. If you’re not using Maps at the time, you can still report incidents; just say, ‘Hey Siri, report an accident’, or something similar. Or you can tap the ‘i’ icon on the main Maps screen, and then tap Report an Issue.

New Reminders Features

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5

You can now print Reminders lists, and sort them by Deadline, Creation Date, Priority, or Title. These options are found under the three-dots icon in the top-right corner of a list.

Apple TV: Colour Balance

tvOS 14.5

Apple TV can use the light sensor in your iPhone to adjust the Apple TV’s video stream, configuring it to get the most out of your television. Choose the option in Settings, and follow the on-screen instructions. Obviously, both the Apple TV and the iPhone have to be on the same network and logged into the same iCloud account.

Colour-balance-appletv1

Emoji

iOS 14.5 iPadOS 14.5 macOS 11.3

The new OS updates bring a range of new emojis, and the ability to mix and match when choosing couples. Just hold the couple emoji you want, and you can choose (for example) a different skin tone for each, instead of having to have them both share the same tone. Other new emoji include a face exhaling, a heart on fire and a new-look syringe, without the blood.

emoji-apple

Mobile Apps on the Mac

macOS 11.3

The latest Macs, based around the M1 processor, let you install iPhone and iPad apps on your Mac directly from the App Store. Big Sur improves compatibility by offering new options in the Touch Alternatives preference pane. As before, you can switch on the Enable Touch Alternatives option, but now you can activate and deactivate gestures transferred to the keyboard on an individual basis.

About This Mac

macOS 11.3

Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your desktop and select About This Mac. In Big Sur 11.3, this window gives information on your warranty and AppleCare+ coverage. You can also buy AppleCare+ directly from this window.

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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