(Pocket-lint) - Apple has now released iOS 14.5 and iPad OS 14.5 alongside other software updates for the Apple Watch and it's Macs after a lenghty beta testing period.
It's a fairly big update, bringing with it a number of new features, perhaps more than usual for a the mid-year software bump. New feautres include the ability to unlock your iPhone X or later using Face ID while wearing a face mask if you are wearing an Apple watch, and a new sweeping shift in forcing apps to ask permission to track you if they plan to use that data for things like ads.
Here are the new features coming to your iPhone or iPad.
What's new in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5?
Previously available to developers, the new iOS 14.5 is now available to all iPhone users using an iPhone 6S or above and any of the recent iPads. You can request the download via the Software Update page in your iPhone or iPads Settings app.
Face ID works with masks
One of the biggest features that you'll be using, and will change the way you use it, is that you can now unlock your phone using your Apple Watch.
In iOS 14.5 your watch essentially unlocks your iPhone when you try to use Face ID while wearing a mask that's covering both your mouth and nose. That will save you the bother of having to type in the passcode.
Although designed for face masks in mind will work any covering where your nose and mouth are both covered.
It is slower than using Face ID on its own, understandably, but will mean you can do things with your phone without having to remove your mask.
It won't however work beyond unlocking your phone, where you've used Face ID for locking an app or a note for example.
Apple are contining to improve its privacy approach on the iPhone with iOS 14.5.
This time around Apple is now asking all app developers to tell users know if they are tracking them outside of the app and if so to give users the ability to say no.
All app developers are now required to get your permission before tracking you, and you'll start to see the permission alerts as developers update their apps going forward.
You'll be able to change permission status in the Settings panel, and look at the developers app page to find out what exactly the app does and doesn't track.
While a positive move, there is concern from app developers that all users will simply say no, even if it's not beneficial to the way the app works.
Siri is getting a big update in iOS 14.5 with a number of new diverse voice to represent more Americans, as well as, Irish, Russian, and Italian.
The new voices which are based on real people will be 100 per cent computer generated and thanks to Apple's previous efforts with its Neural TTS, will be able to read text clearly and natually.
In a move to try and make Siri more inclusive, the monikers will be dropped in favour of "voice 1" or "voice 2" and when installing iOS 14.5 users will be prompted to pick one of four voices rather than it being a specific voice as default.
Siri in iOS 14.5 also gets the ability to announce who is calling you if you've got headphones on, the ability to start a Group Call, and call emergency services if you can't.
Game controller support
Apple is adding new support for the latest Xbox and Playstation game controllers to iOS 14.5 which will appeal to those who own a PS5 or Xbox and also enjoy a spot of Apple Arcade on the side.
Scribble language expansion
Apple said it expanded the handwriting recognition and Scribble features on iPad to support Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
That means, with an Apple Pencil, you can write by hand in these languages in any text field, as well as easily select, cut, and paste text into another doc as typed text.
Podcast app gets overhaul
Apple is also considerably overhauling the Apple Podcasts app in iOS 14.5 with a new redesigned showpage to highlight new shows.
Apple Podcast app users will also get better syncing capabilities between their devices so you can carry on where you left off as well has have the latest episode downloaded automatically.
Apple says it's also worked to improve the search functionality of the app to help listeners better find what they are looking for.
CarPlay and more
Apple has included "improvements" to additional features, such as Share ETA in CarPlay and 5G global DualSIM support, the ability to print your to do list directly from the Reminders app and added a much needed article search feature within Apple News so you can find specific articles based on keywords rather than having to search via the publications you follow.
On the weather app, Apple has now added next-hour precipitation - a feature that launched in the US with iOS 14 - to the UK and Ireland.
Available in the Weather app and in the Weather widget, the feature is essentially a new chart that shows a minute-by-minute forecast of rain or snow over the next hour.
Apple's iOS 14.5 gets 217 new emoji to keep those messages fresh and interesting.
The main ones you'll find yourself using include a heart on fire and a smiley face in the clouds.
There's also gender options for the people with beards, and couples with mixed skin tones.
When's it coming out?
iOS 14.5 is out now for all users already using iOS 14. It is available via the Software update page in Settings.
Developers who've already been using iOS 14.5 can now already move to the next version, iOS 14.6. So far the only major new feature is the ability to leave the dev programme at any time and downgrade to the current public version.
That might sound like a small detail, but it's already been welcomed by the developer community.