Apple today introduced the second betas of iOS and iPadOS 14.5, building on the extensive feature set that was introduced in the first betas.
Changes in the second beta are more minor in scale than what we saw in the first beta, but there are still new additions that are worth highlighting. Below, we’ve rounded up the changes that we’ve spotted in the second beta.
New Emoji Characters
As highlighted by Emojipedia, iOS 14.5 introduces several new emoji characters including heart on fire, mending heart, exhaling face, face with spiral eyes, face in clouds, along with different gender options for people with beards. There are also new couple emojis that have new skin tone mixes.
Apple has removed the blood from the syringe emoji to give it a more neutral look that also works for vaccinations. The Headphone emoji has been updated to look like the AirPods Max rather than a generic set of headphones.
Green Tint Fix?
Reports suggest that the second beta of iOS 14.5 may fix the green tint issue that some iPhone owners have been experiencing. Some iPhone 12 models exhibit a gray or green glow, an issue that Apple said it was investigating back in November. For some users, there are improvements, but for others, the issue still appears to exist so it’s not entirely clear whether the beta definitively addresses the tint.
Battery Pack Mention
There’s a vague mention of charging an iPhone with a “battery pack” in the iOS 14.5 code under the optimized charging section. It’s not clear what Apple is referring to with “battery pack” since existing battery options made by Apple are Smart Battery Case. It’s either unusual wording for the case or a hint of a future iPhone 12 battery pack. “To improve charging efficiency and maximize available battery life, the battery pack will keep your phone charged at around 90%,” reads the text.
iPad Smart Folio Security
On the 8th-generation iPad, the 4th-generation iPad Air, the 2nd-generation 11-inch iPad Pro, and the 4th-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple has added a new privacy feature that’s designed to mute the built-in microphone whenever the Smart Folio is shut.
This will prevent apps from accessing the microphone when the tablet is not in use, with the feature also working with other MFi smart cases. Apple first introduced this feature in the 2020 iPad Pro models, and is expanding it to additional models.
There’s a new Shortcut action for taking a screenshot that can be incorporated into various shortcuts, plus new actions for locking the orientation of the iPhone and switching between cellular data modes. With the Voice & Data mode action, there are options to select 5G, 5G Auto, and 4G network options.
There are new slide gestures in Apple Music for adding a song to the Now Playing queue or adding it to the Apple Music Library. When long pressing on a song, there are also new options to “Play Last” and “Show Album.” In the Library, the download button has been replaced by three dots that can be tapped to access a whole range of options for a song. The actions are the same as the actions that are available when long pressing on a song title anywhere in the Music app.
Software Up to Date Text
The first iOS 14.5 beta tweaked the software update text to say “Your iPhone is up to date with all of the latest bug fixes and security enhancements,” but iOS 14.5 beta 2 walks that back. Now it just reads “iOS is up to date,” which may be placeholder text for a future change.
App Store Privacy Labels
Apple has tweaked the look of App Store Privacy labels to make them easier to distinguish in Dark Mode.
Code Changes and Smaller Feature Tweaks
There are a handful of changes to the underlying code that don’t necessarily reflect new feature implementations at this time, but could potentially serve as an indication of what’s coming in the future. There are also a few smaller changes and tweaks that we’ve included below.
- For the Find My app, there’s new wording for AirTags or future third-party item trackers. “These are items that aren’t yours, but have been seen with you for a continuous amount of time.”
- There’s a mention of Web Apps accessing speech recognition.
- There’s an Apple Watch Accessibility option for Headphone Notifications, which allows the feature to be toggled off.
- Apps can ask to connect to your Game Center friends for enhanced multiplayer.
Missing iOS 14.5 Beta 2 Features?
See something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it.
More iOS 14.5 Features
We have a complete list of all of the features that are new to iOS 14.5 in our dedicated iOS 14.5 features guide, which is worth checking out if you want to know what to expect when the software releases to the public in early spring.