Apr 26, 2021

What can we expect from Apple’s new IOS 14.5 update?

Apple
software
apps
Tilly Kenyon
2 min
Apple’s IOS 14.5 will be released this week
Apple’s IOS 14.5 will be released this week and we take a look at some of the features which will be included in the new update...

Apple IOS 14.5 will be released this week, with the update offering more improvements and new features. 

Apple announced, during its Spring Loaded event, that this software upgrade will be launching over the coming days. This comes with the news of the launch of one of its new products, the possession-tracking Apple AirTags, which go on sale this Friday and actually need iOS 14.5 to work.

New features

Face ID has been a problem during the pandemic due to having to wear face coverings. A new feature will allow Apple Watch owners to unlock their iPhone with their watch. When Face ID spots a covering is on your face it instantly links to the Apple Watch, if that device is fully unlocked and on your wrist, the iPhone's screen will automatically spring into life.

iOS 14.5 is also expected to include a new privacy feature called App Tracking Transparency. This will require apps to get your permission before sharing your activity and data with websites and apps owned by other companies.

The sharing of data is often used for adverts but with App Tracking Transparency you’ll be able to opt-out if you’d prefer, and Apple is insisting that users still have full access to apps even if they do opt-out of this.

Gamers will welcome the addition of support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers as part of the update. The Verge reports that this feature has been found in the public beta, and it should be a handy upgrade for anyone who owns one of these consoles, especially those who also make use of Apple Arcade.

Siri has been defaulting to a female voice (or a male one in certain countries), but with iOS 14.5, you'll be able to select which voice you want when first setting up your phone, with no default pre-selected. This change also includes more diverse voice options in English.

You will be able to recalibrate your phone's battery, so your phone can provide more accurate readings as to the remaining life. According to Techradar this feature only seems to be supported by the iPhone 11 range right now, but we'd expect it would make its way to other models too.

Apple began beta testing iOS 14.5 on 1 February 2021, so hopefully, it should be ready to go now. There are other tweaks and features that could be included (but not limited to) in the new update such as new emojis, crowd-source data on maps, and changes to the podcast app. 

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May 12, 2021

The Online Safety Bill: What is it and what does it mean?

UK
Social Media
onlinesafetybill
Internet
2 min
The government's Online Safety Bill was announced yesterday in the Queen's Speech, but what exactly is it?

New internet laws will be published today in the UK in the draft Online Safety Bill to protect children online and tackle some of the worst abuse on social media, including racist hate crimes.

The draft legislation, which was previously known as the Online Harms Bill, has been two years in the making. Some new additions to the bill include provisions to tackle online scams, such as romance fraud and fake investment opportunities.

 

What does it include?

The draft Bill includes changes to put an end to harmful practices and brings in a new era of accountability and protections for democratic debate, including:

  • New additions to strengthen people’s rights to express themselves freely online, while protecting journalism and democratic political debate in the UK.

  • Further provisions to tackle prolific online scams such as romance fraud, which have seen people manipulated into sending money to fake identities on dating apps.

  • Social media sites, websites, apps and other services hosting user-generated content or allowing people to talk to others online must remove and limit the spread of illegal and harmful content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and suicide content.

  • Ofcom will be given the power to fine companies failing in a new duty of care up to £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover, whichever is higher, and have the power to block access to sites.

  • A new criminal offence for senior managers has been included as a deferred power. This could be introduced at a later date if tech firms don’t step up their efforts to improve safety.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today the UK shows global leadership with our groundbreaking laws to usher in a new age of accountability for tech and bring fairness and accountability to the online world.

“We will protect children on the internet, crack down on racist abuse on social media, and through new measures to safeguard our liberties, create a truly democratic digital age.

The draft Bill will be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs before a final version is formally introduced to Parliament.

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