Apple has finally released its blockbuster iOS 14.5 upgrade to iPhones across the planet and this isn’t an insignificant update that mends a few bugs. The latest software comes packed with features including new emojis, compatibility with the latest Xbox and PS5 controllers and App Tracking Transparency which will stop companies from watching what you are up to online.
Those are all great changes but perhaps the most useful addition is an update to the Face ID security system which fixes the nightmare when wearing a face mask.
Of course, when Apple designed this market-leading system they had no idea that the world would be plunged into a pandemic which now means most people cover their nose and mouth when out shopping or travelling on public transport.
Whilst Face ID is incredibly clever it needs a good view of your features to securely unlock the display and it definitely does not like face masks. If you’ve tried using it you’ll be well aware of the constant messages saying “Swipe to unlock.”
It’s been incredibly annoying for users over the past 12 months but the US firm now has a pretty ingenious fix.
With iOS 14.5 installed, Face ID now works again even if you’re wearing a covering.
That’s great news but sadly millions are set to miss out on this workaround as it only works if you are wearing an Apple Watch on your wrist.
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.
The moment that the two devices become separated, this unlock method will no longer work with a code or full Face ID check needed once again.
So, if you happen to have a £200 smartwatch on your body you should no longer have any worries unlocking your phone.
If you haven’t yet joined the Apple Watch revolution then now might be a good time to invest in one.
Explaining more about the update, Apple said: “iOS 14.5 brings exciting new features to iPhone, including the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask, more diverse Siri voices, new privacy controls, skin tone options to better represent couples in emoji, and much more. iOS 14.5 builds on the reimagined iPhone experience introduced in iOS 14, and is available today as a free software update.”
iPad owners will enjoy a barrage of new features when iPadOS 14.5 lands this week (Image: APPLE)
Apple is bringing a bucketload of new features to iPhone and iPad owners this week. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 were confirmed to roll out to iPhone and iPad owners respectively sometime this week during Apple’s hour-long announcement on April 20, which was streamed online to fans worldwide. Both operating systems have been in beta testing with developers since April 6, so we already have a pretty good idea of what the biggest changes in the feature-packed updates will be. If you don’t fancy any surprises when the update arrives on your tablet, here are three of the major changes coming to your iPad this week. And one missing feature for good measure.
Although we don’t know exactly when Apple will flip the switch, we can guarantee that it will be before Friday. That’s because iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are required to set-up and use Apple’s new AirTags, which were also announced during its ‘Spring Loaded’ showcase event this month. These small trackers are attached to keys, wallet, and luggage to add your possessions to the Find My app on your iPhone and iPad – where it can be located, like a lost iOS device. AirTags were available to pre-order on April 23, with the first units available on store shelves from April 30. Those who were front of the (digital) queue for pre-orders should start to receive their AirTags through the post at that time too.
Apple will want to make sure iPhone and iPad owners have had time to update their devices to the latest operating system so they can take out their shiny new AirTags from the box and start the set-up process instantly (without waiting for a new version of iPadOS to download, back-up, and install). With previous updates, Apple has started to push out the new software on Tuesday, although there’s no guarantee it will follow the same pattern this time around.
New emoji and handwriting recognition for French, Spanish, and other European languages are coming in iPadOS 14.5 (Image: APPLE )
iPadOS 14.5 New Feature: New Emojis
Apple is bringing a deluge of new emoji to both iPad and iPhone owners. In total, more than 200 new characters will be added to the operating system to jazz-up your text messages, tweets, and – if you’re feeling bold – work emails. Some of the biggest changes to the emoji library in iPadOS 14.5 resolve around skin tones. The pictograms for couples can now be customised so that each member of the couple has their own distinct skin tone. Until now, these emoji were still restricted to the default Simpsons-like yellow shade. Apple added the same feature to the icons of couples holding hands back in late 2019.
There are new smiley-style emoji to represent someone exhaling, a face with spiral eyes, and a face covered with clouds. Hearts are some of the most popular emoji, so Apple is adding a heart on fire and one patched-up with plasters.
As well as the new additions, Apple has also tweaked some existing emoji. Most notably, it has removed the two droplets of blood falling from the needle in its syringe emoji, ostensibly to make the whole process seem a little less… bloody. The fluid inside the syringe is changing from red to clear too. People have been increasingly turning to this emoji to represent vaccination, so this change makes the icon look a little more like a Moderna shot, and not a blood sample.
And finally, Apple is tweaking the icon for headphones to make it look like its AirPods Max. The Californian company has already tweaked the phone, computer, and earbud emoji to look like the products in its line-up. Of course, when sending this icon to friends on Android or Windows 10, it will be displayed as the Google and Microsoft equivalent, which – unsurprisingly – looks more like a generic pair of over-ear headphones, rather than a specific Apple gadget. Something to be aware of if you’re chatting with friends on other platforms.
If it sounds like juggling all of these new emoji could be challenging, iPadOS 14.5 is also bringing the ability to search through the complete emoji library from the keyboard.
AirPlay and AirPlay 2 support will be coming to Fitness workout classes (Image: APPLE )
iPadOS 14.5 New Feature: Fitness On Your TV
If you’re subscribed to Apple Fitness+, you’ll be pleased to know that iPadOS 14.5 brings the ability to beam your latest fitness class to the big screen (without splashing out £139 for an Apple TV). Until now, Fitness+ classes were only available on the Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone. With the latest operating system upgrade, Apple is adding support for AirPlay and AirPlay 2 for these classes.
Provided that your telly is compatible with these standards, you’ll be able to wirelessly send the feed from your iPad to the living room telly. If there’s an Apple TV plugged into the TV in your local gym or hotel room, you’ll be able to work out without craning to see the instructions on the smaller iPad screen too. A number of popular brands, including Samsung, Sony and LG, have added support for AirPlay to their televisions in recent months, so there’s a pretty good chance that your Smart TV already supports this option.
Unlike watching a Fitness+ workout tutorial on the Apple TV, you won’t be able to see live statistics from your Apple TV on the big screen. For that, you’ll need to raise your wrist. However, this is a small nitpick.
iPadOS 14.5 New Feature: Next-Generation Gaming
Those lucky enough to have a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X or Series S since their launch (both are still in notoriously short supply worldwide) will be able to pair their latest controller with their iPad, following the update to iPadOS 14.5. Apple added the ability to pair a number of popular controllers with the introduction of iPadOS 13.4, which also coincided with the launch of its subscription games service Apple Arcade. But its tablet hasn’t been able to recognise the latest controllers from Sony and Microsoft until now.
Amazingly, some of the best features of the next-generation controllers – like the PlayStation 5 controllers’ haptic rumble – will work when playing on an iPad. So, if the game you’re playing on Apple Arcade requires a rumble, you’ll get the full-throated effect also seen on the latest PlayStation 5 exclusive games.
…But despite all the new goodies, Apple still hasn’t changed how widgets (Image: APPLE )
iPadOS 14.5 Missing Feature
While there’s plenty to like about iPadOS 14.5, including the fact that the Apple logo won’t be displayed in the wrong orientation when turning on the tablet in a landscape orientation (like when using the Magic Keyboard accessory) and the fact that handwriting recognition with the Apple Pencil now supports French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, there is still something missing.
While iOS 14 enabled iPhone owners to place their flashy new widgets onto the homescreen to break-up the endless grid of rounded app icons …iPad owners still can’t do the same thing. On the tablet, Apple restricts its useful new widgets to a single column on the left-hand side of the first page of apps.
It’s a little disappointing, especially that iPad is far ahead of the iPhone in a number of other categories – it’s more powerful, had the LiDAR scanning tech before Apple’s smartphone, and now boasts an ultra-wide camera as part of its Face ID set-up (something you won’t find on any iPhone model).
Apple introduces the brand new iPad Pro
So, why hasn’t Apple enabled this feature on iPad yet?
Developers have rushed to support the new widgets feature, adding clever new features and shortcuts. But when they’re all restricted to a single spot on the home screen, it’s often quicker to just launch the app in question on iPad – rather than swipe back through three pages of apps to find the shortcut. With iPadOS 14.5 not bringing parity between the iPad and iPhone on this front, we’ve now got our fingers crossed for iPadOS 14.6 or iPadOS 15.
Earlier this month, Sky announced another blockbuster upgrade to its Sky Q box, which brings a swathe of new features. While some customers have already received the update on their set-top box, some are still missing out on the latest tricks from Sky. Since there’s no way to manually update your Sky Q box, you’ll need to wait for Sky to roll out the upgrade to your kit overnight. Thankfully, that looks set to finally happen in the next few days.
Pushing out a feature-packed upgrade to millions of homes is a pretty monumental task, which is why Sky updates its set-top boxes in stages. This practice, which is pretty standard across the industry, also means any showstopping problems with the update can halt the roll out before every single Sky Q subscriber is left without a working box, for example.
If you haven’t received the latest feature drop from Sky – don’t panic as the satellite firm is promising that every customer will have the upgrade by this Friday, April 30, 2021.
So what is new from Sky and how does it change the experience?
Perhaps the biggest news is that Sky has finally fixed one of the most annoying things when using Disney+ on the platform. Anyone who has ever tried to use Disney+ on Sky Q will know how hugely frustrating it currently is. Unlike Netflix, which is fully integrated into Sky Q, so you can find shows and films using the same voice search feature, Disney+ and all of its content is buried within the app itself.
Another important change coming in this new update improves the accessibility features on Sky Q. Sky has made its Voice Guidance more intuitive which will make navigating Sky Q’s TV guide, menus, Show Centres, collections, and on-screen messages much easier for customers with visual impairments.
Simply activate Voice Guidance by saying “Voice Guidance on” or “Voice Guidance Off” into your Sky Q voice remote. Once started, you will hear spoken descriptions of the menu you’re currently navigating, the option you’ve selected and how you can easily get to your favourite shows and movies.
There’s also a new High Contrast Mode which changes the screen from Sky’s iconic blue colours to a dark grey which makes things easier to read.
Speaking about the changes, Fraser Stirling, Group Chief Product Officer, Sky, said: “Today marks another big moment for Sky Q as we roll out exciting new voice features. Integrating Disney+ into voice search means it’s now much easier to find more of what you love and adding voice guidance to our strong accessibility offering helps to create an even better experience for all Sky Q customers.”
If you haven’t spotted these new tricks by April 30, then it seems something that gone awry with your Sky Q box. Since Sky claims every box nationwide will have the update downloaded and installed by the end of April, it might be worth calling the customer care line to try to figure why you’re missing out on the latest update.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police say a man feared missing while Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake is fine and back home.
Austin-Travis County EMS says they got a call that the missing kayaker was last heard from Tuesday around 11 p.m. That’s according to a tweet posted shortly after midnight by ATCEMS. The Austin Police Department told KXAN the kayaker’s phone got wet and lost contact with friends. Crews set up their search on the 2700 block of Canterbury Street near Longhorn Dam on Pleasant Valley Road.
EMS crews searched by air using a drone and AFD helped by launching a boat into Lady Bird Lake. About an hour later EMS posted another tweet saying the search was called off and that the person they were looking for has not been located. APD told KXAN the man made it out safely and went home.
Sky Sports reporter Michelle Owen was targeted by “mean messages” from social media trolls after she was guilty of repeating a classic blunder by missing a red card on live TV during a game in the English fourth tier.
Reporting from the Walsall versus Tranmere clash in League Two, Owen was none the wiser when Sky presenter Jeff Stelling handed over to her for an update after a red card was issued to Tranmere’s Jay Spearing in the 74th minute.
A comical exchange followed in which Owen – a veteran of seven years at Sky Sports – admitted she hadn’t seen the sending off.
“Not unless I’ve just done a Kammy (Chris Kamara) and completely missed something Jeff. Have I completely missed something?” asked the baffled Owen.
Stelling responded by asking Owen to count the number of Tranmere players on her fingers to see if one had in fact been given his marching orders.
The clip was reminiscent of the iconic moment fellow Sky Sports presenter Kamara missed a red card in the Premier League clash between Portsmouth and Blackburn back in 2010. On that occasion, Kamara had responded by bursting out laughing.
Owen initially took the incident in similarly good spirits, sharing the clip on her Twitter account with a laughing and face-palm emoji. She also received widespread support as others joined in on the gaffe.
However, Owen appears to have been unsettled by a small minority of negative comments, later feeling the need to explain herself for the glaring oversight.
Here’s full clip, context is everything. There’s a pillar in the way and the action I described just before the sending off proceeded what I couldn’t see.Justifying it for the trolls. As you can see I am peering round a pillar.Thanks most for seeing the funny side! pic.twitter.com/bvNLptmSbX
— Michelle Owen (@MichelleOwen7) April 14, 2021
“Here’s full clip, context is everything. There’s a pillar in the way and the action I described just before the sending off proceeded what I couldn’t see,” she wrote to her almost 80,000 followers.
“Justifying it for the trolls. As you can see I am peering round a pillar. Thanks most for seeing the funny side!”
That was followed by a message that she was “checking out” of Twitter for a while, citing “mean messages.”
I’m checking out for a bit as I’m taking my little boy to see some animals then continuing our charity run. More productive than the small minority that sit on social media being mean. Have a lovely day and thanks for the nice messages.
— Michelle Owen (@MichelleOwen7) April 14, 2021
“I’m checking out for a bit as I’m taking my little boy to see some animals then continuing our charity run. More productive than the small minority that sit on social media being mean. Have a lovely day and thanks for the nice messages.”
Any mean-spirited responses seem to have firmly been in the minority, although one reply to the clip read: “It would have been funny if the reporter had a personality.”
It would have been funny if the reporter had a personality.
— Gary Kidson (@Gary_Kidson) April 14, 2021
Owen mainly received an avalanche of support or good-natured humour.
“Career-defining moment Michelle! You’re now, officially, a Soccer Saturday/Special legend alongside [Kamara],” joked one fan.
“Do you need us to check the prescription in those glasses?” addedthe official account for opticians Specsavers.
“Wonder how many times you are going to be reminded of this. Can’t beat live television and you took it in good spirits,” added another fan.
“Very well dealt with, Michelle,” wrote another.
Fellow female presenter Kelly Somers wrote: “Erm has no one complimented you on how WELL you handled this?! This happens ALL the time in live reporting and you’ve dealt with it with humour and class, whilst remaining unflustered. Pro as always x.”
Erm has no one complimented you on how WELL you handled this?! This happens ALL the time in live reporting and you’ve dealt with it with humour and class, whilst remaining unflustered. Pro as always x
— Kelly Somers (@KellySomers) April 14, 2021
“Omg who is being mean! Obviously just a laugh… I thought it was great and funny! People have zero sense of humour, especially on here these days,” added radio DJ Polly James.
An old family photo of the Windsors at Balmoral in 1960, shows Charles “looking rather separate”, Judi claimed.
She said: “It was quite usual to see Charles looking rather separate from the family unit in poses, even as a small boy.
“Famously seen shaking hands with his mother on her return from a tour, he appears to have retained this air of distance and physical awkwardness from a very early age.
“Here at Balmoral, we have a very strongly-bonded family group consisting of Philip, the Queen, Anne and baby Andrew, with all the attention and touch rituals focused on the Queen’s then youngest son.
“Charles is barely included in this pose, sitting at a small space from his mother whose head is turned away to focus on her other son.
“Anne appears comfortably integrated here though, taking the baby’s hand to match the rather besotted poses of her parents, but although Charles is smiling he does not appear to have taken the same sort of active steps to join the pose as his more confident-looking sister.”
The future’s looking bright for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, with GTA 6 just one of a number of big next-gen games in development.
But with the next mainline Grand Theft Auto title not expected to arrive until 2022 at the earliest, it means current-gen owners are going to miss out.
And this will also mean that PS4 and Xbox One gamers never received an exclusive GTA game.
GTA 5 has proven a huge success, and it’s hard to believe that it started life on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Add to that the GTA 5 and GTA Online are being enhanced for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and it looks like a game that will never die.
But even though it has had an extraordinary life cycle, which looks set to continue for at least another 12 months, there is also bad news.
Not only will Rockstar Games launch GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X this year, but it will also start making content exclusively for those platforms and PC.
This was confirmed last year when the Grand Theft Auto team confirmed in a statement: “And for the massive and vibrant community of Grand Theft Auto Online players worldwide, the journey through the ever-evolving, shared world of GTA Online will continue on to the new generation with more new updates including additional GTA Online content exclusive to the new consoles and PC.”
But with GTA 6 and GTA 5 growing further apart from the PS4 and Xbox One, that doesn’t mean there could be a few last-minute surprises.
Industry analysts believe that Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive could start focusing on the famous studios’ back catalogue.
There’s a cracking list of older Grand Theft Auto games that could be remastered by Rockstar Games and there is no reason why something like this would have to be limited to just next-gen customers.
With so many PS4 and Xbox One console owners waiting to upgrade, it would make for the perfect time to release a remastered GTA 3 or GTA Vice City.
There’s no doubt that these games could be made to look seriously upgraded even on older consoles, with a user base of millions ready to indulge in a little nostalgia.
Motley Fool raised the idea of older GTA content being released, reporting this week: “Interest in remastered versions of older GTA titles could be huge.
“Activision Blizzard did a remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign last year that reportedly sold 3.4 million copies, but I believe releases of older GTA titles could sell far more copies.
“Rumors are circulating that Take-Two may already be working on a remaster of GTA 3 (2001) and GTA: Vice City (2002).
“A community of fans created their own modded version of GTA 3, which Take-Two recently shut down, fueling speculation that the company has something up its sleeve. Obviously, the fact that fans are going to this much trouble shows that there is high interest in Rockstar Games’ catalogue of GTA content.
“With GTA V’s player base reaching such a high level, there will be tremendous demand when GTA VI releases. Until then, Take-Two has a great opportunity to generate extra sales by introducing new players to characters and storylines they haven’t experienced before.
“The ability of Take-Two to potentially tap into its deep catalogue of content speaks to the long-term value of this top video game company.”
Rockstar Games have only commented on the future of GTA 5 and GTA Online of late, leaving many fans wondering when we will see a GTA 6 release date.
But with such a strong lineup of older titles to pull from, PS4 and Xbox One might still have a few Grand Theft Auto surprises to enjoy.