Well, it’s no secret that Apple is forever sprucing up its software and devices, but the next update will be a little different to what we’re used to.
The latest Apple update, iOS 14.5, which is scheduled to be uploaded next week; is tipped to cost Facebook big dollars.
Previously, Apple has been tight-lipped on the actual date of the update, only hinting that it would be available in the US spring.
Apple’s latest media release gave us the clue, in a cute little footnote on a new product called AirTags.
What’s so unique about this new software update?
Put simply, the new iOS 14.5 update introduces a range of the usual software tweaks, but the biggest difference is a new privacy feature that could cost companies like Facebook. This will be implemented some changes in the way apps use data:
Apps will be required to request data from users
The App Tracking Transparency feature will force apps to ask permission before tracking users across apps and websites with their unique advertising ID.
Currently, apps have been allowed to roam free tracking iPhone users automatically. As a result, they use that data to produce substantial advertising profiles based on what apps they use or websites they visit. Up to now, this could be avoided if somebody went to the effort of opting out to keep their data and iPhone actions ‘walled off’ and separate inside each app.
The new update will ensure that an iPhone user will be prompted to opt-in or opt-out of tracking when they first open an app, not by manually going to the settings of an app and pressing a hundred buttons.
Apple had originally intended to deliver this feature last September, however, it was delayed to give ad-dependent “free” apps time to adapt to the alterations.
Facebook, which has come under fire in Australia, killed part of the delay by demolishing Apple for a change that it says “could make it difficult for smaller apps to survive without charging consumers”.
Yet, Facebook has since admitted to investors that its own ad revenue could also be damaged! Talk about being confused.
Other features of the iOS 14.5 update:
Meet Apple’s newest product: ‘tracking dots’
You may be asking, what on earth are Tracking Dots’?
These ‘tracking dots’ are a small, circular tracking device that is water and dust-resistant, with a built-in speaker. The dots apparently assist users to track and locate everything from keys to bags and jackets.
This newest Apple product has been the stuff of rumours for months.
Apple has also teamed up with luxury brand Hermès to insert the dots into leather accessories like bag charms and keyrings. The dots then connect to your Apple device to help you locate your various personal items.
This is not an entirely new concept.
Tile, a company that sells an eerily similar ‘tracking device’ has been using and selling these tags for years and the CEO, CJ Prober is not happy.
“We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition,” Mr Prober said.
“Unfortunately, given Apple’s well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we’re sceptical.”
CJ has requested for politicians to ‘question Apple’s entry to the tracker tag product category at a US Senate committee hearing where Tile will testify’.
Colourful Macs make a comeback
The cool coloured computers that teenagers had in their dormitories in American teen films are in revival mode!
Soon, Apple will be selling its desktop computers in seven “vibrant” colours including purple and yellow!
iPhone 12 will be available in purple.
Sticking to the purple theme, obviously.
Finally, to some modern ‘Covid Updates’:
You can finally unlock your phone with a mask ON: but there’s a catch! You’ll need an Apple watch!
Another unusual feature of the updated software is the ability to unlock an iPhone with a Face ID, WHILE still wearing your mask.
This definitely sounds like a convenient feature provided how common face masks are nowadays, but you must have an Apple Watch connected to your iPhone if you want to pull off this ‘hat trick’. Hint: smart marketing ploy?
Lots of fun new emojis
Hurray! More emojis! Soon we’ll be able to communicate using emojis alone.
There will be 217 new emojis, According to Emojipedia. The new iOS 14.5 update will feature some new additions and tweaks to the array of emojis already available.
The emoji adjustment that stands out is the syringe emoji. The syringe will have all of its blood removed, thereby resembling….a COVID-19 vaccine! Talk about a versatile emoji!
Oh, and for those with a burning or healing heart, you’re in luck! There’ll be a burning heart added, as well as a “mending heart” wrapped in bandages emoji.
So it would seem that Apple never stops surprising us, but what else do you expect?
As we speak, they are one of the world’s most profitable corporations, with a staggering market value of $2.2 trillion, double that of its worth, pre-pandemic . If you’re an Apple owner, it’s worth doing some research into the software updates that you’re downloading onto your phone and before purchasing any new products, as the bill can be quite hefty, indeed.