Apple today released RC developer betas for all major platforms – iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, tvOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4, and macOS Big Sur 11.3. It also released HomePod 14.5 to select developers.
This will be the final beta version before we see the public release sometime before the end of this month if no major bugs are found. The “Release Candidate” is the renamed version to what we has as a Golden Master build release.
The Release Candidate version is released on the day of Apple’s Spring Loaded event. The release notes state support for Apple’s new AirTags and the App Tracking Transparency feature. All apps submitted to the App Store must have App Tracking Transparency enabled on April 26.
The major feature of iOS 14.5 is the ability to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch when wearing a face mask. Apps are now required to adhere to the App Tracking Transparency feature that asks users if they want to be tracked across their device. This replaces the old system of Identification for Advertisers or IDFA. This has been a controversial feature with Facebook initially placing full page ads in opposition. This feature is expected to give more control over our privacy. We will give you an update and review once the final release has been made public.
This beta version has been the longest Apple has made for a point release update. It had eight beta builds with the first round of betas released on February 1.
The latest macOS release also features a new screensaver that pays homage to the first Mac. It dynamically draws and displays “hello” in cursive text and is similar to the one presented during Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event.
Display options for the “hello” screensaver includes – Soft tones, Spectrum, and Minimal which changes background colors and text models. The screensaver cycles through multiple languages and there is a setting that allows you to set the greeting to the language of your choice.
We strongly suggest users avoiding installing betas on mission-critical and primary devices due to potential data loss and other issues.