Apple is continuing to tweak things during the iOS 14.5 beta testing period, and it looks like there will be some nice changes coming in the update when it's released to the public in a month or so.
This week also saw the release of a watchOS bug fix update for Series 5 and Series SE owners, addressing a serious issue where their watches may not charge after entering Power Reserve mode, while some iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini hardware repairs will no longer require whole-unit replacements. Read on below for details on these stories, iPhone 13 rumors, iPhone tips and tricks, and more!
Everything New in iOS 14.5 Beta 2
Apple this week seeded the second betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to developers and public beta testers. The second betas add some new features, including new emoji, an option for Apple Music subscribers to share song lyrics on platforms like iMessage and Instagram, a new action for taking a screenshot in the Shortcuts app, and more. We've rounded up everything new in this beta, including hidden code changes.
iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are packed with many other features, such as the ability to unlock an iPhone with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask, support for 5G in Dual-SIM mode on iPhone 12 models, new Waze-like features in Apple Maps, and AirPlay 2 streaming for Apple Fitness+ workouts, which became functional in the second beta.
iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 should be released to all users in late March or early April, but anyone can sign up to be a public beta tester for free to gain early access to all of these new features.
watchOS 7.3.1 Released With Fix for Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch SE Charging Issue
In a new support document this week, Apple said a "very small number of customers" with Apple Watch Series 5 or Apple Watch SE models running watchOS 7.2 or 7.3 have experienced an issue with their watch not charging after it enters Power Reserve.
Apple says customers with an Apple Watch that is exhibiting this issue can contact Apple support to set up a mail-in repair free of charge. Apple has also released watchOS 7.3.1, which prevents this issue from happening to Apple Watch Series 5 or Apple Watch SE units that have yet to be impacted.
iPhone 13 Rumored to Include Always-On Display With 120Hz ProMotion, Astrophotography Capabilities, Stronger MagSafe, and More
While we're still many months away from the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors are beginning to surface about potential features for the devices.
The latest word comes from leaker Max Weinbach, who teamed up with YouTube channel EverythingApplePro to share some alleged iPhone 13 features, including an always-on display with a long-awaited 120Hz refresh rate, improved camera capabilities for astrophotography, stronger MagSafe magnets, and an improved frosted glass finish that is "grippier" and "more comfortable" to hold compared to iPhone 12 models.
Weinbach has a hit-and-miss track record with Apple rumors. He was among the several sources who incorrectly claimed that iPhone 12 models would feature a 120Hz display, and his rumor about 4K video recording at up to 240 fps also failed to materialize last year, but he did accurately reveal that iPhone 12 models would be available in a new dark blue color.
Apple Says Some iPhone 12 Hardware Issues Will No Longer Require Replacing the Entire Device
In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple informed service providers that it will be introducing a new same-unit repair method for iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models exhibiting certain issues that would typically require a whole-unit replacement.
Apple said technicians will be able to offer same-unit repairs starting Tuesday, February 23 for iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models that are unable to be powered on or are experiencing issues with the logic board, Face ID system, or the enclosure of the device, such as cracked rear glass. The new repair method will be available in all countries and regions where the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are sold.
Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers will have a new "iPhone Rear System" part available to them that consists of the rear enclosure of an iPhone with all components except the display and rear camera, including the battery, logic board, Taptic Engine, Face ID system, and so forth.
If a customer has an iPhone 12 mini with cracked rear glass, for example, technicians will be able to replace the entire rear portion of the device, with the new enclosure affixed to the original display and rear camera. For this reason, the customer's display and rear camera must be free of damage or functional failures in order for their device to qualify.
Useful iPhone Tips You Might Not Know
In one of our latest YouTube videos, we've rounded up some useful iPhone tips and tricks, and they are worth checking out for both new and longtime users.
For instance, did you know that you can create a quick shortcut for turning on Low Power Mode when the battery dips to a specific percentage? Or did you know that the Apple Watch can be used as a viewfinder when recording a video with your iPhone? Check out our full list of tips and tricks.
Mark Zuckerberg Reportedly Told Facebook Staff to 'Inflict Pain' on Apple Over Privacy Dispute
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be enforcing a new privacy measure that requires apps to request and receive permission from users in order to track their activity across other apps and websites for targeted advertising purposes.
Facebook has been a vocal critic of the move, claiming that Apple's tracking change will hurt small businesses financially. In fact, The Wall Street Journal this week reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told internal aides and team members that his company needs to "inflict pain" on Apple in response to the tracking changes.
Some other advertising companies have decided to move on and accept Apple's change, forming a new "Post-IDFA Alliance" to help advertisers understand how to use user data in an "Apple-friendly manner."
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.