Updated: Aug 20
A new feature in Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 update is a major cause of concern for Facebook and other companies.
Apple’s App Track Transparency pop-up Credit: Apple
The Cupertino-based tech giant has released iOS 14.5 which includes many interesting improvements and fixes. However, the App Tracking Transparency feature ranks above the rest. The new feature requires apps to get a user’s permission before tracking their data across other apps or websites for advertising or sharing it with data brokers. Users will also see which apps have requested permission to track their data in the iPhone’s settings, which will also allow them to change their choice at any time.
The feature greatly concerns companies like Facebook that rely on online advertising because it will “reduce the effectiveness and profitability of targeted ads”. The social media giant launched a campaign in 2020 to inform and convince users that ad tracking is beneficial to them through printing full-page newspaper ads. The campaign also sought to inform the masses that Apple’s privacy update was designed to help its own business and not protect users’ privacy.
“Facebook is speaking up for small business,” said Dan Levy, Facebook’s Vice President for ads and Business Products, “Apple’s new policy will harm many small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all rely on more than ever.”
A user who has updated their iPhone to iOS 14.5 will find a pop-up from Facebook when they open the company’s app, informing them of the benefits of online advertising and targeted ads. The pop-up in question means to provide additional context for Facebook’s use of users’ data; it will appear before Apple’s pop-up for its App Tracking Transparency. This move by Facebook is allowed under Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines.
Aside from the App Tracking Transparency, iOS 14.5 brings improvements and other fixes that will improve the user experience with iPhones.
Users of the iPhone X and later models who are wearing a face mask will be able to unlock their phone through Face ID with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later Apple smartwatches. AirTag and Find My support are also added to help users keep track of important belongings like wallets, keys, and backpacks.
Credit: Daniel Romero on Unsplash
Apple also enabled 5G connectivity on the line of a Dual-SIM iPhone 12 that’s using cellular data. The company also provided improvements to its phones’ Smart Data Mode to further optimise users’ experience on 5G networks, resulting in better battery life and data usage on iPhone 12 models.
The Maps app on the iPhone will now let you report accidents, hazards or speed checks along your route either by telling Siri on your iPhone or CarPlay. Speaking of Siri, reminders made by Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant will no longer be set for early morning hours.
Other issues with the latest iPhones such as the iPhone 11’s battery health reporting system showing inaccurate estimates, AirPods audio routing to incorrect devices for Automatic Switching and iCloud tabs not appearing in Safari have been fixed. More information on iOS 14.5’s features can be found on Apple’s website.
Written by John Paul Joaquin