iOS 14

Apple releases iOS 14.5 Public Beta 6

iOS 14.5 will be the biggest update to iOS 14 to date

Apple has released the sixth public beta of iOS 14.5. Members of Apple’s Beta Software Program can download the previews and register devices now. iOS 14.5 will be the biggest update to iOS 14 to date, introducing several significant new features.

First off is the new Battery Recalibration feature. This is marked as a “resolved” issue in the official release notes. iOS 14.5 will automatically recalibrate your battery if Battery Health discovers inaccurate peak performance or unexpected drain.

You’ll see a message in Settings > Battery > Battery Health giving you the heads up that iOS is doing internal maintenance on its battery algorithms. 

While the battery health reporting system is recalibrating, you will see a message in Settings > Battery > Battery Health. Recalibration of maximum capacity and peak performance capability happens during regular charge cycles, and this process may take a few weeks. The displayed maximum capacity percentage will not change during recalibration. Peak performance capability may be updated, but this may not be noticeable by most users. If a previous degraded battery message was displayed, this message will be removed after updating to iOS 14.5. 

When recalibration is complete, maximum capacity percentage and peak performance capability will be updated. The recalibration message will also be removed, indicating that the process is complete. 

If the recalibration of battery health reporting indicates that your battery health has significantly degraded, the battery service message will appear.  

In a small number of instances, recalibration may not be successful and a new battery service message will appear. If this occurs, an Apple Authorised Service Provider can replace the battery free of charge to restore full performance and capacity. This does not indicate a safety issue and your battery can still be used.

Siri

As part of Apple’s ongoing commitment to diversity, Siri will no longer default to a female voice starting with iOS 14.5, and Apple is adding two additional voice options from which to choose. The changes also apply to the HomePod.

“We’re excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device,” a statement from Apple said in a statement.

“This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”

Starting with iOS 14.5, users will be prompted to choose a voice assistant themselves for the first time. Additionally, iOS 14.5 beta 6 also makes improvements to the Siri voices in Ireland, Russia, and Italy, upgrading them to neural text to speech.

How to sign up for a developer account or public beta membership

If you’re interested in becoming an Apple developer, you can visit developer.apple.com and join Apple’s Developer program. To get access to app distribution and developer betas, you’ll need to enrol in the company’s £99 year developer membership.

Developers tend to get beta software first, but that software can be unstable and bug-prone. If you only want a peek at Apple’s new software, but don’t want to take the risk of bricking your device on a developer seed, the company offers the public beta program for users.

Unlike Apple’s developer program, the Beta Software Program is free, and should offer more stable code than some developer seeds. Before you dive in though, you should note that this is an incomplete version of the operating system, with all the bugs and glitches that includes.

Developers can go head to the Developer program on the device upon which they which to run the beta, and download a developer beta profile. Those who aren’t developers can join the public beta by heading here using the device upon which you wish to run the beta, signing in, and downloading the beta profile.

Once you have the profile you must enable it by going to Settings General Profile. Your device will reset to enable the profile. After it has reset with the profile enabled, you can head to Settings General Software Updates to download the latest beta release.

Users should nevertheless be cautious about installing beta code on a primary device, since it can still potentially cause issues like crashes, battery drain, or slow performance.

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