Apple created quite a stir with its yearly Spring launch, including significant software upgrades for iPads and iPhones. 

Users can expect the new iOS 14.5 update this week – and it is replete with new privacy features and emojis. Among the standout changes of this software rollout include being able to unlock your iPhone via Face ID with your mask on. The company has also introduced major privacy revamps, such as shutting down apps that track users for marketing and advertising campaigns. Siri is also now audio-diverse, with four new voices you can choose.

Facebook voices concern on Apple iOS privacy upgrade

The major feature in the upgrade is one that many users have clamored for years. Through this new upgrade, Apple empowers the user to decide whether they will allow apps to track their online activity. The company said that this move is part of its commitment to transparency, hence the acronym App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

And while this may have made users happy, the world’s biggest ad companies – Facebook and Google- are not. 

As expected, the privacy upgrade did not sit well with some companies, chief of which is Facebook, which depends heavily on data mining to deploy targeted ads.  

The social media giant voiced its objection, stating that it could be disadvantageous to its ad revenue. However, it mounted its concern on new requirements by spinning how this privacy change could hurt small businesses.

Facebook has actively campaigned against Apple’s recent privacy policy. It even placed full-page ads on major US broadsheets such the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, singling out Apple for harming small business, which they say also rely on personalized ads. The company has even put up a website for small businesses to speak their mind regarding Apple’s privacy changes.

COVID-19-related upgrades

Aside from ad transparency, Apple’s new iOS upgrade also centered around pandemic-related needs. Its facial recognition usually does not apply to mask-wearing users. With the upgrade, facial recognition sans a mask now works among Apple Watch users.

The only minor downside is that the Apple Watch needs to be unlocked and near to the iPhone. After authentication, your iPhone unlocks automatically and the Apple Watch vibrates. To take advantage of this new facial recognition feature, you will need both an Apple Watch and an iPhone.

New emojis and more

Aside from the major privacy revamp, the new upgrade comes with brand new emojis. Among them is the syringe without blood drops designed in line with the vaccine rollout underway around the world, a heart on fire, women and men having beards, couple kissing emojis with various skin tones, and a swirly-eyed face. 

In a bid for diversity and inclusion on Apple devices, Siri also comes with a couple of voice choices. Unlike before, Siri’s default voice is no more. Users can choose which Siri voice they want to speak to them.