Apple released iOS 14.5.1 and fixed a bug with its latest privacy system that prevented some iPhone users from adjusting app tracking settings. Added with iOS 14.5 – Released late last month – App Tracking Transparency requires apps to request permission from users before collecting data across multiple services or selling personal data to brokers for promotional purposes.
It has proven to be a controversial introduction. Apple originally planned to launch the system earlier than iOS 14.5 but has been pushed back by developers and ad networks. However, it was always delayed and – despite Facebook and other protests – went live in April 2021.
The way App Tracking Transparency is supposed to work is by giving users the option to allow or disable tracking. If they sign out but the app developer continues to use the data, they can be banned from the app store.
By default, App Tracking Transparency comes with the setting that allows apps to enable these requirements. However, with the release of iOS 14.5, some iPhone users found that toggling was done on the Settings page was grayed out and couldn’t be turned on. That meant apps couldn’t ask for permission.
This is something Apple is addressing in today’s iOS 14.5.1 version. “This update fixes an issue with app tracking transparency where some users who previously allowed apps to track in Settings may not receive prompts from apps after reactivating them,” said Apple in the release notes.
According to Apple, the update also contains bug fixes and security patches. It’s a relatively small download compared to iOS 14.5, only around 114MB in our experience.
Of course, iOS 14.5 provided more than just app tracking transparency. The software also enabled Apple’s long-awaited improvements in facial recognition for those who wear a maskThis allowed iPhones to be accessed as long as the user’s unlocked Apple Watch was nearby. It was also activated AirTag supportNot only is this necessary to pair an Apple’s new tracker with an iPhone, but also to receive notifications when a foreign AirTag is nearby and may be stealthily tracking you.