iPadOS 14.5 finally adds emoji search [Updated]

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iPadOS 14.5 adds emoji search. Finally!
Finding just the right emoji to say what you mean gets easier in iPadOS 14.5.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

iPhone fans were first able to search for emoji last year, and Apple is finally bringing this feature to iPads. It’s built into the iPadOS 14.5 beta 1 released to public beta testing on Thursday.

Also, those with the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad get a horizontally-oriented boot screen.

Emoji searching in iPadOS 14.5

It’s not always easy to decide which emoji to use, and a search function can help. Apple tablet users will finally get one in iPadOS 14.5.

Using it is easy. In landscape or portrait mode, with the full-size keyboard open, tap on the Emoji button marked with a smiley face. On the resulting screen, look for a magifying glass in the lower left corner. Tap on it to open a search bar.

It’s even easier with the floating keyboard. This has the Emoji search bar open all the time.

Horizontal boot screen… for some

iPadOS 14.5 finally offers a horizontal boot screen… for some.
Attach your iPad Pro to an Apple Magic Keyboard and it’ll boot in landscape mode with iPadOS 14.5.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Since it’s inception 11 years ago, iPad always assumed it was in portrait mode when booting up. That’s no longer true all the time.

Tablets running iPadOS 14.5 beta 1 will detect they’re attached to the Apple Magic Keyboard and present a horizontally-oriented boot screen. Tests done by Cult of Mac show this doesn’t work with the Apple Smart keyboard, however.

Other changes in iPadOS 14.5

This iPad system software update could be the debut of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. This will require applications to specifically ask users to permit the app to track them online. This is scheduled to launch in early spring, and given that the beta process for 14.5 is just starting, it’s likely to go live in March.

iPadOS 14.5 also extends the options for external game controllers. Most Apple Arcade games can be played with one of these, and so can many or their games. The new iPad update adds support for the Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense controller, as well as the Xbox Series X and Series S controller. This is in addition to other Playstation and Xbox controllers already supported.

As of Thursday, iPadOS 14.5 beta 1 is available for beta testers in the general public, as well as developers. But access for non-devs requires joining the Beta Software Program. It’s easy and free, though. Visit the official website, click the Sign up button, and log in with your Apple ID.

The full non-beta versions will almost certainly be out in a month or so.

Update: This article was updated when the public beta was introduced.