After nearly two months of beta testing, iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 are rolling out today to the general public. These updates include notable new features such as Universal Control, support for using Face ID while wearing a mask, new emoji, and more. Head below for a full report on what’s new in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4.
How to update to iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4
iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 are now rolling out as over-the-air updates to all iPhone and iPad users. You can update your devices by going to the Settings app, choosing General, and then choosing Software update.
Given the number of new features in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, it’s a fairly big update. This means that the download and installation may take longer than usual.
iOS 15.4 New Features
Face ID with mask
One of the biggest changes in iOS 15.4 is support for using Face ID while wearing a mask. Apple says it scans “unique features around the eye area” to authenticate you with Face ID while wearing a mask.
Once you install iOS 15.4, you will be guided through a new setup process for using Face ID with a mask. Apple notes that Face ID is “more accurate when set up for full facial recognition only.” With that in mind, you have the option to use Face ID with a mask anyway.
“Use Face ID with a Mask” feature is available on iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
iOS 15.4 also includes more than 37 new emoji characters to choose from, these new options are part of the Emoji 14.0 collection and include characters such as Peak Face, Heart Hands, Tears of Joy, and many more.
First announced at WWDC 2021, iPadOS 15.4 along with macOS 12.3 brings official support for the much-anticipated Universal Control feature. For those unfamiliar, Universal Control deepens the integration of the Apple ecosystem by letting you control multiple iPads and Macs with a single mouse, keyboard, and trackpad.
You can move the cursor and keyboard seamlessly between devices, and iCloud detects the position based on the cursor’s activity. The feature works between many different Macs and iPads, but a Mac is required – which means you can’t use Universal Control between many different iPads, but neither does a Mac.
Shortcuts, Users Rejoice: iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 add support for running personal automation in the background without the need for an annoying notification banner. A new toggle lets you turn off notifications for personal automation
Click to pay on iPhone
After the past months Official Announcement of “Click to Pay” Feature Which turns iPhone into a contactless payment terminal, iOS 15.4 Includes API To enable this feature. Once supported by third-party apps, this feature will allow businesses to use iPhones to accept contactless payments using NFC, Apple Pay, and more.
Apple works with businesses tape and Shopify to allow them to use their iPhone’s NFC chip in their apps, but it’s better if those apps roll out this feature.
new siri voice
Finally, iOS 15.4 includes a new Siri voice for those using the US option. This new Siri voice was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community, as Apple explained in a statement:
“We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose the voice that speaks to them,” Apple said in a statement to Axios. “Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to help get things done, so we’re working to make the experience feel as personal as possible.”
There are a variety of other small changes across iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. Some of the highlights here include:
- New custom email domain user interface in iCloud Settings
- Widget Apple Wallet
- Add notes to keychain passwords
- New authentication screen when calling up Apple Pay before unlocking
- Select the camera in the Magnifier app
- Deeper SharePlay integration throughout the operating system and Share Sheet
With iOS 15.4 now available to the general public, it’s unclear what’s next on Apple’s roadmap. In theory, there’s room for another iOS 15 update before iOS 16 is announced at WWDC this summer.
In fact, there is one iOS 15 system The feature we are still waiting for: Digital IDs in Apple Wallet. As of now, only Apple has announced that this feature will be launched sometime “early 2022”. It’s anyway guesswork when exactly that will happen, or whether it can be postponed altogether.
In the meantime, what’s your favorite new feature in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4? Let us know in the comments.
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