Apple today seeded the first betas of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, adding a slew of new features to the latest iOS operating systems. iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we’ve had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more.
Face ID With a Mask
With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask. Apple warns that full face ID is the more secure option, but mask Face ID is now available.
Face ID with a mask can be enabled after updating to iOS 15.4, and it is designed to use the area around your eyes for authentication purposes. It works with glasses, but it is not compatible with sunglasses, and you must be looking at the iPhone to unlock it with a mask on. Face ID with a mask looks to be limited to the iPhone 12 and newer.
iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 enable the long-awaited Universal Control feature, which is designed to allow you use a single cursor and keyboard to control the iPads and Macs that are signed into your iCloud account.
Universal Control is super easy to use and enabled by default once you upgrade to iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3. If you have a MacBook and an iPad, for example, the MacBook’s trackpad and keyboard can also be used right on the iPad’s display.
There are new settings for Universal Control on the iPad and the Mac, and on the iPad, the option to toggle it on or off is listed under Handoff & Airplay.
Spring iOS updates often bring new emoji characters, and iOS 15.4 is no exception. The beta introduces support for Emoji 14, adding 37 emoji and 75 skin tone additions for a total of 112 new characters.
New faces include melting face, saluting face, face with open eyes and hand over mouth, face with peeking eye, face with diagonal mouth, and dotted line face, while new emojis include biting lip and bubbles.
There are several new hand emojis, such as heart hands, rightwards hand, leftwards hand, palm down hand, palm up hand, hand with index finger and thumb crossed, index pointing at the viewer, along with an update to the handshake emoji.
Nest with eggs, empty nest, x-ray, crutch, playground slide, wheel, ring buoy, hamsa, mirror ball, jar, identification card, and low battery are new items, while plants and animals will include coral and lotus. As for fantasy characters, we can expect a new troll emoji, and eggs, beans, and pouring liquid make up new food items.
Apple Card Widget
There is a new Apple Card widget in the Today view, which can be added to the Home screen. The Apple Card widget shows your current balance and your daily spending in different categories.
In iPadOS 15.4, there’s a new Keyboard Brightness option that can be added to the Control Center to allow you to adjust the brightness of a connected keyboard with backlighting.
It works for Apple’s Magic Keyboard, but it does need to be added to Control Center by going to Settings > Control Center and tapping the “+” button next to Keyboard Brightness.
iCloud Keychain Notes
iCloud Keychain users can now add notes to any password entry, bringing iCloud Keychain more in line with other password storing options like 1Password.
On iPhone and iPad, iCloud Keychain can be accessed in the Settings app under “Passwords.”
Passkey Website Sign-in
Apple says that the iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 betas add a new passkey feature that allows users to sign into passkey-compatible websites and apps on Mac and iPad using an iPhone with a saved passkey.
That means that on websites that allow for authentication via Face ID or Touch ID, you can authenticate with an iPhone instead of having to enter a password.
According to Apple’s release notes, support is available for new DualSense adaptive trigger firmware features.
Vaccination Records in the Health App
Verifiable health records now support adding vaccination records in the EU Digital COVID Certificate format to the Health and Wallet apps, so those in the EU can add their vaccine cards to the Wallet app for easy access.
Know of a feature that we left out? Let us know in the comments.Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15Related Forum: iOS 15
This article, “Everything New in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: Face ID With a Mask, Emojis, Apple Card Widget, Universal Control and More” first appeared on MacRumors.com
Discuss this article in our forums