Apple on Monday released the fourth major update to its operating systems, iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The new features present in the update bring long-awaited tools: the use of Face ID with mask and Universal Control.
In addition to bringing several new features, the versions fix, according to Forbes, 39 security issues, some of which are serious.
iOS 15.4 will be available for all iOS 15 compatible devices — that is, devices starting with the iPhone 6S. iPadOS 15.4 is available for all models of the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2nd generation and above, iPad mini 4th generation and above, starting from the fifth generation of the entry-level iPad and beyond.
Face ID with mask
Yes, it will now be possible to unlock your device using a mask. Apple had already released the possibility of unlocking the iPhone with the Apple Watch. However, it will now be possible using a mask.
The feature uses the area around your eyes to authenticate, so you’ll need to be more precise about the angle you’re holding your phone at, as well as whether you’re looking at your iPhone when unlocking it with the mask. The feature should work with people who wear glasses, but not sunglasses.
Face ID with mask is limited to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models and is therefore not available on earlier iPhones. Apple also warns that turning on the new feature could make Face ID less accurate overall.
Universal Control lets you use a Mac keyboard and mouse to control an iPad, completely wirelessly. You can even drag and drop files from your tablet back to a computer.
To use this feature, your Mac must be running macOS Monterey 12.3 — also released on Monday — and your iPad must be running iPadOS 15.4.
Because it’s still in beta, Universal Control may have some flaws, and it’s not available for all Mac and iPad models.
According to Apple, both devices must be logged into iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. To use wirelessly, both devices must have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Handoff enabled and must be within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other. Also, iPad and Mac must not share a cellular and internet connection. To use via USB, you must trust your Mac on iPad.
The new iOS update brings 37 new emojis and 75 skin tones for a total of 112 new characters, including new options for pregnant women, hands forming a heart, a greeting and a lip-biting emoji.
There’s also a melting face, a face holding back tears, a bird’s nest, coral, a lotus, a low battery, and beans, among many others.
Personal automations in Shortcuts
There is a new option for personal automations in the Shortcuts app, “Notify on run”. The function allows you to enable or disable notifications for enabled shortcuts. That way, you can choose not to be notified when a shortcut is activated.
iCloud Keychain users will be able to add notes to their logins, such as a password hint.
Also, it will no longer be possible to save a password without an associated login — something especially useful for those cases where Safari creates a strong password and, for some reason, doesn’t save the login information together.
Apple offers security recommendations for weak or compromised passwords in iCloud Keychain. However, you may not be able to change these passwords in some situations.
In such cases, with the new update, you will be able to dismiss these alerts. This way, the security recommendation will be hidden and will not appear in the main password section.
Custom domain in email
iCloud+ subscribers can set up a custom domain with iCloud Mail right on their iPhone. Until then, the feature only worked through Apple’s iCloud.com website.
With the new update, some after can initiate SharePlay calls from the app. Until then, all you had to do was initiate a SharePlay call and then open the app.
To initiate an emergency call, you must press and hold the side and volume buttons until a countdown begins. At the end of the countdown, the iPhone will call emergency services.
Call with five taps is now an option and needs to be enabled in Settings.
Anti-Stalking AirTags Update
When setting up an AirTag or device in Find My, a warning now appears that the device is locked to an Apple ID and that using it to track someone without consent is a crime.
Tap to pay with iPhone
The feature was added to allow NFC-enabled iPhones to accept payments through Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, without requiring additional hardware.
As a result, compatible iOS apps can accept iPhone-to-iPhone payments. “Tap to pay with iPhone” is available for iPhone XS or later.
You can now filter episodes by played, unplayed, downloaded or saved. You can also go to any program and filter by a specific season.
- EU citizens can add their vaccination cards to the Wallet app for easy access.
- The translation feature in Safari now supports Italian and Chinese (Traditional).
- The Apple News app offers enhanced discovery of audio content in the Today feed and the Audio tab.
- Siri can provide time and date information while offline on iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 or newer.
- Magnifier close-up can now use the ultra wide-angle camera on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max to better highlight small objects.
- The Wallet app won a widget with a summary of your spending in the last week.
- US users can choose a new, more gender-neutral voice for Siri.
- iPhones and iPads gained the option to enable and receive push notifications from websites.
The new iOS update fixes several issues in WebKit, the engine that powers Apple’s Safari browser, and in the Kernel, which could allow arbitrary code to run through a malicious application. The company has listed all security content for iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4.
However, you can rest assured that none of the vulnerabilities fixed in iOS 15.4 are being actively exploited. However, it is important to update the system as soon as possible. To do this, go to “Settings” > “General” > “Software Update”.