Apple has started rolling out iOS 15.4, the latest version of the iPhone operating system, to users across the globe. The update brings a bunch of nifty features and improvements to the company’s mobile software. Here’s are the ones we think you'll find most useful.
Mask Support for Face ID
Anyone who has ever tried to unlock their iPhones with Face ID while wearing a mask knows how much a chore it can be. But that doesn't have to be the case anymore, with the new update allowing you to unlock your device without needing to drop your face covering. The only caveat is that it might come at the expense of your security. Instead of a full facial scan, the system now only checks an area in your face that's not obscured by your mask, your eyes.
Apple's previous attempt at addressing Face ID complaints was to allow your Apple Watch to help unlock your phone. Now, however, you'll no longer need a separate device to unlock your iPhone while masked. The company noted that this new feature is only available on iPhone 12 and newer models.
Live Text for Notes and Reminders
You can now use Live Text through Notes and Reminders. Both apps will include a Scan Text in the pop-up menu, which opens your device's camera and captures text from photos. You can then insert the selected text directly into your Notes and Reminders. This gives you the ability to grab the contents of documents or handwritten notes without having to manually type them down.
In case you're unfamiliar, Live Text is a feature that was added in iOS 15. It leverages the capabilities of artificial intelligence to select and copy text from photos as though they were text from a digital file.
New Siri Voice Option
Tire of hearing Siri's old voice? Well, the new update adds a fifth voice option for the American version of Apple's digital assistant. The new option, simply called Voice 5, is, according to reports, designed to be more gender-neutral.
AirTag Anti-Stalking Changes
Apple's making sure that its AirTags and Find My features aren't used for illegal and criminal activity. Once your device is updated, you'll receive a pop-up when you set up an AirTag, warning you not to use it to track someone without their consent. Additionally, you won't be able to disable warning notifications for AirTags in your vicinity. You'll find these in the new Tracking Notifications settings of the Find My app.
The update also comes with several new emoji for you to use and enjoy. These include a melting face, a biting lip, a troll, a disco ball, a pregnant man (and woman) and bubbles, among others. Counting skin variations, this wave adds more than a hundred new emojis to the existing list. Once you receive the update, you'll be able to use them across different apps. However, those who have yet to update or are running unsupported software might not be able to view them properly.
Other key features of iOS 15.4 include:
Apple Card widget that lets you view your spending at a glance
SharePlay shortcut in the Share menu
New display preferences for Apple TV Up Next
Notifications section in the App Store
Ability to add notes to your Keychain passwords
iOS 15.4 is available for all devices running iOS 15, which means all models from the iPhone 6s up are covered. The new iPhone SE and green iPhone 13 that are launching this Friday will also ship with the latest software update pre-installed.
Apple has also rolled out iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3, highlighted by the addition of Univeral Control. This feature offers a seamless way to control multiple devices wirelessly. For example, you can use your Mac’s keyboard and mouse to control a connected iPad and drag and drop files between the two devices.
iOS 15 is here, and it brings a bunch of new features, including mask support for Face ID and new emojis.
The latest software update is available for all devices compatible with iOS 15.
Alongside the latest version of iOS, Apple also rolled out iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3, which adds the long-awaited Universal Control feature.