Apple is releasing iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 for compatible models today. This update includes several minor changes, as well as a major update to Face ID.
With iOS 15.4, Face ID on compatible iPhone models can now be configured to work while wearing a face mask. This feature doesn’t work through a mask, but reverts to the less secure method of scanning the area around your eyes.
The setting to enable this option will inform you that enabling Face ID with a mask will make this feature less secure than a full scan and allow you to do this without covering your eyes when unlocking the phone. Will have to see However, most people would be willing to accept less protection because it beats having to pull down your mask every time.
Unfortunately, Apple being Apple has decided that this feature will only work on iPhone 12 and newer models. This means all iPhone 11, X, Xs and Xr users are effectively being left out in the cold.
The other key feature in iPadOS 15.4 is Universal Control. This feature allows the user to use a Mac and an iPad side-by-side and to move the mouse pointer between the two seamlessly. Users can also transfer files between two devices as if they were on the same computer.
Holy wow Universal Control is incredible.— Federico Viticci (@viticci) January 27, 2022
This is me moving between a MacBook Pro, an iPad mini, and an iPad Pro using just the MacBook trackpad and keyboard. It's aware of position, lets you drag files, and supports iPadOS gestures.
The hype was real and it all just works 🤯 pic.twitter.com/PWUTLYZtkW
In addition, 15.4 also includes over 100 new emoji from the Emoji 14.0 set, a new voice option for Siri as well as the ability to provide time and date information offline, the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Vaccine Card in Apple Wallet support, improvements to Safari, web page translation with support for Italian and Chinese, podcast app improvements, and more.
Apple also released watchOS 8.5, macOS Monterey 12.3, tvOS 15.4, and HomePod Software 15.4.