iOS 15.4, Apple’s operating system upgrade, arrived this Monday (14) to iPhone (iOS) phones. The update brought a host of new features, including Face ID that allows facial recognition even in a mask, Universal Control, gender-neutral voice options for Siri, and more. In addition, improvements were made to security features such as AirTag and iCloud Keychain. In beta mode since January, iOS 15.4 is now available for download in its final version.
This is the biggest software update since the release of iOS 15 in September of last year. The latest system update will come pre-installed in Apple’s new models: the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and the cheapest version of the line, the iPhone SE. Below, check out the main new features of iOS 15.4 and compatible devices with the system.
Face ID can now recognize faces even with a protective mask. To do this, the feature uses a smaller aspect ratio to do the identity verification, which will require the user to pay more attention when holding the phone to unlock it. If the angle is not right, a warning will appear asking to look more directly at the screen. The mechanism works the same way for those who wear glasses and promises to make the facial recognition process easier since there will be no need to remove the mask or type the password repeatedly.
Among the new features of iOS 15.4 is also a new English voice for Siri. Named “Quinn,” the fifth American voice added to the intelligent assistant belongs to a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, according to Apple. Two English-speaking voices had already been added in iOS 15, and with the new addition in iOS 15.4, the company offers one more gender-neutral option. Since last year, voices are no longer defined as “female” or “male.”
With iOS 15.4, iPhone owners gain 37 new emoji options to use in online conversations. The icons, revealed by the Unicode Consortium, include a melting face, two hands forming a heart, multiracial handshakes, and a pregnant man. There are also additions in the categories animals and nature, food, objects, and symbols.
One of the features most eagerly awaited by users, Universal Control allows multiple devices (Macs and iPads) to be connected to one source, using the keyboard and mouse to move content between devices. Thus, it will be possible to choose which one is the main screen and which ones remain as secondary screens. The tool was initially announced as part of macOS Monterey but has been delayed several times.
iOS 15.4 brings new features to improve security features. In AirTag, the device used to track Apple objects – such as cell phones, AirPods, and Apple Watch – anti-stalk features such as alerts and instructions were added, as the device was being misused to stalk people. In iCloud Keychain, a password management system, you can now add notes to saved login information and passwords.
The update also comes with other new features. This is the case of “Tap to Pay”, which allows you to turn iPhones into proximity payment terminals; FaceTime with spatial calling and new portrait mode; SharePlay with 5G technology; support for the PS5’s DualSense adaptive trigger, and Live Text, a function that allows you to use the camera to capture text and paste it into other apps. While this could already be done in the Notes and Reminders app, iOS 15.4 has improved the integration of the text scanning feature.
The OS update was released on March 14 on all smartphones after the iPhone 6S. To find out if you can upgrade, check out the full list of models receiving the update below.