Apple today is rolling out iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 for compatible models. This update includes several minor changes, along with a major update to Face ID.
With iOS 15.4, Face ID on compatible iPhone models can now be configured to work while wearing face masks. This feature does not work through masks but rather falls back on a less secure method of just scanning the area around your eyes.
The setting for enabling this option will inform you that enabling Face ID with a mask will make the feature less secure than a full facial scan and you have to look at the phone while unlocking it with nothing covering your eyes. However, most people would likely be willing to accept the reduced security as it beats having to pull your mask down every time.
Unfortunately, Apple being Apple has decided that this feature will only work on iPhone 12 and newer models. This means all the iPhone X, Xs, and Xr users are being effectively left out in the cold.
The other major feature is in iPadOS 15.4, which is Universal Control. This feature allows the user to use a Mac and an iPad side by side and move the mouse pointer seamlessly between the two. Users can also move files between the two devices as if they are on the same computer.
Holy wow Universal Control is incredible.
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
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) January 27, 2022
Apart from that, 15.4 also includes over 100 new emoji from the Emoji 14.0 set, a new voice option for Siri along with the ability to provide time and date information offline, EU Digital COVID Certificate support in vaccine cards in Apple Wallet, improvements to Safari web page translations with support for Italian and Chinese, Podcasts app improvements, and more.
Apple also released watchOS 8, macOS Monterey 12.3, tvOS 15.4, and HomePod Software 15.4.