iOS 15.4: What you should know about Apple’s iPhone update

The latest iOS upgrade brings dozens of new emojis to your iPhone.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple’s iOS 15.4 brings a ton of new features to your iPhone. This contains new emojithe long awaited Universal Controlstrengthened data protection measures and Face ID that works while wearing a mask. (All of these features are also available for iPad via iPadOS 15.4.) Apple has since released it too iOS15.4.1a small iPhone update to fix a battery drain bug and security issues.

As the name suggests, iOS 15.4 is the fourth major update for iOS 15who started with that iPhone 13 in September. These updates that started with December iOS 15.1 version, have added more features and improved existing ones to Apple’s iPhone operating system. iOS 15.4 follows iOS 15.3.1 which was released for patching last month a vulnerability in iPhones and iPads.

Release Date: Is iOS 15.4 Out Now?

Yes, both iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 were released on March 14th. The new green iPhone 13, the alpine green iPhone 13 Pro and the new iPhone SE According to Apple, iOS 15.4 is preinstalled.

How to download iOS 15.4?

You can download iOS 15.4 by going to Settings > General > Software update > Download and install. The 15.4 update is over a gigabyte in size, so make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi to avoid chewing through your monthly data allowance.

What is Universal Control?

With Universal Control, you can use other Apple devices as second displays and seamlessly move content between them with just one device. This highly anticipated feature was originally announced as Part of MacOS Monterey but has been delayed about fall, with a new timeline pointing to “this spring.” Universal Control was part of the iOS 15.4 beta and launched as a public beta with the Monterey OS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4 updates.

Since Universal Control is still in beta, you should expect some issues from time to time. And note that the feature doesn’t work on every device. According to Apple, Universal Control is available on:

  • MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
  • MacBook (2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 and later)
  • iMac (2017 and newer)
  • iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Mini (2018 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (third generation and later)
  • iPad (sixth generation and higher)
  • iPad Mini (fifth generation and higher)

Apple Notes that to use Universal Control, “both devices must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID and two-factor authentication. 30 feet) apart. [The] iPad and Mac are not allowed to share a cellular and internet connection. To use it via USB, you must trust your Mac on the iPad.”


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New green finishes are coming for the iPhone 13


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Can I use Face ID with masks?

Apple has updated its Face ID feature to work on iPhone 12 and later models while wearing a mask. Because the feature uses a smaller part of your face to verify your identity, you’ll need to be more specific about the angle at which you’re holding your phone when using Face ID. Your phone will even prompt you when you need to look more directly at the screen. The updated feature should work for people who wear glasses, but will not work with sunglasses.

Continue reading: With iOS 15.4 you can finally unlock your iPhone with a mask. Here’s how

What new emoji are included?

If you’re the kind of person who prides himself on using emojis in creative and fun ways, you’ll love iOS 15.4. There are 37 new emojis in the update, including new options for pregnant women, hands forming a heart shape, a greeting and – my personal favorite – a lip-biting emoji. These were revealed last fall and also include a melting face, a face that holds back tears, a bird’s nest, a coral, a lotus, a low battery and kidney beans.

Other iOS 15.4 features

The operating system update also brings something new security-focused updates for AirTagswho took the spotlight after reports about the devices used to stalk people.

The 15.4 update also changes the five-press call emergency shortcut from a default to an option, meaning the feature won’t turn on unless you choose to allow it. The hold-and-press option for the side and volume buttons remains enabled by default.

SharePlay has also received some updates that allow some apps to start SharePlay calls from within the app instead of having to start a SharePlay call and then open the app. Developers need to update their apps accordingly, so expect this option to roll out over time.

Another feature included in the update is the ability to copy text from objects using the camera while in the Notes or Reminders apps. And, as discovered by ZDNet, also iOS 15.4 fixes a bug related to recording Siri interactions.

For more Apple news, visit Your iPhone as a payment terminal and Apple’s possible wide range of new products for this fall. Also here is how the iPhone SE 2022 compares to the 2020 versionand whether you should buy an older iPhone SE now.

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