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

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The latest iOS update brings dozens of new emoji to your iPhone.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple’s iOS 15.4 brings a host of new features to your iPhone. This includes new emojithe long awaited Universal controlreinforced confidentiality measures and Face ID that works when you’re wearing a mask. (All of these features are also available for iPad via iPadOS 15.4.) Apple also released iOS 15.4.1, a minor iPhone update to fix a battery-draining bug and security issues.

As the name suggests, iOS 15.4 is the fourth major update of iOS 15launched with the iPhone 13 in September. These updates, which began with December iOS version 15.1, added more features to Apple’s iPhone operating system and improved existing ones. iOS 15.4 follows iOS 15.3.1, which was released last month to fix a security flaw in iPhones and iPads.

Release date: Is iOS 15.4 available now?

Yes, iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 were released on March 14. New iPhone 13 green, iPhone 13 Pro alpine green and the new iPhoneSE come with iOS 15.4 preloaded, according to Apple.

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, so make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi to avoid eating into your monthly data allowance.

What is Universal Control?

Universal Control lets you use other Apple devices as second screens, moving content seamlessly between them using a single device. This highly anticipated feature was originally announced as part of macOS Monterey, but was delayed over the fall, with a new timeline pointing to “this spring”. Universal Control was part of the iOS 15.4 beta and launched in public beta with the Monterey OS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4 updates.

As Universal Control is still in beta, expect to run into some issues from time to time. And note that the feature does not work on all devices. Apple says Universal Control is available on:

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

Apple notes that to use Universal Control, “Both devices must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. For wireless use, both devices must have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on and must be within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other. [The] iPad and Mac should not share a cellular and internet connection. For use via USB, you have to trust your Mac over the iPad.”


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Can I use Face ID with masks?

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

Read more: iOS 15.4 finally lets you unlock your iPhone with a mask on. here’s how

What new emoji are included?

If you’re the type of person who prides themselves on using creative and fun emoji, you’ll love iOS 15.4. There are 37 new emojis in the update, including new options for pregnant women, heart-shaped hands, a salute, and — my favorite — a lip-biting emoji. These were revealed last fall and also include a melting face, tear-holding face, bird’s nest, coral, lotus, low battery, and red beans.

Other iOS 15.4 Features

The operating system update also brings new AirTag security-focused updateswho have been in the spotlight after reports about the devices be used to stalk people.

The 15.4 update also changes the “call with five taps” emergency call shortcut from a default setting to an option, meaning the feature won’t be enabled unless you choose to. to allow. The option to hold and press the side and volume buttons remains enabled by default.

SharePlay has also received updates, allowing some apps to start SharePlay calls from within the app, rather than having to start a SharePlay call and then open the app. Developers will 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 in the Notes or Reminders apps. And, as spotted by ZDNet, iOS 15.4 also fixes a bug related to Siri interaction recordings.

For more information about Apple, read your iPhone as a payment terminal and The wide possible range of new products from Apple for this fall. Also, here how the iPhone SE 2022 compares to the 2020 versionand whether you should buy an older iPhone SE now.

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