Apple

7 Reasons iPhone Upgrade Will Be Brilliant

7 Reasons iPhone Upgrade Will Be Brilliant

Apple iOS 15.4 might be the last big update before iOS 16 is expected to release this fall (pesky updates excluded). And it looks like Apple is planning to go out with a bang.

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There are some exciting new features coming, including some we’ve been waiting for since they were first announced last summer, such as the iPad and Mac update called Universal Control. But there are also plenty of reasons to be excited for the iPhone. I have already written about some of them, but more details have appeared.

So here’s your complete guide to what’s to come. Read on for everything you need to know as you prepare for the software this week.

When is it coming?

Apple didn’t reveal the exact date, only saying it lands this week, along with macOS and iPadOS updates. Apple likes to release its software on a Tuesday, so March 15 seems preferred.

But he might like to leave early, and will, if he’s ready, so watch out from Monday, March 14. Check back here on Forbes as I’ll cover it as soon as it drops.

It could happen later in the week, but it’s 100% sure it will by Friday March 18th as that’s the day the iPhone SE goes on sale, alongside the new iPhone. 13 green and the alpine green iPhone 13 Pro (see what they look like here), presumably preloaded with iOS 15.4.

What’s the most exciting thing about it?

Oh, there are plenty of choices. There are smaller details like a new non-binary voice for Siri. By the way, I like the idea that a piece of technology, inherently gender-incapable, will now also be non-binary. Seriously, this level of inclusiveness is a good move, and only Apple would stand for such a thing – and the company has confirmed that the voice was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community. As the company puts it, this means users have more options to choose “a voice that speaks to them.”

Other things that may seem small but could make a big difference include possible support for saving digital versions of credentials such as driver’s licenses in the wallet. One less thing to lose.

There is the revised information when you set up an AirTag which emphasizes that following someone without permission is a criminal offense. A small but useful iOS 15.4 overhaul means that if you accidentally double-tap the side button, or someone else does, the previous result of showing all your credit cards ready for an Apple Pay transaction is replaced by an authentication screen. To be clear, it’s not that anyone else can actually access your payment cards, but now no one but you will even see what cards you have. There is another Apple Pay-related item in iOS 15.4, as discussed below.

Here are the most expensive items.

1. Face ID with a mask

I’ve been testing this for quite a while and it works perfectly. Although Covid news has been better recently, we are not off the hook yet and there are many places where mask wearing is still mandatory. This upgrade means you can unlock your iPhone by looking at it, even if your face is partially covered by a mask.

It also lets you use Apple Pay without removing your mask or opening apps that require Face ID. Setup takes a little longer because you’re encouraged to register your face again if you’re wearing specs, for example. But after this small investment of time, it’s quite simple.

Apple Watch users already know the convenience of this setup, but it’s even better (and doesn’t require a watch).

Apple says it’s less safe than when you’re not wearing a mask, because it decides whether or not it’s you based less on your face.

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2. Live Text in Notes and Reminders

If you’ve used Live Text on your iPhone, you’ll know it’s a remarkable system that interacts with text in sophisticated ways. It’s already in Notes (perhaps my most-used iPhone app) and Reminders, but now there’s the addition of a useful scan-to-text command command that appears when you tap the icon. camera in the app. With this, a camera window opens and you can, for example, copy the text of a recipe from a book.

3. Emoji

If, like me, you’re a fan of well-designed and fun emoji, you’ll be delighted with the 37 new faces, handshakes, a biting lip that’s sure to find a huge following, an adorable troll and a pink lotus flower. There are so many variations of skin tone and gender that there are actually over 800 new items. As usual, the smiling faces are the highlight I would say. These include Face with Peeking Eye, which is a versatile and enjoyable choice for expressing everything from surprise to amazed regret. Ideal for not being able to look away from something you don’t want to see too. Learn more about other emoji highlights coming this week here.

4. iCloud Keychain

iOS and macOS come bundled with a brilliantly simple and helpfully automatic password manager. While that didn’t stop me from subscribing to 1Password, which has a lot of great features, Apple has updated iCloud Keychain to make it more useful.

For starters, you can add notes now, which is really handy, but it also ensures that a previous issue is no longer an issue. Sometimes Keychain would save a password without a username, leaving you struggling to remember the name you used in some cases. This is sorted so that from now on it will make sure you save a username as well.

5. Universal control

This is, strictly speaking, part of the iPadOS Companion Update, but it’s such a big part of the software that I couldn’t skip it. It will work in conjunction with a macOS update, also due this week, so iPad(s) and Mac(s) can work together in an entirely new way.

Essentially, you’ll be able to set up multiple devices together so you can control them as if they were one. So, for example, you can select a folder on an iMac’s screen and when you move it with your Mac mouse in the direction of your iPad’s screen, the folder will disappear from the iMac and slide onto the iPad adjacent.

This is a very versatile and highly anticipated upgrade.

6. Tap to pay

Not everyone will directly benefit from this update, but you’ll be sure to see it in use sooner or later. It’s designed for retailers to accept payments on their iPhones. This is something that is particularly suitable for independent merchants and it means that they do not need separate hardware to read credit cards, as they currently do. Apple said it would open it to select retailers first and increase availability as the year progresses. It will work with Apple Pay payments, of course, but also with compatible debit and credit cards and other e-wallets.

7. Magnifier

It is one of the awesome but little known apps of iPhone. It’s a godsend to help you read the menu in a trendy under-lit restaurant, for example. It’s a standalone app, but you can easily set it to launch by triple-pressing the side button or the Home button on an iPhone Touch ID.

Switching between cameras should become easier with the latest update, although the cameras obviously depend on the iPhone you’re using. A single rear-camera phone like the iPhone SE (either the 2020 model or, presumably, the new 2022 version) will simply switch between front and rear snappers. Note that this feature changed during the evolution of iOS 15.4, so it’s still unclear exactly how it will work. But, at the very least, I was able to show you how great Magnifier is.

More changes are also coming, such as security fixes and other cute little updates. Be sure to check back here on Forbes for more details when the update is released.

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