Apple releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 with Face ID mask unlock, new emoji, universal control, and more

Apple releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 with Face ID mask unlock, new emoji, universal control, and more

Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems which were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 arrive a month after the launch of iOS 15.3. 1 and iPadOS 15.3.1.

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates are free to download, and the software is available on all eligible devices live in the Settings app. To access new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

iOS 15.4 adds an option to use Face ID while wearing a mask, which works like normal ‌Face ID‌ but scans the areas around your eyes for authentication. iPadOS 15.4 introduces Universal Control, allowing multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with the same mouse/trackpad and keyboard.

The updates also add 37 new emoji characters and lay the groundwork for the new “Tap to Pay on iPhone” feature that allows NFC-enabled iPhones to accept payments through Apple Pay. There are also updates to add custom domains to iCloud Mail directly on device, Siri improvements, new Emergency SOS features, and more. Apple’s full release notes for the update are below:

Face ID
– Face ID while wearing a mask option on iPhone 12 and newer
– Apple Pay and password autofill in apps and Safari can be used with Face ID while wearing a mask

– New emoji including faces, hand gestures and household items are now available in emoji keyboard
– Handshake emoji lets you choose separate skin tones for each hand

– SharePlay sessions can be launched directly from supported apps

– Siri can provide offline time and date information on iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 or newer
– Siri now includes an additional voice, expanding the variety of options

Vaccination cards
– EU COVID digital certificate support in Health allows you to upload and store verifiable versions of COVID-19 vaccination, lab results and recovery records
– COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet now support EU COVID digital certificate format

This version also includes the following enhancements for your iPhone:
– Safari web page translation adds support for Italian and Chinese (Traditional)
– Podcasts app adds episode filters for seasons, played, unplayed, recorded or downloaded episodes
– iCloud custom email domains can be managed from settings
– News provides improved discovery of audio content in the Today feed and the Audio tab
– Camera in keyboard can be used to add text to notes and reminders
– Shortcuts now support adding, deleting or querying tags with callbacks
– Changed Emergency SOS settings to use call waiting for all users. Call with 5 taps is still available as an option in the Emergency SOS settings
– Close-up in Magnifier uses the ultra-wide camera of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max to help you see small objects
– Saved passwords can now include your own notes in settings

This release also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
– The keyboard can insert a period between the digits entered
– News widgets in Today view may not open articles when touched
– Photos and videos may not sync to iCloud Photo Library
– Speak Screen Accessibility feature may quit unexpectedly in Books app
– Live listening may not turn off when disabled in control center

Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices. For more information about the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:

For a complete overview of all the features available in iOS 15, we have a dedicated iOS 15 roundup.