It’s here, and sooner than expected. Apple had simply announced that it would release iOS 15.4 this week. We knew it would be Friday at the latest because that’s when the next products, iPhone SE and iPad Air, will go on sale. But smart money was on a Tuesday release. It’s usually the release day of Apple’s favorite software.
But no, it went live in the last few minutes and it’s packed with new features, along with the usual security patches and bug fixes. Read on for all the details of what it contains and how to get it.
Oh, and something else went live just now, and it’s a game-changing change for Apple. It released software updates for its three major operating systems on the same day: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Mac updates invariably come later, but not this time.
Make Forbes your destination for all things iOS. Stay ahead with Antoine Karcz when each release reaches public beta. Read all the details of what’s in the release from me as it lands. Kate O’Flaherty reviews the security considerations of each new release. And then read Gordon Kellyanalyzing whether you should install or wait.
Which iPhones can run iOS 15.4?
If you have a device running iOS 14, you’re in luck. Impressively, Apple has ensured that every iOS 14 compatible iPhone also runs iOS 15. That’s quite an achievement, stretching back to every device released in the past six years. It’s every iPhone from iPhone 6s and includes all three generations of iPhone SE, including the new model that goes on sale this Friday.
For iPads, you’re ready to use iPadOS 15.4 if you have an iPad Pro, iPad Air from iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 or newer, and iPad from fifth generation. This includes the fifth-generation iPad Air which goes on sale from Friday.
How to get it
Updating couldn’t be easier: open the Settings app on the device, then choose General, then Software Update. Once you click download and install, it will do everything for you.
What’s in the version
Settle down, there’s plenty to do here. First, and the most important element of the release is Face identification with a mask. Now you don’t need to take off your mask to unlock iPhone. He will do it with your mask as well as with your mask. Apple Watch users have had this feature for a while now, but it works without it and is more versatile.
Important Disclaimer: This only works on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, not on Face ID phones before, including iPhone 11 which is still part of Apple lineup.
New emoji are coming with iOS 15.4, including cool new smiley faces, a cute troll, a pink lotus and more. Read the full guide to what’s new here.
Universal control is another important element, which is long overdue. It’s part of iPadOS and macOS, which is why all three OS updates arrived simultaneously. It allows you to (wirelessly) connect multiple iPads and Macs, so you can transfer files, for example from one to another simply by swiping from one screen to another, using a mouse and a trackpad. There are also improvements to iCloud Keychain, so you can record notes about entries, for example. And where Keychain previously let you save passwords without a username, which isn’t always what you want. Now you can also make sure usernames are saved.
Retailers, especially small independent traders, will appreciate Tap to pay, so they can use the iPhone as a payment terminal. There are improvements to Live text in notes and reminders so you can easily scan text.
It’s an exciting release and there are more details just becoming clear. Check back for more information as we have it.