Apple

Crucial iPhone Upgrade with Breakthrough Features

Apple rolls out crucial iPhone upgrade in groundbreaking first

It’s here, and sooner than expected. Apple had simply announced that it would release iOS 15.4 this week.

March 15 update below. Article first published Monday, March 14.

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.

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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.

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March 15 update. Since its launch, Apple has gone into more detail about new features in iOS 15.4, such as how EU and UK users can now store Covid-19 results on the iPhone.

More on that in a second. Other exciting updates that have been revealed include how the new Siri voice, designed to be non-binary, uses the iPhone’s Neural Text to Speech technology to sound “incredibly natural”, as Apple puts it. It’s not available in all regions, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Safari web page translation, already a real boon if you’re surfing abroad, now extends to support for Italian and Traditional Chinese. Visual Look Up is extended to recognize art, landmarks and more. And the Magnifier app now offers more camera choices, depending on the iPhone model you’re using. This was not mentioned in the release notes either.

Anyway, back to vaccination. With travel opening up and many countries expecting vaccination certificates to be displayed at the entrance, having one less piece of paper to remember can only be a good thing. Basically, the data that Apple stores on the iPhone is verifiable, so everyone knows it’s real. In the EU and UK, users can “securely upload and store verifiable information about Covid-19 vaccination, lab results and recovery records in the Health app. If they wish , users can share this data with third-party apps in a way that protects data privacy. I tried this and it works sublimely easily and looks great. The second part of the change is just as impressive, as users EU and UK can put Covid-19 vaccination cards in Wallet. As Apple says, “Once added in the Wallet app, users can view and present their vaccination card at any time. A third party can use a compatible verification app to verify the record. Again, it’s easy to do and very convenient. Adding it is as easy as scanning a QR code with your iPhone, tapping the Health app notification, and choosing Add to Wallet.

As with other health records, they are stored on the device, not in the cloud, and are protected by password, Face ID, or Touch ID. As with Face ID with added mask, described below, this response to the pandemic may seem too late. Well, let’s hope so, but one thing is certain: nothing is certain with Covid, so we might just be grateful for those updates sooner than we’d like.

Now back to other updates and how to get the amazing new software.


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.