The latest iOS upgrade brings dozens of new emoji to your iPhone.
Apple’s latest iPhone operating system, iOS 15.4, is out and has been available to download for a few weeks now. This means, if you haven’t installed the update yet, you’re missing out on many useful features. iOS 15.4 brings the long-awaited Universal Controls, Face ID that works while you’re wearing a mask, 37 new emoji and privacy measures to your iPhone (and iPads through 15.4).
As the name suggests, iOS 15.4 is the fourth major update to iOS 15, which was launched in September alongside the iPhone 13. These updates, which began with December’s iOS 15.1 release, added more features to Apple’s iPhone operating system and improved on existing ones. iOS 15.4 follows iOS 15.3.1, which was released last month to patch security vulnerabilities in iPhone and iPad.
When was the iOS 15.4 release date?
iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 were both released on March 14. According to Apple, the new green iPhone 13, alpine green iPhone 13 Pro and new iPhone SE will come with iOS 15.4 preloaded.
How do I download iOS 15.4?
You can download by going to iOS 15.4 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 chewing through your monthly data allotment.
What is Universal Control?
Universal Control lets you use other Apple devices as a second screen, using just one device to seamlessly transfer content between them. This eagerly anticipated feature was initially announced as part of macOS Monterey, but was delayed in the fall, with a new timeline pointing to “this spring”. Universal Control was part of the iOS 15.4 beta, and launched as a public beta with the Monterey OS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4 updates.
Since Universal Control is still in beta, expect to run into some issues now and then. And note that this feature does not work on every device. Apple says Universal Control is available at:
- MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
- MacBook (2016 and later)
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- iMac (2017 and later)
- iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac Pro
- Mac Mini (2018 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019)
- ipad pro
- iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
- iPad (6th generation and later)
- iPad mini (fifth generation and later)
Apple notes that to use Universal Control, “both devices must be signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. To use wirelessly, both devices must have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Handoff must be on and within 10. meters (30 feet) of each other. [The] The iPad and Mac must not share cellular and Internet connections. To use over USB, you must rely on your Mac on the iPad.”
Running now: Watch this: New Green finish coming to iPhone 13
Can I use Face ID with a mask?
Apple has updated its Face ID feature to be usable even while wearing a mask on the iPhone 12 and newer models. Since this feature uses a small part of your face to verify your identity, you’ll need to be more precise about what angle you’re holding your phone when using Face ID. Your phone will also prompt you if you need to look more directly at the screen. The updated feature will 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. This way
Which new emoji are included?
If you are the kind of person who takes pride in the use of creative and fun emoji, then you are going to love iOS 15.4. The update brings 37 new emoji, including new options for pregnant people, hand-drawing heart shapes, salutes and — my personal favorite — a lip-biting emoji. These were revealed last fall, and include a melting face, a face that was holding back tears, a bird’s nest, coral, a lotus, a lesser battery and kidney beans.
Other iOS 15.4 Features
The operating system update also brings new security-focused updates to AirTags, which have been in the news after reports of the devices being used to stalk people.
The 15.4 update also turns the emergency call shortcut “call with five presses” from the default setting to an option, which means the feature won’t be enabled unless you choose to allow it. The hold-and-press option for the side and volume buttons is enabled by default.
SharePlay also received some updates, allowing some apps to initiate SharePlay calls from the app instead of requiring you to initiate 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 app. And, as spotted by ZDNet, iOS 15.4 also fixes a bug related to the recording of Siri interactions.
For more Apple news, about your iPhone as a payment terminal, and the potentially wide range of new products from Apple for this fall, read on. Plus, here’s how the 2022 iPhone SE compares to the 2020 version, and should you be buying an older iPhone SE right now.