Apple has released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 for supported devices today. There are a few small changes in this version, as well as a substantial enhancement to Face ID.
Face ID on compatible iPhone models can now be enabled to work when wearing face masks thanks to iOS 15.4. Instead of using masks, this function relies on a less secure way of just scanning the region around your eyes.
Enabling Face ID with a mask will make the feature less secure than a full facial scan, and you’ll have to gaze at the phone when unlocking it with nothing concealing your eyes, according to the settings for enabling this option. Most people, however, would be ready to accept the diminished security in exchange for not having to remove their masks every time.
Unfortunately, Apple has decided that this function will only be available on the iPhone 12 and newer models. As a result, customers of the iPhone X, Xs, and XR are virtually left out in the cold.
Universal Control is the other key innovation in iPadOS 15.4. This functionality enables the user to utilize a Mac and an iPad side-by-side while fluidly moving the mouse pointer between them. Users can also transfer files back and forth between the two devices as if they were on the same computer.
Aside from that, 15.4 includes over 100 new emoji from the Emoji 14.0 set, a new Siri voice option, the ability to provide time and date information offline, EU Digital COVID Certificate support in vaccine cards in Apple Wallet, improvements to Safari web page translations with support for Italian and Chinese, improvements to the Podcasts app, and more.
Apple also released WatchOS 8.5, macOS Monterey 12.3, tvOS 15.4, and HomePod Software 15.4.