iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: All the New Features and Changes

Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to the public after over a month of beta testing. There are plenty of new features in this update, including Face ID with a Mask, a new Siri voice, emoji, and more. Below is a roundup of all the new features in iOS 15,4 and iPadOS 15.4 that you can try on your iPhone or iPad after the update.

iOS 15 features

Apart from iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, Apple also released macOS Monterey 12.3 and watchOS 8.5 to users. Some of the features mentioned below will require you to update all your devices to the latest OS release.

1. Face ID With a Mask

This is undoubtedly the highlight of iOS 15.4. The feature will allow iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 users to unlock their phones using Face ID while still wearing masks.

Apple already offers an ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ feature for this, but it requires one to use an Apple Watch. However, this new feature will recognize you by identifying the “unique features around the eye area.” A Full Face ID scan will still be more secure, but this is a welcome middle ground from Apple.

You can follow our guide on how to set up Face ID with a mask on your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13.

Use Face ID with a Mask on iPhone

2. Universal Control

Initially demoed at WWDC 2021 when Apple first unveiled macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, Universal Control has taken its sweet time to arrive, even in beta form.

Universal Control

3. AirTags Anti-Stalking Changes

iOS 15.4 introduces the anti-stalking changes that Apple first announced last month. While setting up a new AirTag, you’ll be shown a warning that using the tracker to track someone without their consent is a crime.

4. New LGBTQ+ Siri Voice

iOS 15.4 introduces a new Siri voice for US users: American. This is a new gender-neutral voice that Apple has added to better represent the LGBTQ+ community.

5. iPad Keyboard Brightness

You can add a Keyboard brightness option in iPadOS 15.4 Control Center that will allow you to adjust the backlighting of the connected keyboard. The feature works with Apple’s Magic Keyboard, but it is unclear if it works with third-party keyboards with a backlight or not.

6. New Emojis

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 add 37 new emoji along with over 70+ skin additions. These additions are a part of Emoji 14 that comes with new emojis like melting face, saluting face, pregnant man, face with a peeking eye, more. Head over to Emojipedia to find more details about the new emoji.

Emoji in iOS 15.4

7. iCloud Keychain Gains Notes Support

Slowly but steadily, Apple is turning iCloud Keychain into a full-fledged password manager. iOS 15.4 beta adds a new notes section in iCloud Keychain that lets you save notes alongside any login details that you save. Check out our guide on how to use iCloud Keychain as a password manager on your iPhone.

8. SharePlay Directly from Compatible Apps

SharePlay is now directly integrated into the share menu of compatible apps. This means you can start a SharePlay session with your friends or family by simply using the share sheet.

SharePlay in Music app in iOS 15.4

9. Apple Card Widget

There’s a new Apple Card widget in iOS 15.4 that will show your wallet balance and spending activity.

Apple Card widget in iOS 15.4

10. 120Hz Animations in Third-Party Apps

Third-party apps will finally be able to display animations at 120Hz on the iPhone 13 Pro series. They were limited to 60Hz so far due to a bug in Core Animation that Apple said would be addressed in a future update.

11. Tap to Pay on iPhone

iOS 15.4 introduces a new Tap to Pay feature that allows NFC-based iPhones to accept payments through Apple Pay and other NFC-based cards.

12. Custom Email Domain With iCloud Mail

iOS 15.4 enhances iCloud+ for existing subscribers and allows them to set up iCloud Mail using a custom email domain.

13. Password Saving Improvement in iCloud Keychain

Safari in iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 will prompt you for a username when saving a password instead of just saving one without it.

In iOS 15.4 beta and macOS 12.3 beta, when Safari isn’t sure, it’ll prompt you for the username for a password, rather than silently save it sans user name. Sometimes Safari will prefill its best guess here.

And we didn’t sneak it in. We intentionally addressed a pain point. 😎 https://t.co/mfrcXk9GT6

— Ricky Mondello (@rmondello) February 16, 2022

14. Vaccine Record in Health App

You can scan the QR code on your COVID-19 vaccination certificate and save it in the Health app on your iPhone in iOS 15.4.

15. Notify to Run Option in Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app in iOS 15.4 offers an option to enable/disable the notification that pops up whenever a personal automation is triggered.

16. Customize Left/Right Swipe in Notes App

You can customize the left and right corner swipes to Quick Note, screenshot, or Off in the Notes app on your iPhone/iPad in iOS 15.4 or iPadOS 15.4.

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