Apple begins iOS 15.4 public beta rollout with a long list of new features, including Face ID with a mask
The feature-rich release follows hot on the heels of iOS 15.3By Jimmy Pezzone
Highly anticipated: Apple's upcoming iOS release is set to bring users a healthy list of new features to provide a more engaging experience. Announced a week ago, the update closely follows iOS 15.3 which largely focused on bug fixes, vulnerabilities, and under the hood enhancements. If you don't feel like waiting, the 15.4 beta is already available for iPhone and iPadOS devices.
The upcoming iOS 15.4 release, which is currently available for public beta testing, looks to bring several highly anticipated features and updates. iPhone users interested in installing the update and taking part in the beta can enroll on Apple's Beta Software Program. Users should keep in mind that while the update supports devices as far back as the iPhone SE and iPod Touch, some key features are only compatible with iPhone 12 and above.
The iOS 15.4 beta includes Universal Control, allowing the use of multiple iPads and Mac devices with a single cursor and keyboard. Another prominent feature is the addition of Face ID with a mask, a facial recognition feature that will focus on features around the user's eyes rather than points across the entire face. This new function is available to iPhone 12 and newer devices only.
The complete list of features included in iOS 15.4 can be found on Apple's Developer website, but here's a shortlist of other highlights:
- More than 37 new emoji from the recent Unicode Standard v14 update
- 120hz refresh rate fix for iPhone 13 Pro users
- Enhanced audio support for AirPods and other Bluetooth devices while receiving calls
- A new Apple Card widget which can be added to the Home screen
- The ability to add notes to iCloud keychain records
- Wallet enhancements allowing easier access to card balances and vaccine records
While a new iOS update packing new features can generate some excitement, users should still exercise caution when installing any beta releases. While the public betas typically undergo extensive testing before release, there is no guarantee of a bug-free experience.
Before opting into the beta, backup your device for any critical data. Needless to be said, users who rely on devices for work or emergency communication are better off waiting for a final production release.