Following weeks of beta seeds, Apple has finally released the next update for iOS and iPadOS, bringing the public version to 13.4.

iOS/iPadOS 13.4: hands-on video walkthrough

While it might not be a major version number update, there is still quite a bit to go through as far as the new software is concerned. There are a few forward facing features for the general user, as well as plenty of behind the scenes tweaks and improvements to help boost the overall performance and usability of the mobile operating system. As is par for the course, the new software is free to download and install.

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Installation

iOS 13.4 is a sizable download, so make sure you’ve got some time before you start the installation process to make sure you won’t get interrupted. And make sure to be connected to WiFi as well. If you have Automatic Updates turned on, your supported iOS device will download and install the new software automatically once it is plugged into the charger.

However, if you have that feature switched off, you’ll be able to manually download and install the new software on your own, at your own time. Just follow these steps:

  • Open Settings
  • Select General
  • Choose Software Update

Once you’ve chosen Software Update, you’ll be tasked with following the onscreen instructions to finish. Your device will restart along the way, and you’ll need to enter your PIN code to finalize the installation.

The process is the same to download and install iPadOS 13.4 on supported iPad models.

New features at a glance

While there aren’t a whole list of new features bundled with iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4, there are some noteworthy new additions. You can find our tutorial on how to use all of these new features right here. But here’s a brief rundown of what to expect once you get iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 installed on your devices.

  • Nine new Memoji stickers: Apple is throwing in nine new Memoji stickers for users to choose from. That includes a person sitting behind a MacBook, a person holding up their arms in an “X” in front of their body, a face showing love, another face showing shock and awe, a character blowing smoke out of their nose, and a character rolling their eyes. There are three others as well.
  • iCloud Drive folder sharing: Apple teased this feature when it first unveiled iOS 13, but it’s only arrived now with the public launch of iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4. With iCloud Drive folder sharing, users will be able to quickly choose who can see the folder, manage permissions, and more. The feature is available in iOS and macOS.
  • Tweaks to the Mail app’s toolbar: Apple tweaked the stock Mail app’s toolbar a couple of times during the beta testing of iOS 13.4. The last change came back in February. The change is in the compose option, which is now in the far right of the toolbar. The first developer beta of iOS 13.4 put the reply option there, but now in the second the reply option is next to the compose function. The delete icon is still present on the far left, and the option to move the message to a folder is just to the right of that.
  • “Hey Siri” support when the phone’s face down: Before the launch of iOS 13.4, saying the command “Hey Siri” when your phone was face down would result in nothing happening. But the new software changes that. “Hey Siri” is officially supported, and will let the digital assistant start listening for your command or query, even when the phone is face down or covered.
  • You can ask Siri to take you to the Home screen: Another new addition for Siri is the ability to ask the digital assistant to take you directly back to the Home screen.
  • Internet OS recovery: With this feature, Apple is making it possible for select devices to get a firmware recovery without a direct physical connection. With the internet OS recovery feature, device owners will be able to use a WiFi connection to reset their device and/or update if necessary. They will no longer be required to connect their device to a computer via a cable.

Here’s how trackpad and cursor support work on the iPad.

For a deeper look at the updates, check out the official release notes included ahead.

iOS and iPadOS 13.4 release notes

iOS and iPadOS 13.4 introduce support for mouse and trackpad with iPad for greater precision and navigating the system with Multi-Touch gestures, and add iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app and new Memoji stickers. The updates also contain bug fixes and improvements.

Mouse and trackpad support on iPad

  • All-new cursor design highlights app icons on the Home Screen and Dock and buttons and controls in apps
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad support on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later) and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation or later)
  • Magic Mouse, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad, Magic Trackpad 2, as well as third-party Bluetooth and USB mouse support
  • Multi-Touch gestures on Magic Keyboard for iPad and Magic Trackpad 2 enable you to scroll, swipe between app spaces, go Home, access App Switcher, zoom in or out, tap to click, secondary click (right-click) and swipe between pages
  • Multi-Touch gestures on Magic Mouse 2 enable you to scroll, secondary click (right-click) and swipe between pages

CarPlay

  • Third-party navigation app support for the CarPlay Dahboard
  • In-call information appears on the CarPlay Dashboard

Files

  • iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app
  • Controls to limit access only to people you explicitly invite or grant access to anyone with the folder link
  • Permissions to choose who can make changes and upload files and who can only view and download files

Memoji

  • Nine new Memoji stickers, including Smiling Face with Hearts, Hands Pressed Together and Party Face

Mail

  • Always-visible controls to delete, move, reply to or compose a message in conversation view
  • Responses to encrypted emails are automatically encrypted when you have configured S/MIME

App Store with Apple Arcade

  • Universal Purchase support enables the use of a singular purchase of a participating app across iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
  • Recently played Arcade games appear in the Arcade tab so you can continue playing on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
  • List view for See All Games

Augmented reality

  • AR Quick Look supports audio playback in USDZ files

Keyboard

  • Live Conversion for Zhuyin on iPad automatically transforms Zhuyin into the correct characters without pressing the space bar to convert text or select candidates
  • Live Conversion for Japanese on iPad automatically transforms Hiragana into the correct characters without pressing the space bar to convert text or select candidates
  • Predictive typing support for Arabic
  • Swiss German keyboard layout supported on iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • On-screen keyboard layout for iPad Pro 12.9-inch now matches Smart Keyboard

Bug fixes

  • Adds status bar indicator to display when VPN has disconnected on iPhone models with all-screen displays
  • Fixes an issue in Camera where the viewfinder may appear as a black screen after launch
  • Addresses an issue where Photos may appear to use excess storage
  • Resolves an issue in Photos that may prevent sharing an image to Messages if iMessage is disabled
  • Fixes an issue in Mail where messages may appear out of order
  • Addresses an issue in Mail where the conversation list may display empty rows
  • Resolves an issue where Mail may crash when tapping the Share button in Quick Look
  • Fixes an issue in Settings where cellular data may incorrectly display as off
  • Addresses an issue in Safari where webpages may not be inverted when both Dark Mode and Smart Invert are active
  • Resolves an issue where text copied from web content in a third-party app may appear invisible when pasted if Dark Mode is active
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Addresses an issue where Reminders may not issue new notifications for an overdue recurring reminder until it is marked as completed
  • Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue where iCloud Drive appears to be available in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote even when not signed in
  • Addresses an issue in Apple Music where music videos may not stream in high quality
  • Resolves an issue where CarPlay may lose its connection in certain vehicles
  • Fixes an issue in CarPlay where the view in Maps may move away briefly from the current area
  • Addresses an issue in the Home app where tapping an activity notification from a security camera may open a different recording
  • Resolves an issue where Shortcuts may not appear when tapping on the Share menu from a screenshot
  • Improves the Burmese keyboard so punctuation symbols are now accessible from numbers and symbols

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, visit Apple’s website.

HomePod software 13.4

Apple also released the new 13.4 software version for its smart speaker, the HomePod. With the new software, Apple says the speaker gained “general improvements for stability and quality”. There aren’t any additional tweaks or new additions in this software update.

Tidbits

There are additional features coming along with iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4, including Family Sharing for the Apple TV app, richer details for purchases made with an Apple Card, full keyboard access with iPadOS 13.4, and more. The release of iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 also makes it possible for developers to bundle the purchase of an app on iOS and macOS.

iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 is available to download and install now.