Everything new in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4

Earlier today, Apple seeded the first betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to developers. Unlike the previous update, this one actually has some new features mixed in. Which means it’s time to take a quick look at what’s new in the upcoming software update.

First, it’s worth noting that this is just how things look right now. With the first developer beta. As Apple has shown in the past, nothing is set in stone with the prerelease software. It’s possible that any and all of the new features added here in this beta might not make the cut for the next, and they might not make it into the final release.

Still, it’s good to see Apple adding some new elements to the upcoming iOS update, so let’s take a look at what’s new.

What’s new in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4

  • Face ID with a mask: As was discovered soon after the beta’s release, Apple is tweaking the process to unlock an iPhone or iPad equipped with Face ID while wearing a mask. The company’s previous option, and one that’s still available, is to unlock your iPhone with Face ID by authenticating via an Apple Watch. However, with this new option Face ID will actually authenticate by taking note of unique features around the eye area to unlock a device. No Apple Watch required.
  • Universal Control: As mentioned above, some features get added and then removed in beta seeds. Universal Control is one such feature. It has cropped up in previous release betas, but we’re still waiting for the final version of the feature. And we might actually be nearing that result. With the latest betas of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, developers (and soon, public beta testers) can finally try out the feature that lets users use a single mouse/trackpad and keyboard with multiple devices, moving from an iPad to a Mac, and back and forth, pretty seamlessly.
  • Emoji: Apple has made it a thing to update the emoji available across its devices with spring updates, and this one’s no different. Apple is adding quite a few new emoji to the mix, with 37 in total, along with more than 70 new skin tone additions. There are more than 100 new additions, all told. That includes a brand new melting face, a face with a hand over the mouth, and others.
  • Keyboard brightness: This one’s meant for iPadOS 15.4. With it, users will be able to use a brand new option in Control Center to quickly and easily adjust the brightness of an eligible keyboard paired with the iPad.
  • Apple Card widget: There is a brand new widget getting added to the mix with iOS 15.4, and it’s designed for the Apple Card. With this widget in place, Apple Card customers will be able to not only see their spending activity, but also their total balance.
  • Notes in iCloud Keychain: With this feature, users will be able to attach notes to any password store in iCloud Keychain.

There’s a bit more to the list, but these are the primary new additions. But if you know of any other noteworthy new features added in iOS 15.4 or iPadOS 15.4, let us know!