iOS 15.4: the iPhone update is coming soon. Here’s what to expect

The latest iOS update will be here very soon.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple’s latest iOS will soon be available for download on your iPhone: the tech giant announced during its Peek Performance Event that iOS 15.4 will arrive next week. (iOS 15.4 will be preloaded on the Green iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Proas good as latest iPhone SE.) The operating system saw five betas, which introduced AirTag anti-harassment alerts, a Gender-neutral voice option for Siri, new emoji, updates to Face ID and the long-awaited Universal Control. The beta version of iOS 15.4 has since been rolled out to the public, and the final version of iOS will be free for compatible iPhones when available.

As the name suggests, iOS 15.4 is the fourth major update of iOS 15launched with the iPhone 13 in September. These updates, which began with December iOS version 15.1, added more features to Apple’s iPhone operating system and improved existing ones. iOS 15.4 will follow iOS 15.3.1, which was released last month to fix a security flaw in iPhones and iPads.

As with every beta version of the operating system, we recommend download only on a test device, rather than your primary iPhone. Beta builds are for stability and bug testing, which means they’re not optimized like release builds – you’ll likely experience shorter battery life and app instability.

What is the release date of iOS 15.4?

Apple hasn’t announced an exact release date for iOS 15.4, but the company said the update will be available as a free update next week. The new iPhone 13 Green, iPhone 13 Pro Alpine Green, and new iPhone SE will ship with iOS 15.4 preloaded, according to Apple.

How to Download iOS 15.4 Beta?

You must first enroll in Apple’s beta software program. Once you are in the program, download the configuration profile from Apple. Then you should be able to find the latest beta version by going to Settings > General > Software update and selection Download and install. Again, we only recommend this for secondary devices and testers due to the buggy nature of beta testing.

What is Universal Control?

Universal Control lets you use other devices as second screens, moving content seamlessly between them using a single device. This highly anticipated feature was originally announced as part of macOS Monterey, but was delayed over the fall, with a new timeline pointing to “this spring”. Universal Control appeared in the iOS 15.4 beta and will launch as a public beta alongside the Monterey OS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4 updates.

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Can I use Face ID with masks?

Apple is updating its Face ID feature to be usable while wearing a mask. Since the feature uses a smaller part of your face to verify your identity, you’ll need to be more specific about the angle you’re holding your phone at when using Face ID. Your phone will even ask you if it needs you to look more directly at the screen. The updated feature should work for people who wear glasses, but it won’t work with sunglasses.

What new emoji are coming?

If you’re the type of person who prides themselves on using creative and fun emoji, you’ll love iOS 15.4. There are 37 new emojis in the update, including new options for pregnant women, heart-shaped hands, a salute, and — my favorite — a lip-biting emoji. These were revealed last fall and also include a melting face, tear-holding face, bird’s nest, coral, lotus, low battery, and red beans.

Another feature included in the update is the ability to copy text from objects using the camera in the Notes or Reminders apps. And, as ZDNet spotted, the iOS 15.4 beta also fixes a bug related to Siri interaction recordings.

For more information about Apple, read how Apple would let your iPhone be a payment terminal and how Apple would prepare a wide range of new products for this fall. Also, here how the iPhone SE 2022 compares to the 2020 versionand should you buy an older iPhone SE now?

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