Apple distributes iOS 15.4 beta to developers: It contains
Apple recently distributed the first beta of iOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes. There are a lot of new features and improvements in the big update. These include the use of Face ID with a respirator, new emojis and an Apple Card widget that gives users a clear list of their expenses.
As Macrumors reports, iPhone and iPad users can look forward to many new features in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. Let's take a closer look at what these are exactly. However, the features mentioned here are not a complete list of all new features. It is quite possible that some features in the beta have not yet been discovered at this point.
Using Face ID with a respirator
In iOS 15.4, Apple integrates the option to unlock the iPhone using Face ID even when wearing a respirator. However, the company points out that this option is not as secure as the regular Face ID procedure.
With the new option, the iPhone mainly compares parts around the user's eyes for unlocking. The new method also works for people who wear glasses, but it doesn't work when they're wearing sunglasses. Furthermore, authentication via Face ID with mask will only be available for iPhone 12 and newer models.
Universal Control is a new feature that allows users to control an iPad or Mac with the cursor of another device that is signed in with an iCloud account. In the future, you will also be able to control your iPad using the touchpad on your MacBook.
Another requirement for use is macOS Monterey 12.3 on your Mac model. Universal Control is automatically activated from iPadOS 15.4, but can be switched off if desired.
As usual for the spring updates of iOS, there are a lot of new emojis again this time. iOS 15.4 will support Emoji 14 and the beta already includes 37 new emojis and 75 skin variations for already available emojis.
New features include a melting face, a saluting smiley, a troll and an X-ray.
Disable notifications for automations
If you create an automation for your iPhone or iPad using the shortcuts app, you can decide in future whether you want to be notified when an automation is started. Previously, users always received a notification when an automated process was started.
Apple Card widget
If you want to have a better overview of your expenses with the Apple Card, you will be able to create a widget in iOS 15.4 that shows the current account balance and daily expenses, broken down by category.
Keyboard backlight adjustment
If you use a backlit keyboard on the iPad, you can adjust the brightness of the lighting from iOS 15.4 via the control center. Of course, the feature also works with Apple's Magic Keyboard, but it must first be activated in "Settings > Control Center" using the "+" button.
120Hz animations in 3rd party apps on iPhone 13 Pro
If you own an iPhone 13 Pro, you may have noticed that animations in third-party apps do not run quite as smoothly as in Apple apps. This is due to a bug that blocks the display of animations at 120 Hertz. This bug should finally be fixed in iOS 15.4.
"Cosmetic Scan" to determine the trade-in value of an iPhone
Twitter user @SteveMoser also discovered lines of code in the iOS 15.4 beta code that describe a feature called "Cosmetic Scan". This feature could help a special tool check iPhones for scratches and damage, giving a more accurate price for a trade-in. How the whole thing is supposed to work exactly is not clear from the code in the beta.
New diagnostic 'Cosmetic Scan'. pic.twitter.com/LbFVLxKgTo
— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) January 27, 2022
New gestures for Notes app in iPadOS
Users who frequently take notes on the iPad can look forward to new gestures for the Notes app in iOS 15.4. In the iPadOS beta, different functions can be set for left and right corner swipes. This includes opening a quick note and taking a screenshot.
More features from the iOS 15.4 beta
- In the TV app, users can now decide whether they would rather see the official movie/series poster or stills from the movie or series in the selection
- iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 now also support PS5 Dualsense controller adaptive triggers
- COVID-19 vaccinations can be transferred via QR codes in the Health and Wallet apps
- SharePlay is now available directly in the share dialog for supported apps
- iCloud+ users can use their own email domain for iCloud Mail. Your own domain can be entered under "Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud -> Mail -> Own e-mail domain".
- Notes on passwords can be stored in the iCloud keychain