What’s new in iOS 15.4 beta 1? Mask ID, new emoji & more

The news: Apple just released the first beta of iOS 15.4 to developers…and it’s already a bigger update than all of iOS 15.3 that released earlier this week.

What’s new?

  • Face ID now works with masks and different glasses…even if you don’t own an Apple Watch
  • New emoji including melting face, low battery and interracial handshakes (via Emojipedia)
  • iOS 15.4 also introduces a new keyboard brightness option in Control Center (via MacRumors)
  • New Apple Card balance widget
  • iCloud Keychain now supports notes for logins
  • PS5 controllers now have adaptive trigger support
  • EU users can add their digital COVID-19 vaccination to the wallet app (via MacRumors)

What’s new in iOS 14.5 beta 2? New emojis, Music app upgrades & more

The news: Apple released the second beta of the major iOS 14.5 update on Tuesday morning at 10am PST.

  • The latest beta 2 update weighs in at 677.5MB on iPhone 12
  • Beta 1 included ‘Mask ID,’ dual-SIM support for 5G, default music app selection and so much more

What’s new?

  • iPhone 12 ‘green tint’ issues appears to have finally be addressed
  • 217 new emoji: clouded smiley, heart on fire and exhaling smiley headline the update (via Emojipedia)
  • Music app upgrades include new pop-over menus and swipe-options
  • Checkmark removed from iOS and watchOS Software Update presence panel
  • On iPadOS when using a Smart Folio, the microphone is now muted when the product is closed (via MacRumors)

New emojis approved for 2021, likely coming with iOS 15

The news: 217 new emojis for release in 2021 have just been approved, according to Emojipedia.

  • There are a few new emojis making headlines:
    • Face exhaling
    • Face with spiral eyes
    • Face in clouds
    • Mending heart
    • Heart on fire
Courtesy of Emojipedia
  • There are also more options for bearded people, and a number of new emoji skin tone combinations in the context of relationships
  • Due to delays caused by COVID-19, the 2021 emoji update will be smaller than in years passed

Our take: This is the smallest year-over-year emoji update that I ever remember seeing. Still, the addition of new breathing, swirly eyes and in the clouds emojis certainly reflect life in the past year.

iOS 14 emoji first look

The news: Apple is planning to add new pinched fingers, boomerang, bubble tea and more emoji in an update to iOS 14 later this year, according to Emojipedia.

  • Dodo, Nesting Dolls, Piñata, Tamale, Pinched Fingers, Boomerang, Ninja, Coin, Anatomical Heart, Beaver, Transgender Symbol, Bubble Tea, Lungs and more are on the way
  • They will likely be added in iOS 14.1 or 14.2

Our take: The dodo and nesting dolls are my favorite, but the coin is probably most practical. Plus, pinched fingers are going to be a ton of fun.