Sam’s take: Another major-sounding iOS update, another suspiciously empty changelog from Apple. It seems like there might be something else that could be enabled post-launch, like that new Apple Music app or even Tap to Pay. In the meantime, the update is pretty small with only some minor Wallet changes.
Battery may drain more quickly than expected after updating to iOS 15.4
Braille devices may become unresponsive while navigating text or displaying an alert
Made for iPhone hearing devices may lose connection within some third-party apps
Sam’s take: I wasn’t affected by any of these issues, but I am surprised that Apple specifically called out battery drain here. This is usually something users complain about and that Apple does address…but rarely publicly. Probably a good idea to update if you think you were affected by any of these bugs.
Users in Arizona can now add their Driver’s License or State ID to Apple Wallet…but there’s a catch: you can only use it at TSA security checkpoints in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as of right now
Many states are to follow: Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio and the territory of Puerto Rico along with Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah
Sam’s take: I’m incredibly excited for this to roll out nationwide, but is anyone else confused as to why this is so limited in its current state? Listen, I just flew over the weekend, and it would’ve been incredible to use this instead of my physical card. But I had assumed that digital ID integration meant this would work in most or all case scenarios where you’d need to present your ID. Not only at TSA in an airport… I have no doubt it’ll expand to more interactions in the future, but right now most folks won’t ever be able to use this.
EU Digital COVID Certificate support in Health enables you to download and store verifiable versions of COVID-19 vaccination, lab results, and recovery records
COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet now support the EU Digital COVID Certificate format
Safari webpage translation adds support for Italian and Chinese (Traditional)
Podcasts app adds episode filters for seasons, played, unplayed, saved, or downloaded episodes
iCloud custom email domains can be managed from Settings
News offers enhanced discovery of audio content in the Today feed and Audio tab
Camera in keyboard can be used to add text to Notes and Reminders
Shortcuts now supports adding, removing, or querying tags with Reminders
Emergency SOS settings have changed to use Call with Hold for all users. Call with 5 Presses is still available as an option in Emergency SOS settings
Close-up in Magnifier uses the ultra-wide camera on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max to help you see small objects
Saved passwords can now include your own notes in Settings
And the bug fixes…
Keyboard may insert period between typed numbers
News widgets in Today View may not open articles when tapped
Photos and videos may not sync to iCloud Photo Library
Speak Screen Accessibility feature may quit unexpectedly within the Books app
Live Listen may not turn off when switched off in Control Center
Sam’s take: This is unequivocally the most impactful update since iOS 15 released last September. The new Face ID unlock while wearing a mask is game changing…although ironically late as mask mandates are relaxing in many places around the world. But the new emoji are fun as ever and Siri has a slick new gender-neutral voice.
Powering the experience initially will be payment processors Stripe or Shopify Point of Sale
Tap to Pay on iPhone will be available on iPhone XS or later
Our take:Great scoop from Mark Gurman on this a few weeks ago. As I said before, this is game-changing. Anyone with a recent iPhone will now be able to, overnight, accept payments from essentially anyone privately and securely. I love the future present.
Our take: Anyone else find it strange that Apple dedicated what is usually a major 15.x release to primarily fixing one thing? Perhaps other features that were planned got pushed back for Apple to rush this out the door? Regardless of the reason (which we’ll probably never know), you should update your devices as soon as you can.
The news: Apple’s first software update of 2022, iOS 15.2.1, is now rolling out to compatible devices.
What’s new, according to Apple’s release notes… (via 9to5Mac)
Messages may not load photos sent using an iCloud Link
Third-party CarPlay apps may not respond to input
Our take: Looks like a pair of minor fixes here, but I really hope there are some stability improvements as well. iOS 15.2 has been stable but unpredictable in apps like Messages, where I’ll have to force quit somewhat often to read or send a text. Perhaps the aforementioned iCloud photos bug was playing a role?