Apple releases iOS 15.4 update: this is what’s new

The news: Apple just dropped the biggest update to iOS 15 yet with a plethora of new features and changes.

New features…

  • Face ID while wearing a mask option on iPhone 12 and newer
  • Apple Pay and password autofill in apps and Safari can be used with Face ID while wearing a mask
  • New emoji including faces, hand gestures, and household objects are now available in emoji keyboard
  • Handshake emoji allows you to choose separate skin tones for each hand
  • SharePlay sessions can be initiated directly from supported apps
  • Siri can provide time and date information while offline on iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 or newer
  • Siri now includes an additional voice, expanding the diversity of options
  • 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

General enhancements…

  • 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.

What’s new in iOS 15 beta 6? Old Safari design returns & SharePlay delayed

The news: Apple released iOS 15 beta 6 at 10am PST on Tuesday morning as an official launch nears…this time, including some substantial changes in Safari and elsewhere.

  • TL;DR: Safari brings back the old design (as an option) and SharePlay in FaceTime has been delayed

What’s new?

  • Safari now gives you the traditional top bar option in addition to a revamped bottom bar variation; there are also various UI tweaks including a relocated download indicator and more
  • FaceTime’s SharePlay feature for sharing content over calls has been delayed until a future update to iOS 15 coming this Fall

What’s new in iOS 15 beta 4? More Safari tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack support & more

The news: Following the private and public beta release of iOS 15 beta 4, these are the changes you should know about.

  • TL;DR: Safari continues to get better, the new MagSafe battery is now properly supported, and there’s more granular options you can configure across the OS

What’s new?

  • Continued tweaks to Safari on iOS including a reload and share button in the search bar, and tapping the display will minimize or expand the bar
  • iPadOS’ Safari now looks very close to macOS Monterey and gives you the ability to select your tab bar style
  • Ability to share/not share Focus Status on a contact-by-contact basis
  • New Notifications icon in Settings and ability to show or hide notifications while screen sharing
  • Shortcuts gains “Return to Home Screen” action
  • New camera icon on the Lock Screen removes the shutter switch