iOS 15.4 is now available, with many tweaks and improvements to discover
We now live in an iOS 15.4 world. Apple has released an update for youriOS 15Software after a beta process that began in late January. This means that current iPhones can install iOS 15.4, which also comes pre-installed on the iPhone.iPhone SE (2022)yiPhone 13 y iPhone 13 Pro verdesModels arriving in stores this Friday.
Last fall, iOS 15 already introduced a number of features, but subsequent updates added more features. We have already seen iOS 15 updates releasedSharePlayto watch videos and listen to music with people on FaceTime calls and a newPrivacy report for all appsinstalled on your iPhone.
Since the first beta, iOS 15.4 indicated that it would be a notable update to iOS 15. While there isn't a single feature as important as SharePlay or a flashy MIA feature like the App Privacy Report that is finally here, iOS 15.4 introduces A number of tweaks and fixes. And one is particularly welcome by mask-wearing iPhone users who haven't been able to unlock their phones with Face ID since the coronavirus pandemic began. It also allows states to start rolling out digital IDs to store your driver's license or state ID card in the wallet app.
Here's a look at some of the coolest additions iOS 15.4 has to offer, along with instructions on how to get the software on your iPhone right away. And if you fancy a glimpse into the future, here's what we know about the upcoming update.iOS 15.5, and its functions asThird-party app payments.
To update:iOS 15.4 includes important fixes for 39 different security vulnerabilities(opens in a new tab). make sureGet the iOS 15.4.1. update soon.
iOS 15.4 release date
iOS 15.4 debuted on March 14. The software update arrived a few days before the March 18 launch.iPhone SE (2022)as well as a new color option for theiPhone 13yiphone 13 pro. All three phones include iOS 15.4.
But if you have a compatible iPhone, you can now experience iOS 15.4. To get the wireless update, just go to the Settings app and tap on General. Choose Software Updates and iOS 15.4 will be waiting for you there. From there, you can simply follow the onscreen instructions to download and install iOS 15.4.
As always, we recommendMake a backup of your iPhonebefore installing a software update. You should probably make sure that your iPhone is connected during the update process.
If you can run iOS 15 on your current iPhone, you can use the iOS 15.4 update. That means any device, including iPhone 6s or later, as well as the latest generation iPod touch. An update to iPadOS 15.4 with many of these same features, plus the introduction ofuniversal controls- comes at the same time.
The most important features of iOS 15.4
Using Face ID with a mask
We first covered this when the initial developer beta of iOS 15.4 arrived because it's great news: now you canEnable a Face ID setting that allows Apple's unlock technology to recognize your face even when you're wearing a mask. Enabling this feature means you give up some level of security, but it also saves you the hassle of having to enter your password every time you need to unlock your phone.
To get the feature working, go to Face ID & Passcode, where there is now a toggle to use Face ID with the mask on. Turn it on and you will be prompted to scan your face again. With everything set up, Face ID should unlock every time you look at the phone, even if you're wearing a mask.
The feature only works with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models. I have the setup on the iPhone 13 running iOS 15.4 Beta, but mineiPhone 11 PromaxRunning the same beta does not include the "Use with face mask" setting.
An update to iOS 15.4 beta further refined the Face ID feature by adding a prompt to look at the phone when wearing a mask to better identify you.
A new voice for Siri
Last yearsiOS 14.5-Updateintroduced a notable change for Siri: the iPhone's digital assistant no longer defaults to a female voice. Instead, you have to choose the voice for Siri, and Apple has added more options with the inclusion in mind.
With iOS 15.4, Apple is adding a fifth Siri language option for US users, and media reports say it will be more gender-neutral. You can see the new voice by going to Siri & Search in Settings and selecting Siri Voice; the new addition is Voice 5.
Live text integration with notes and reminders
If you've used iOS 15, you're probably already aware of theLive text feature that allows your phone's camera to capture textand paste into other applications. You could already use Live Text with notes and reminders, but iOS 15.4 improves the integration of this text scanning feature.
Notably, there is now a command to scan text in the popup menu that appears in both apps. Select this and a camera window will appear allowing you to capture text from a book, note, or photo. This text will instantly appear in your note or reminder, and you can tap Insert when you've entered all the text you want.
New Apple Pay and Tap to Pay authentication screen
One of my favorite annoyances with my iPhone is when I take the device out of my pocket and realize I accidentally opened Apple Pay by double-clicking the side button twice. As a result, instead of looking at my lock screen, I'm looking at all the credit and debit cards I have stored on my phone. It's very disturbing.
I don't know if other people have the same problem with their iPhone, but Apple adds a small layer of security. Now, when you double-click the side button, you'll see an authentication screen that requires Face ID or password verification before showing your credit cards and ID. And yes, if you've set up your iPhone to work with Face ID with face masks, you can bypass the authentication screen just as easily.
That's not the only change coming to Apple's digital wallet with iOS 15.4. The new version of Apple software is introducedtap to payThis allows anyone with an iPhone to accept contactless payments directly on their device. The change is seen as a way for small business owners to accept mobile payments without requiring hardware other than an iPhone.
Many new emojis in iOS 15.4
It's not an iOS update until there are new emojis to add to your texts, tweets, and emails, and iOS 15.4 obliges with more than three dozen new options.
The 37 emojis include melting face, heart hands, and disco ball. There is an emoji for a pregnant person and another that shows a pregnant man. You'll also find lip biting, beans, a troll, and a glass symbol. All of the emoji coming to iOS 15.4 were approved by the Unicode Consortium last September.
New camera options in the Magnifier app
I set the side button on my iPhone to launch the Magnifier app, as it can help me magnify hard-to-read text and fine print on labels. Now it seems that I can switch between the different cameras on my iPhone thanks to the new camera modes added in iOS 15.4.
You'll have to dig into the Magnifier app's settings, but you can add a camera control to the app to switch lenses. The supported cameras depend on the phone you have. For example, on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, I can now toggle between Auto, Telephoto, Macro, and Selfie options. The dual-camera iPhone 13 only offers a wide selection and selfie.
While this feature was quite prominent in the early versions of iOS 15.4 beta, it seems to have disappeared in the current version, which I'm using on multiple phones. Throughout the beta process, Apple had been optimizing camera switch searches for the Magnifier app, so we'll see if this addition makes it to the final cut.
Notes on Keychain Passwords
You can store passwords on your iPhone and save them to your keychain for easy login. This isn't new in iOS 15.4, but a note field is. Go to the Passwords section of the Settings app and you can enter notes about important passwords.
Why do this? Because these notes can also be searched in the Passwords section. And sometimes it's easier to type the name you're using the password for, and then remember the name of the app or website you're trying to log into.
AirTag anti-harassment improvements
Apple's first wave of updates to AirTag and the associated Find My app functionality have arrived in this update. You now get a new popup when you set up an AirTag, warning you that tracking someone without their consent is a crime and that victims and law enforcement can find your information through the tag if they discover it.
Also, you can no longer turn off all alerts for unexpected AirTags in your area, and other Find My items are now correctly identified in those alerts, instead of receiving a useless blanket alert.
This won't be the end of Apple's commitment to AirTag changescontain a number of anti-stalking functionsthe whole year 2022.
Digital IDs are here
One of the iOS 15 features that Apple touted when it released the software last year was the upcoming ability to store driver's licenses and ID cards digitally in the Wallet app. The iOS 15.4 beta included hints that the feature would be enabled by code in the software update.
Primavera,Arizona was the first state to offer digital ID support for the wallet appon March 23, and Apple says other states will follow soon. Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi and Ohio are also on the way, as is Puerto Rico. Apple has also said that Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah are also offering support.
To add your driver's license or ID card, you need to tap the plus sign on the main page of the wallet app and follow the on-screen instructions. (That is, assuming your state supports the feature.)
SOS emergency message
If iOS 15.4 beta is any indication, when you install the updated software, you'll immediately notice that it prompts you to review your Emergency SOS settings. This is the iOS feature that can call emergency contacts when you press one of the iPhone's volume buttons and the side button at the same time.
Tap on the SOS Emergency notice and you'll see who your current contacts are, with the ability to edit them. You can also configure how the Emergency SOS function is activated.
Other additions and improvements for iOS 15.4
There are a few other notable changes in iOS 15.4, though they are essentially minor changes.
- iOS 15.4 includes security updates, with fixes for 39 different bugs.
- In the Up Next section of the TV app, you can now choose between still images and banners to list the shows in your queue. (This adjustment is made in the Settings app for TV.)
- There is now a SharePlay option in the share sheet for albums and songs in Apple Music.
- With an Apple Card widget, you can now see your balance, purchasing power, and spending if you have an Apple credit card.
- You can run personal shortcut automations in the background without banner notifications if you want.
- The App Store has a new notifications panel that allows you to manage notifications of new features and updates, as well as recommendations and offers.
- Podcasts adds new filter options that let you sort your subscribed podcasts by unplayed and downloaded episodes.
iOS 15.4 battery drain complaints
Some Apple users who have upgraded complain about itiOS 15.4 causes iPhone battery to drainon your devices. Nevertheless,Apple has responded to complaints about iOS 15.4 battery drain(opens in a new tab)saying that "it's normal for your apps and features to need tweaking for up to 48 hours after an update." For what it's worth, I've been running iOS 15.4 on an iPhone 11 Pro Max since the beta and haven't had any battery drain issues.
So if you notice reduced battery life on your iPhone after updating to iOS 15.4, we wouldn't worry too much about it unless the problem persists after a few days. In this case, contact Apple support.
In any case,an update to iOS 15.4.1 is now available, and foremost among the fixes and tweaks is the promise that the software patch will fix iPhone battery drain issues.
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Philip Michaels is the managing editor of Tom's Guide. He has been reporting on personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs first demonstrated the iPhone. He's been evaluating smartphones since the first iPhone debuted in 2007, and has been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions on Apple, the Oakland A's, old movies, and proper killing techniques. . Follow him @PhilipMichaels.
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What new features does iOS 15.4 have? ›
Apple's iOS 15.4 has a slew of new features for your iPhone. This includes new emoji, the long-awaited Universal Control, bolstered privacy measures and Face ID that works while you're wearing a mask. (All these features are also available for iPad via iPadOS 15.4.) Apple has also since released iOS 15.4.Is iOS 15.4 worth installing? ›
So, should you install iOS 15.4? Yes. If nothing else, you're getting three dozen security fixes, which is a lot. You also get new features (and new emojis -- and who doesn't want more emojis?).Is the iOS 15.4 update available? ›
iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 is available for all iPhones and iPads running iOS 15. To install it on your device, head over to the Settings app, then General > Software Update and Download and Install.What is the difference between iOS 15.4 and 15.4 1? ›
1 fixes battery issues. iOS 15.4 brings new emoji, unlock iPhone with mask, and battery drain issue (fixed in 15.4.Should you update your iPhone to iOS 15? ›
You should stay using iOS 15 if: Restrictions on your device from a third-party prevent you from updating. You are concerned about an app or accessory not yet being supported in iOS 16. You are concerned about bugs and prefer to remain using an older OS that has had over a year of bug fixes.How long does the iOS 15.4 update take on a new phone? ›
This takes around 10-40 minutes depending on how much content you need to back up and sync. Make sure everything is backed up to iCloud or your PC/Mac by using iTunes or Finder respectively.How long does the iOS 15.4 software update take? ›
For more extensive updates, like iOS updates, installing the update could take 15-20 minutes or more. And, of course, some updates might require you to restart your computer or device after installation is complete.Do I need to update my iPhone? ›
Upgrading to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS software provides the latest features, security updates, and bug fixes. Not all features are available on all devices or in all countries and regions.Why can't I get the iOS 15.4 update? ›
Your device doesn't support the latest software. There isn't enough available storage space on your device. The update takes a long time to download. Your device isn't able to reach the update server.What are the benefits of upgrading to iOS 15? ›
iOS 15 introduces new features for FaceTime calls, tools to reduce distractions, a new notifications experience, added privacy features, complete redesigns for Safari, Weather, and Maps, and more. Notifications have been redesigned in iOS 15, adding contact photos for people and larger icons for apps.
What happens if you install iOS 15? ›
The update doesn't bring any major changes, but it does come with bug fixes and security enhancements, and users running iOS 15 now have the option to install iOS 15.7 or iOS 16. This is not the first time Apple has offered the option to let users stay on an older version of iOS.Does iOS 15 slow down older iphones? ›
Even with older devices such as the first-generation iPhone SE, iOS 15 can be safely installed. Safari gets faster and the overall performance is not slowed down by the latest system.Is iOS 15.4 a large update? ›
1 users, the iOS 15.4 download is pretty big. The download is 1.25 GB for iPhone 12 Pro users moving up from the previous version of iOS 15. You can expect a similar size for other iPhone models.Why is my phone taking so long to update iOS 15? ›
Why is my iOS update taking so long? There are many reasons as to why iOS update taking so long such as unstable internet connection, a corrupt or incomplete software download, or any other software-related issue. And the time it takes to download and install the update also depends on the size of the update. 2.How long should preparing update take iOS 15? ›
When you want to download and install an update on your iPhone, one of the stages it goes through is preparation for the update. This update process preparation should just take a few minutes to complete.How long can you go without updating your iPhone? ›
Apple supports iPhones for around seven years before they stop receiving major iOS updates.How long should iPhone update take? ›
Generally, update your iPhone/iPad to a new iOS version is need about 30 minutes, the specific time is according to your internet speed and device storage. The sheet below shows the time it takes to update to the new iOS version.How do I stop iOS 15 update in progress? ›
If your iOS update is in progress and you want to stop it, here's what to do:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap iPhone Storage.
- Find the iOS update file and tap it.
- Tap Delete Update.
- In the confirmation pop-up, tap Delete Update again.
As a rule of thumb, your iPhone and your main apps should still work fine, even if you don't do the update. If you do find your apps slowing, though, try upgrading to the latest version of iOS to see if that sorts the problem. Conversely, updating your iPhone to the latest iOS could cause your apps to stop working.Do I lose everything if I update iOS? ›
Though Apple's iOS updates are not suppose to delete any user information from the device, exceptions arise. To bypass this threat of losing information, and to quell any anxiety that may accompany that fear, back up your iPhone before doing an update.
Do you really need to update your phone? ›
Phone software updates are essential for numerous reasons. They improve the phone's functionality and make it much more efficient. Updated phones do not usually experience compatibility issues with the latest software either, so you can download or use the latest versions of any application you like with ease.Why is my phone not updating? ›
If your Android device won't update, it might have to do with your Wi-Fi connection, battery, storage space, or the age of your device. Android mobile devices usually update automatically, but updates can be delayed or prevented for various reasons.How do I get rid of iOS 15.4 update? ›
Go to Settings > General > Software Update. The screen shows the currently installed version of iOS and whether an update is available. To turn off automatic updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.What to do if your iPhone won t update to iOS 15? ›
- Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch may not be in the iOS supported devices list.
- You do have not enough space on your device to download iOS.
- The Wi-Fi connection is not stable on your device.
- Your device is still on the iOS beta version.
- Apple's service is overloaded.
Part 1:How Long Does the iOS 15 Update Take
With a stable connection and fast download speed, it will take around 5 to 15 minutes to download. Further 10-20 minutes get to install it. The setup takes 5-10 minutes. You might be able to complete the iOS 15 update process in around 20 to 45 minutes.
How Long Does it Take to Update to A New iOS?
|Set up iOS 16||1-5 minutes|
|Total update time||16 minutes to 40 minutes|
On newer phones, the iOS 16.2 installation process could take 10 minutes or less to complete. It took about eight minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro that was previously running iOS 16.1. 2. Your iPhone might reboot itself a couple of times during the installation process, but this is perfectly normal.Why is my new iPhone stuck on software update? ›
One of the most common reasons for the new iPhone stuck on install now is the internet connection. If the connection is bad or slow, the installation process will be stuck. Besides, your device may be running out of storage because you have restored some data from your recovery.