iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 also rolling with Universal Control support.
Apple iOS 15.4 is here. With this latest iOS update iPhone users will be able to unlock their devices with Face ID recognition even when they have their masks on. There are other features, too, but the Face ID update has probably been one of the most highly requested features in COVID-times.
With the new iOS update, compatible iPhone models with Face ID can configure and unlock devices with face half-covered. The feature, however, does not scan through the mask but takes recourse to a lesser secure method in which areas around the eyes are just scanned.
Users have to enable the setting for scanning with a mask when the iOS will inform them that the feature is less secure than a full facial scan and the person has to look at the phone without covering their eyes. The feature is a fix for pulling down the mask every time to unlock the iPhone.
The feature will work only on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 and upcoming models. iPhone X, Xs, Xr, and other models are effectively left out from the new feature update. Once the device is updated, users will see the option to use Face ID with a mask on the welcome screen.
The face recognition technology with masks on was anticipated since the beginning of the pandemic. Earlier Apple tried to improvise the feature by adding unlock through passcode when masks are on or unlocking through Apple Watch last year.
The iPadOS 15.4, which is launching alongside, meanwhile brings Universal control. With this, a user can use two Apple devices, Macbook and an iPad side by side and move the mouse pointer seamlessly between the two. Files can also be moved between two devices as if they are on a computer.
Other feature upgrades include a new voice option for Siri that provides time and date information offline, 100 new emoji from the Emoji 14.0 set, improvements to Safari web page translations with support for Italian and Chinese, Podcasts app improvements, Covid vaccine support.
Tap to pay on iPhone, a service that allows users to accept credit cards through Apple Pay, and additional SharePlay integration to allow users to quickly share songs and other content over FaceTime are also included in the update.
Apple has also released watchOS 8, macOS Monterey 12.3, tvOS 15.4, and HomePod Software 15.4.