iOS 15.4 is just around the corner: here’s when Face ID will work with a mask on

Apple’s “Peek Performance” event concluded last night, giving us quite a lot to digest: new iPhone 13/13 Pro colors, a refreshed iPhone SE, new iPad, and even Apple further extending its performance lead with the M1 Ultra chipset.
However, one thing that technically didn’t get enough stage time was iOS, which is understandable, considering that it will be the focus of the dedicated WWDC’22 event that’s traditionally held in early June. We expect this year’s WWDC to be just a tad more exciting, as it might give us a sneak peek at the Apple AR glasses.
Fortunately, Apple didn’t keep too mum on the next version of iOS for too long, and actually revealed the date on which iOS 15.4 will be coming to your eligible iPhone. The software will be released on March 18, which is when the new green color options for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, as well as the iPhone SE (2022) are all hitting the shelves.

While it’s true that iOS 15.4 is a minor software update for iOS, it’s rather important as it finally allows Face ID to unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing your face mask on. This doesn’t require you to have an Apple Watch on you, but you will need an iPhone 12 or higher to make use of the feature. That’s because your iPhone has to scan a much smaller area to authenticate it’s you, which is a more intensive process, so Apple has limited it to newer iPhones and iPads only. To make use of the improved Face ID features, you’ll need an iPhone 12 or newer.

Some other features that are coming with iOS 15.4 are many new emojis, Universal Control, allowing you to have an universal cursor between a Mac and an iPad signed in with the same Apple ID; a dedicated Apple Card widget; text scanning within Notes and Reminders; the ability to disable Shortcut notifications, and more. For the full scoop, feel free to check out our dedicated iOS 15.4 preview right here.

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