Since the pandemic struck, sales of masks have skyrocketed as wearing them in public places has become mandatory. This has had an unintended side effect – using your phone’s facial recognition feature while wearing the mask. This time, Apple has an answer to the dilemma as it rolled out iOS 15.4, the latest version of the iPhone operating system.

It has been rolled out alongside the iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 and will be available on compatible devices. This list includes all devices that are compatible with iOS 15 – iPhones from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone 13 line-up can run iOS 15.4. As for iPad OS 15.4, it will available for all iPad Pro models, models starting from the iPad Air (second generation), the fourth generation of the iPad mini, and starting from the fifth generation of the base iPad.

You are aware that the iPhone SE and the green-color versions of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro will come out soon. These devices will have iOS 15.4 pre-installed in them as they hit the stores. If your current iPhone is compatible to run iOS 15.4, go to the Settings app, and click on General. There, click on Select Software Updates, and follow the on-screen instructions for downloading and installing iOS 15.4.

iPadOS 15.4 shares several features with the iOS 15.4, but also comes with the Universal Control feature. This had been a popular choice among Apple users ever since Apple had teased it last year, and allows the user to use a Mac and an iPad side by side and move the mouse pointer seamlessly between the two.

The long-awaited feature also comes in macOS 12.3, which was released alongside iOS 15.4. macOS Monterey 12.3 is supported on the iMacs that have been rolled out since late 2015, iMac Pro since 2017, Mac Pro since late 2013, Mac Mini since late 2014, MacBook Pro since early 2015, MacBook Air since early 2015, and the MacBook since early 2016. To update, simply go to System Preferences and click on Software Update.

Coming back to iOS 15.4, we find that the long-awaited feature to use Face ID while wearing a mask has finally arrived. If this feature is enabled, Apple’s facial recognition technology can recognize your face even if you have a mask on. However, Apple warned that enabling this new feature could make Face ID less accurate overall. To enable this feature, go to Face ID & Passcode to find a new toggle for using Face ID with a mask on, and turn it on.

However, note that this feature is exclusive to iOS 15.4 and only available on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 line-ups. Digital assistance Siri gets a new gender-neutral voice as well. Live Text is another popular feature, and it has been refined with the new Scan Text command in the pop-up menu. If you select it, then you can capture text from any book, image, or note, and the text appears on the Note or Reminder.

Contactless payments have been encouraged all the more since the pandemic, and iOS 15.4 brings Tap to pay on iPhone, a service that allows users to accept credit cards through Apple Pay. Other payment feature includes making contactless payments that is set up as a PoS terminal using the receiving iPhone’s NFC sensor.

Safety is the name of the game, and Apple has brought that with upgrades to AirTag and Find My App. There is now an anti-stalking mechanism that will alert you (when setting up an AirTag) saying that tracking someone without consent is a crime and that details can be traced to your Apple ID when the tag is discovered.

Also, you can no longer disable all warning notifications for unexpected AirTags in your vicinity, and other Find My items will now be properly identified in these warnings.

The emoji family got bigger with iOS 15.4 as 37 new emojis (including melting face, heart hands, disco ball, a pregnant person emoji, biting lip, beans, a troll, and a jar) are now added to the Emoji keyboard. Users can also toggle between the different cameras in the Magnifier app, and store passwords on the iPhone (and type notes about important ones).