Thursday, January 27, 2022

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 Beta

Juli Clover:

iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we’ve had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more.


After the iPhone 13 Pro models came out, users noticed that third-party apps were not displaying all animations at the full 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate. Apple said there was a Core Animation bug that would be fixed in a future update, and it appears that iOS 15.4 is that update.

Federico Viticci:

iOS 15.4 beta adds support for Face ID unlocking with a mask on. This worked right away for me and it’s amazing.


  • You can enable it after the update or in Settings later
  • You can add support for glasses while wearing masks
  • No support for sunglasses with a mask on

Since Face ID is obviously less accurate with a mask, I wish Apple would tell us approximately how much less accurate. And it would be good to have a way (while the iPhone is already unlocked) to temporarily enable mask support but only for a specified period of time before it goes back to full security.

Sebastiaan de With:

iOS 15.4 beta has a new ‘Use Face ID with a Mask’ option and the masked FaceID icon is absolutely adorable.

Federico Viticci:

Also in Shortcuts for iOS 15.4: Apple now lets you run Automations in the background without being notified when they execute.

This is great. (But you still can’t disable these notifications for shortcuts added to the Home Screen.)


Update (2022-01-31): Juli Clover:

Unfortunately, Face ID with a Mask is limited to some of Apple’s newest iPhones, even though Face ID has been available since 2017 with the launch of the iPhone X. As noted on our forums, Face ID with a Mask is only an option on the iPhone 12 and later, so you’ll need an iPhone 12 , 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max or an iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max.

Meek Geek:

Hordes of Apple apologists are out there propagating this myth that this feature has an actual hardware limitation which requires newer SOCs in iPhone 12/13, which is nonsense since Apple hasn’t said a thing about this[…]

Update (2022-02-04): Benjamin Mayo:

Face ID isn’t superior to Touch ID in every respect, and vice versa. For instance, even five years on since the introduction of the TrueDepth camera system with iPhone X, Apple recommends that identical twins only use passcode authentication to unlock because Face ID will not be able to reliably tell them apart. Touch ID did not have this problem. Buying with Apple Pay is also nicer with Touch ID, compared to the double-click dance that Face ID requires.


The existence of the Unlock with Mask feature probably means that Apple doesn’t have to ship an iPhone with Touch ID again. I would certainly take it as a signal that a Touch ID iPhone is not coming back anytime soon. But I still think they should do it. Long-term, the best iPhone is surely one that offers both Face ID and Touch ID (either via under-display scanner or iPad-esque side button sensor).

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

> And it would be good to have a way (while the iPhone is already unlocked) to temporarily enable mask support but only for a specified period of time before it goes back to full security.

I hope we get enhancements to Focus mode that let us change the security settings depending on our focus.

I would set a "Groceries" focus where mask support is on, and the home screen is simplified to showing my grocery list.

(Can this setting be changed from a shortcut, perhaps? Probably not?)

@Sören Linking it to a focus sounds like a good idea. I wonder if the setting is like Face ID in general, where if you turn it off it forgets everything.

Boy, I hope not. (But maybe it has to be, because there's not enough room to store both hashes?)

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