In iOS 15.4, you’ll finally be able to use Face ID with a Mask

In iOS 15.4, you’ll finally be able to use Face ID with a Mask

The initial release of iOS 15 arrived last year, and per usual for Apple, it has continued to receive minor updates in the months since. iOS 15.3 just arrived this week with a fix for Safari’s IndexedDB data leak and other minor fixes, and now the first beta for iOS 15.4 is available to try out. This is a much more impressive release, with a few long-awaited additions that Apple announced months ago.

Perhaps the most exciting new feature is Universal Control, which was expected to arrive as part of macOS 12 Monterey, but was delayed until spring of this year. Once you have iOS/iPadOS 15.4 installed on an iPad, and the latest macOS 12 beta release on a compatible Mac, the mouse and keyboard on one device can control another device. MacRumors points out the new settings menu is accessible from Displays > Advanced on macOS, and from the ‘Cursor and Keyboard (Beta)’ menu in the iPad’s ‘AirPlay & Handoff’ section.

Universal Control in macOS and iPadOS

Universal Control demo from WWDC 2021

This update also finally includes support for Face ID when using a face mask. There’s a warning that Face ID won’t be as accurate as it would be with your entire face visible, but at least it’s an option now. A new toggle is listed under Settings > Face ID, and just like with regular Face ID, you have to be looking at the phone to unlock it.

New emoji from the Emoji 14 list are present as well, according to MacRumors. Some of the new faces include “melting face,” “saluting face,” “face with peeking eye,” and “dotted line face.” There are also a few new hand emoji, such as “heart hands” and “leftwards hand,” and other icons like “nest with eggs” and “low battery.” Some of these icons were already in the Android 12L Beta. 9to5Mac captured a screenshot of the new emoji in the iOS 15.4 Beta, seen below.

iOS 15.4 Beta 1 emojis

Credit: 9to5Mac

The update also adds the ability to add notes to login in iCloud Keychain (via 9to5Mac), which is available on many other password managers. This is helpful for situation when you might need additional information to log into a website besides just the username/email and password, or adding labels to different logins for the same website.

It’s unclear when iOS 15.4 will roll out to everyone, but if past beta releases are any indication, we’ll probably only have to wait a few weeks.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at

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