iOS 15.4 beta adds a highly sought-after Face ID upgrade and more — how to get it

iPhone 13 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

Apple just released the first beta of iOS 15.4, unveiling a handful of new advancements and features that may hit the public rollout in the coming weeks. The updates unveil the Cupertino-based tech giant's plan to rectify Face ID's mask recognition issue (h/t The Verge).

Support for the PS5 DualSense controller's adaptive triggers is another noteworthy perk. On top of that, iPhone users may get 37 new emojis in the near future, including a melting smiley that gives off the same energy as the "This is fine" meme (the webcomic featuring a calm dog inside a burning house).

iOS 15.4 beta: New features

iPhone users have been beseeching Apple to update Face ID for mask wearers. Mask mandates are still in effect in many parts of the world, and many must inconveniently and unsafely yank their face coverings down before accessing their phones.

iPhone with Apple Watch

iPhone with Apple Watch (Image credit: Future)

Last year, Apple tried to rectify the issue by allowing users to unlock their iPhones via the Apple Watch, but of course, not everyone owns one.

Fortunately, Apple stepped things up with iOS 15.4 beta; mask wearers can now unlock their iPhones sans an accompanying device. Users have the option to set up FaceID while wearing a mask. Apple warned that full-face FaceID is the most secure, but it can still recognize users' unique features around their eyes.

Our four-eyed readers will be pleased to know that the newly updated Face ID can also scan their faces with and without glasses for increased recognition accuracy.

Another game-changing update worth mentioning is iOS 15.4 beta's support for the PS5 DualSense controller's adaptive triggers, allowing gamers to feel all the immersive sensations as if they're using the native console.

As mentioned, the latest beta also rolled out nearly 40 new emojis, including a melting face, a lip-biting character, and my favorite, an emoji that seems to be saying, "Oh my! I can't believe what I'm seeing!" as it peeks between its fingers.

Apple emojis 2022

New Apple emojis (Image credit: Emojipedia)

Other noteworthy updates are listed below:

  • Universal Control, a feature that lets users control their iPad and Mac using the same keyboard and trackpad (or mouse).
  • Users can now add notes to their iCloud Keychain passwords.
  • Support for the EU's vaccination records in the Wallet and Health apps.

It remains to be seen whether all of these features will be rolled out to the general public, but 9to5Mac says that we should see the update arrive in the spring. If you're interested in experimenting with these new features, sign up for Apple's public beta testing program here (opens in new tab).

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!