If you've been beseeching the Apple gods for a melting-face emoji — or you've been crossing your fingers for an emoticon that seemingly says "Aw, shucks!" — your prayers have been answered. The Cupertino-based tech giant announced the arrival of iOS 15.4 March 14, which introduces new emojis, according to Emojipedia.
The highly anticipated iOS update also addresses an incovenience that plagued many iPhone owners: FaceID failing to recognize mask wearers. Other new features include Siri enhancements and Tap to Pay.
iOS 15.4 update introduces new smileys
Apple unleashed a swarm of quirky emojis, including a saluting smiley, a touched emoticon seemingly moved by something tear-jerkingly cute , a fearful character who is likely saying, "I can't watch!" and more.
According to Emojipedia, this is the greatest number of smiley emojis introduced in an Apple emoji update since iOS 11.1 (Halloween of 2017). In total, this update added 123 new emojis (including 112 emoticons that were approved as part of late 2021's Emoji 14.0 collection).
Other iOS 15.4 features
A refreshed arsenal of expressive emojis aren't the only alluring features iOS 15.4 has up its sleeves. As mentioned, users will enjoy an au courant FaceID. The biometric authentication feature now supports mask wearers, scanning the eyes to validate users.
Entrepreneurs will also appreciate Apple's new Tap to Pay feature, which transforms one's iPhone into a contactless payment terminal. As more third-party apps (e.g. Stripe) authorize Tap to Pay, small businesses owners can — with a simple tap — accept contactless payments from customers seamlessly.
Siri got tweaked, too. The new update added a new, gender-neutral voice to the assistant's repertoire: a member of the LGBTQ+ community recorded vocalizations for the AI-based sidekick.
"We're excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them," Apple told Axios in a statement.
Other stand-out iOS 15.4 features include a new note section for Apple keychain passwords and novel anti-stalking features that may tranquilize AirTag owners' nerves.
The iOS 15.4 update is rolling out to the public ahead of iPhone SE 2022's Friday, March 18 release.
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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!