iPhone Upgrade Important With Leading Features

He’s here, and sooner than expected. Apple said it will release iOS 15.4 this week.

Updated March 15th below. The post was first published on Monday, March 14th.

We knew it would be by Friday at the latest because when the next products, the iPhone SE and iPad Air, go on sale. But the smart money was on Tuesday. This is usually Apple’s preferred software release day.

But, no, it has been up for the last few minutes and it’s full of new features, in addition to the usual security fixes and bug squashing. Read on for the full details of what it contains and how to get it.

More from ForbesApple unveils amazing upgrade for AirPods Pro 2

Oh, and something else just launched, and it’s a groundbreaking change for Apple. It released software updates for all three major operating systems on the same day: iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Mac updates always arrive later, but not this time.

Make Forbes your go-to for all things iOS. Stay ahead with Anthony Karcz When each version reaches the public beta. Read full details of what’s in the release from me the moment it arrives. Kate O’Flaherty Take a look at the security considerations for each new release. then read Gordon KellyAnalyze whether you should install or wait.

What iPhones Can Run iOS 15.4?

If you have a device running iOS 14, you are in luck. Impressively, Apple has ensured that every iPhone capable of running iOS 14 is running iOS 15 as well. That’s quite the achievement, and it spans across every device released in the past six years. This is all iPhone 6s onwards and includes all three generations of iPhone SE, including the new model that goes on sale on Friday.

For iPads, it is a good idea to use iPadOS 15.4 if you have any iPad Pro or any iPad Air from iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 or later and iPad 5th generation onwards. This includes the fifth generation iPad Air, which goes on sale starting Friday.

How to get it

Updating couldn’t be simpler: open the Settings app on the device and choose General, then Software Update. Once you click “download and install” it will do everything for you.

More from ForbesApple iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro: First look at all-new colors

March 15 update. Since the launch, Apple has gone into more detail about new features in iOS 15.4, such as how users in the European Union and the United Kingdom can now store Covid-19 results on the iPhone.

More on this in a second. Other cool updates coming to light include how the new Siri voice, which is designed to be non-binary, uses iPhone Neural Text to Speech technology to sound “incredibly natural,” Apple says. It is not available in every area but it is definitely worth a visit. Translating web pages on Safari, a real boon indeed if you’re browsing abroad, is now extended to Italian and traditional Chinese. Visual Look Up has been expanded to learn about art, landmarks, and more. And the Magnifier app now offers more camera options, depending on which iPhone model you’re using. By the way, this is not mentioned in the release notes.

Anyway, back to the vaccination morsel. As travel opens up with many countries expecting vaccination certificates to be shown upon entry, having fewer pieces of paper to remember can only be a good thing. The data that Apple stores on the iPhone can be conclusively verified, so everyone knows it’s real. In the European Union and the United Kingdom, users can “securely download and store verifiable Covid-19 vaccine, lab results, and recovery records in the Health app. If they choose, users can share this data with third-party apps in a way that protects data privacy.” I’ve tried this and it works very easily and looks great. The second part of the change is equally impressive, as EU and UK users can put their Covid-19 vaccination cards into Wallet. As Apple says, “Once added in the Wallet app, users can view and submit their vaccination card at any time. A third party can use a compatible verification app to check history.” Again, it’s easily done and is very user friendly. Adding this is as simple as scanning a QR code with your iPhone, tapping on the Health app notification and choosing Add to Wallet.

As with other health records, they are stored on the device, not in the cloud and are protected by a passcode, Face ID or Touch ID. As with Face ID with the addition of the mask, described below, this response to the pandemic may seem too late. Well, let’s hope so, but one thing is certain: Nothing is certain with Covid, so we may be grateful for these updates sooner than we’d like.

Now, back to the other updates and how to get the nifty new software.

What’s in the version

Settle down, there’s a lot to get past here. First, the big ticket item in the release is Face ID with mask. Now, you don’t need to remove your mask to unlock iPhone. You’ll do this with your mask on and off. Apple Watch users have had this feature for a while now, but this works without it and is more versatile.

important warning: Only works on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, not the Face ID phones before that, including the iPhone 11 that’s still part of the Apple lineup.

new emoji It arrives in iOS 15.4, including some adorable new smiley faces, cute elf, pink lotus and more. Read the comprehensive guide to what’s new here.

universal control It is another great item, which has been long overdue. It’s part of iPadOS and macOS, which is why all three OS updates arrive simultaneously. It allows you to connect (wirelessly) multiple iPads and Macs, so you can transfer files, for example from one device to another just by swiping from one screen to another, using your mouse and trackpad. There are also improvements to iCloud Keychain, so you can save notes in entries, eg. And where Keychain previously allowed you to save passwords without usernames, that’s not always what you want. Now, you can be sure to save usernames as well.

Retailers, especially small and independent merchants, will love Click to pay, so they can use their iPhone as a payment terminal. There are improvements to Live text in notes and reminders So you can easily scan text.

It’s an exciting release and there are more details that are just becoming clear. Check back for more information as we have it.