Apple releases iOS 15.4 with mask-friendly Face ID unlock

The company has also released iPadOS 15.4.

Aly Song / reuters

Apple has begun rolling out iOS 15.4. The highly anticipated update adds a handful of features many iPhone users have been waiting to try out since the company first began testing them back in January. Among the most notable is the option to unlock your device while wearing a mask, making it so that you don't need an Apple Watch to unlock your phone without removing a face covering or inputting your passcode. Once you've installed iOS 15.4, you'll need to activate it manually in the Face ID and Passcode section of the Settings menu. iOS 15.4 also comes with a new voice option for Siri.

Apple has also released iPadOS 15.4. It introduces another highly anticipated feature: Universal Control. First announced at WWDC in June and then delayed at the end of the year, it allows you control multiple Macs and iPads with a single keyboard and trackpad or mouse. The two updates also with the 37 new emoji characters introduced as part of Unicode 14.0. That means you can use characters like the "melting face" in your text conversations, and add skin tones to the handshake emoji.

To download the new updates, launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then tap "General" followed by Software Update.