Apple has made its first developer iOS 15.4 beta available for download. For example, we can already see what innovations the next version of the iPhone OS will bring shortly after the iOS 15.3 update. While only security breaches were fixed in January, it looks like there are some very exciting innovations in the pipeline, including Universal Control and improved Face ID recognition.


Apple unveils the first developer beta for iOS 15.4 and showcased new features via a press release. Highlights include Universal Control and an update to Face ID, which enables facial recognition despite wearing a mask. In addition to the iPhone, features are relevant to the iPad, MacBooks, iMacs, and your Apple Watch.

January 28, 2022 is a second mini-Christmas for Apple users. While the iOS 15.3 update is being installed on your iPhone, you can learn more about the exciting new features in the next iOS version. As Apple revealed in the press release, the developer betas for iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and macOS Monterey 12.3 have been available for download since January 27.

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While it is possible to get the new beta versions on your Apple devices now through some detours, it is not recommended. They have not yet been released for everyday use and therefore may contain bugs and security flaws. To boost the hype, I will introduce the two most important functions of the upcoming Apple operating systems here.

Universal Controls and Face ID with Mask

The first highlight is Universal Control, which makes the connection between iPads and MacBooks even more seamless. With WLAN, Bluetooth and Handoff activated, you can easily place your two Apple devices next to each other. Without activating the iPad as a second screen through Sidecar, you can move the mouse pointer from the notebook screen to the iPad and back again. Apple already showed this feature in a video, which you can watch below.

The “first steps,” Apple said in the press release, are now available for developers to try. To do this, you only need to specify that Universal Control is always used in the monitor system settings. The main benefit is that you can manage your Mac’s screen content as you are now, while preserving the iPad’s apps and features.

In addition to Universal Control, Apple has also announced improvements to Face ID. In iOS 15.3, you still need to use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask. In the future, however, it will be possible to use Face ID normally, even with a mask.

Looking forward to the new features in the next iOS version? Let me know in the comments!

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