What iOS Developers Can Expect With New iOS 15.4

A new update for iOS is always an exciting time. App development companies like DreamWalk have been given beta access to the new iOS 15.4 to get the ball rolling on preliminary app updates, and there are some exciting new changes that will impact future app development.

A slew of new features is included in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 betas that have been made available to developers for testing purposes. It brings Universal Control, a mask for Face ID, new emojis, and many other features.

What Is The Release Date For iOS 15.4?

Both developers and public beta users are currently testing iOS 15.4. Apple usually releases new betas every fortnight, for a total of four or six cycles.

As reported by Bloomberg, iOS 15.4 is currently scheduled for release sometime during the first half of March. Apple is said to be planning to announce a new iPhone SE and a refreshed iPad Air at a virtual event on March 8 which lines up with the expected official release of iOS 15.4.

In light of this, it seems likely that Apple will spend some time discussing iOS 15.4 during its rumored March 8 event. As soon as a week later, we could see the release. As Apple usually releases new software updates on Tuesdays, releasing iOS 15.4 on March 15 seems likely.

What Are The Features That Will Impact App Development?

There are many small changes, like the obligatory addition of a handful of new emojis for users to play with. However, there are also significant changes in iOS 15.4 that will impact how apps are developed and used including:

Tap To Pay

Apple announced on February 8 that in the future iPhones will be able to serve as POS terminals. Tap to Pay is a feature available in the iOS 15.4 beta with the corresponding APIs that developers can use to customize their apps.

Registration with Apple’s Apple Business Register is required to access the service. Tap to Pay will be almost totally universal, allowing for the receipt of payment from NFC-enabled iPhones, credit and debit cards, and coupon and shop cards as well.

Unfortunately, this feature will only be available in the United States, to begin with, but if it is successful there is every likelihood it will be rolled out globally.

Unlock iPhone with a mask

Despite Apple’s lengthy delay, this new feature appears to be a real bonus for users and app developers. The Face ID feature can now be set to unlock while wearing a mask. This update would have been a godsend during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as many nations and institutions maintain mask-wearing requirements into the future, it’s likely that users will make great use of this feature over the foreseeable future.

A previous update in 2021 allowed Apple users to use their Apple Watch to unlock their iPhones while they were wearing a mask. This is the next evolution, allowing you to directly use Face ID even when wearing a mask.

The TrueDepth system that makes this possible tries to “recognize the unique features around the eye to authenticate” your face, Apple said. TrueDepth’s active scanning of your face allows Apple to authenticate your access to third-party apps and even Apple Pay. This is new ground for app development because it means that secure authentication can now be carried out even by users wearing masks.

This Feature Works With Glasses Too – Including Sunglasses

Apple is not only improving Face ID for users who’ll be wearing masks, but it is also making it possible to successfully use facial recognition even whilst wearing glasses.

“Using Face ID while wearing a mask works best when it’s set up to recognize each pair of glasses you wear regularly. Face ID with a mask doesn’t support sunglasses,” Apple said.

In order for the TrueDepth system to recognize you with a mask, it must examine your eye area, so it makes sense that it would also work when wearing sunglasses. You can activate this feature after enabling your mask facial recognition.

Universal Control

Although Universal Control is more of a macOS or iPadOS function than a feature of iOS, it is probably the most significant addition to this latest update. As a natural advancement from the Sidecar feature, which was introduced in macOS X Catalina and iPadOS 13, Universal Control allows the iPad to be placed next to a Mac and mac’s mouse or touchpad pointer to be seamlessly moved from the mac to the iPad.

Similarly, in macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, you will be able to share a mouse and keyboard between two Macs. Users can download the beta of iOS 15.4 to trial these new functions as well, but it is recommended that you wait until the official launch (likely in March) for a more stable version.

You can find Universal Control options in the AirPlay and Handoff tab in Settings. The new option for Cursor and Keyboard (Beta) can be found there.

iOS 15.4 is primed to boost the dynamic functionality that Mac products are known for. Innovative features like Tap To Pay and Universal Control options will allow all Apple users who are makers and merchants themselves to use their personal tech as a means of enhancing their professional endeavors and expanding their personal horizons.

In a similar fashion, developers have been avidly trialing the update to map out exactly where potential innovations lie. From this point, however, it feels increasingly likely that the way we use our iPhones and iPads day-to-day is set to change in a major way.