Mask unlock is finally live on iPhone as iOS 15.4 arrives – TechCrunch


Just under a week after Apple’s big event, the company released the latest version of three operating systems. iOS/iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 are now live. For those not in the beta testing circuit, that means a number of key features, including the use of Face ID with a mask unlock and Universal Control, which provides even more seamless integration between an iPad and Mac.

The operating systems are on the new iPhone SE and Mac Studio – one of which we just discussed. Unlocking the whole mask has been a pretty big bug bear for the past two years, oh, two years or so. Apple offered a nice stopgap in the form of unlocking with the Apple Watch, but this new version makes things more accessible for more users (although, again, you can always stick with the thumb with the SE).

I’ve been using the beta for several weeks now and I’m happy with everything else there. It works well with a mask and goggles, which was nice on the first real trips I’ve done since this whole thing started. Sure I struggled with it when my glasses fog up, but I don’t know, that’s probably Honeywell and Warby Parker’s fault as much as anyone else. Get it together, folks. The OS walks you through setting up the opt-in feature, warning you that things are of course safer when you rely on full face.

Image Credits: Apple

Also new on the phone side is the Tap to Pay feature, which disables the middle man’s card reader to allow iPhone users to accept payments via the NFC chip. That comes along with a slew of new emojis — 37 in all. Included are a melting face and another peeping face, which probably didn’t give its name to last week’s “Peek Performance” event, but, really, who can say more for sure?

The other big news here is on the iPadOS/MacOS side. Apple isn’t positioning it as a sidecar killer, exactly, but it will no doubt fill that role for many users. The feature makes it possible to use the same keyboards, trackpads, and mice between a Mac and iPad. That means you can drag and drop files between the devices and operating systems, basically using a more seamless version of AirDrop.

Both operating systems should now be available for download on your compatible devices.

Learn more about the March 2022 Apple event on TechCrunch

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