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5 Things to Know About the iOS 15.4 Update

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Apple’s pushed its massive iOS 15.4 update to iPhone users.

iOS 15.4 is compatible with all iOS 15-powered phones, a list that includes the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the iPhone 13 series.

Unlike the previous version of iOS 15 (iOS 15.3.1), iOS 15.4 is a huge milestone upgrade and it brings new features, enhancements, bug fixes, and security upgrades to iPhone users around the world.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything you need to know about Apple’s latest iOS 15 update for iPhone.

In this walkthrough we’ll take you through all of iOS 15.4’s changes, the software’s performance, iOS 15.4 problems, the iOS 15.4 jailbreak status, and more. We’ll start with some thoughts on iOS 15.4’s performance so far.

iOS 15.4 Review

If your iPhone is currently running iOS 15.3.1, you’ll see the smallest iOS 15.4 download size.

For iOS 15.3.1 users, the iOS 15.4 download is pretty big. The download is 1.25 GB for iPhone 12 Pro users moving up from the previous version of iOS 15. You can expect a similar size for other iPhone models.

The exact size of the iOS 15.4 download depends on your iPhone model and the version of iOS it’s currently running. If your iPhone is running on an older version of iOS, you’ll might see a bigger download because your iOS 15.4 update includes the changes from iOS updates you skipped.

If you’re moving up from iOS 15.3.1, the installation process should take 10 minutes or less to complete. It took about seven minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro that was previously running iOS 15.3.1.

We’ve been using iOS 15.4 on a few iPhone models for several days now and here’s what we’ve learned about the software’s performance thus far:

Connectivity

  • Battery life is stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
  • Bluetooth is working normally.
  • GPS and cellular data are both stable.

App Performance

  • Third-party apps including Netflix, Dark Sky, Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
  • First party apps like Safari, Podcasts, and Calendar are also stable.

Speed

  • iOS 15.4 feels as fast as iOS 15.3.1.

If you’ve been dealing with bugs and/or performance issues on iOS 15.3.1 or an older version of iOS, you might want to install the iOS 15.4 update on your iPhone right now.

If you need help making a decision about whether or not to make the jump up to iOS 15.4, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the software.

iOS 15.4 Problems

The iOS 15.4 update is causing problems for some users. Some problems are brand new, others have carried over from iOS 15.3.1 and older versions of iOS 15.

The current list of problems includes installation issues, issues with first and third-party apps, UI lag, Exchange issues, issues with Touch ID and Face ID, and abnormal battery drain. The battery drain issues are primarily impacting users with older iPhone models like the iPhone 11 though we’ve also seen complaints from iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 users.

If you encounter a problem on iOS 15.4, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS 15 problems. We’ve also released some tips that could help you improve your phone’s performance and some tips that could help fix bad iOS 15 battery life.

Apple recently stopped signing on iOS 15.3.1 which means you can’t drop your iPhone’s software back to the previous version of iOS 15 if iOS 15.4 starts causing problems. You can’t downgrade to anything older than iOS 15.3.1 either.

Keep this in mind if you’re having a good experience on iOS 15.3.1 or older. Once you make the move to iOS 15.4, you won’t be able to go back.

For more on the downgrade process, check out our guide.

iOS 15.4 Features

Apple’s milestone updates (x.x) almost always bring new features, enhancements, security patches, and bug fixes to iPhone users and that’s what you get from iOS 15.4. iOS 15.4 is the biggest iPhone upgrade since the release of iOS 15 last year.

Here’s the official iOS 15.4 change log:

Face ID

  • Face ID while wearing a mask option on iPhone 12 and newer
  • Apple Pay and password autofill in apps and Safari can be used with Face ID while wearing a mask

Emoji

  • New emoji including faces, hand gestures, and household objects are now available in emoji keyboard
  • Handshake emoji allows you to choose separate skin tones for each hand

FaceTime

  • SharePlay sessions can be initiated directly from supported apps

Siri

  • Siri can provide time and date information while offline on iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 or newer
  • Siri now includes an additional voice, expanding the diversity of options

Vaccine Cards

  • EU Digital COVID Certificate support in Health enables you to download and store verifiable versions of COVID-19 vaccination, lab results, and recovery records
  • COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet now support the EU Digital COVID Certificate format

Enhancements

  • Safari webpage translation adds support for Italian and Chinese (Traditional)
  • Podcasts app adds episode filters for seasons, played, unplayed, saved, or downloaded episodes
  • iCloud custom email domains can be managed from Settings
  • News offers enhanced discovery of audio content in the Today feed and Audio tab
  • Camera in keyboard can be used to add text to Notes and Reminders
  • Shortcuts now supports adding, removing, or querying tags with Reminders
  • Emergency SOS settings have changed to use Call with Hold for all users. Call with 5 Presses is still available as an option in Emergency SOS settings
  • Close-up in Magnifier uses the ultra-wide camera on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max to help you see small objects
  • Saved passwords can now include your own notes in Settings

Bug Fixes

  • Fix for an issue where the keyboard may insert period between typed numbers
  • Fix for an issue where News widgets in Today View may not open articles when tapped
  • Fix for an issue where Photos and videos may not sync to iCloud Photo Library
  • Fix for an issue where Speak Screen Accessibility feature may quit unexpectedly within the Books app
  • Fix for an issue where Live Listen may not turn off when switched off in Control Center

iOS 15.4 also comes with 36 new security patches and you can learn more about them over on the company’s security site.

The iOS 15.4 update also quietly brought a new feature to the Notes app. The software allows users to scan handwritten text into the Notes app.

You can learn more about this change in Apple’s official video above.

iOS 15.4 Jailbreak

The developer teams behind the Checkra1n and unC0ver jailbreaking tools have released versions that are compatible with newer versions of iOS 14, but only Checkra1n is compatible with iOS 14.5.

Unfortunately, the tools don’t support iOS 15.4, iOS 15.3.1, iOS 15.3, iOS 15.2.1, iOS 15.2, iOS 15.1.1, iOS 15.1, iOS 15.0.2, iOS 15.0.1, iOS 15.0, iOS 14.8, iOS 14.7.1, iOS 14.7, iOS 14.6, or iOS 14.5.1 yet.

The latest version of unC0ver is compatible with newer iPhones including the iPhone 12 series. That’s big news if you’ve been waiting to jailbreak your new phone. Unfortunately it’s only compatible with versions up to iOS 14.3.

There’s no way to downgrade your phone’s software to iOS 14.5 or older versions of iOS which means you’re out of luck if you upgrade, or you already upgraded to newer iOS software.

What’s Next

iOS 15.4 was the last known upgrade in Apple’s iOS 15 pipeline so it’s unclear when the next version of iOS 15 will roll out.

That being said, Apple typically puts a new version of iOS into beta testing shortly after an official release so don’t be surprised if a new version emerges in the near future.

We’ll let you know when we learn more.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 15.5 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 15.5 for Better Security

Install iOS 15.5 for Better Security

If security is important to you, you'll want to think about installing Apple's iOS 15.5 update right away.

iOS 15.5 brings 27 new security patches to the iPhone and they are essential if you want to keep your device and its data protected. You can learn more about these patches over on Apple's security site.

If you missed iOS 15.4.1, it had just one new security patch on board. You can read more about it over on Apple's website

If you missed the iOS 15.4 update, it had a whopping 36 new security patches on board. If you want to learn more about these patches, head on over to Apple's security site for the particulars

If you missed iOS 15.3.1, it had one security patch on board. For more about it, head over to Apple's security page

If you missed iOS 15.3, you'll also get its patches with your upgrade. iOS 15.3 brought 10 new security patches to iPhone users. If you're interested in the details, you can read more about them right here.

If you missed iOS 15.2.1, you'll get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about the change over on Apple's website

If you missed Apple's iOS 15.2 update, you'll get its 30+ security patches with your upgrade. You can read all about them over on the company's security site

iOS 15.2 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software brought the company's App Privacy Report to Settings. This lets you see how often your apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days. You can also see their network activity. 

In addition, iOS 15.2 brought Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search. 

If you missed iOS 15.1, iOS 15.5 will bring its security patches to your iPhone. You can read more about them on Apple's website

If you missed iOS 15.0.2 you'll also get its security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about it right here.

iOS 15.0 also brought numerous security patches to your iPhone. If you'll be moving up from iOS 14 and you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

Apple's updated its website with new information about iOS 15's batch of security patches. The company now says the software patched up an issue that could have exposed a user's private Apple ID information and in-app search history. It also says iOS 15 patched up an issue that allowed apps to override Privacy preferences.

If you skipped iOS 14.8 or any older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 15.5 update as well. 

In addition to those patches, iOS 15 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Siri. Requests made to Siri are now processed on the device itself using Neural Engine. This makes it more secure. 

If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions. 

Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.

There's also a Mail feature that hides your IP address. 

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