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5 things you need to know about the iOS 15.4 update

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Apple has pushed its massive iOS 15.4 update to iPhone users.

iOS 15.4 is compatible with all phones with iOS 15, a list of the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s PlusiPhone SEiPhone 7, iPhone 7 PlusiPhone 8, iPhone 8 PlusiPhone XiPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XRiPhone 11iPhone 11 ProiPhone 11 Pro MaxiPhone SE 2, iPhone 12 miniiPhone 12iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Maxand the iPhone 13 Series

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

With that in mind, we want to walk 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 the iOS 15.4 changes, software performance, iOS 15.4 issues, 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 will see the smallest download size for iOS 15.4.

For iOS 15.3.1 users, the iOS 15.4 download is quite large. The download is 1.25 GB for iPhone 12 Pro users, which is higher than 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 currently running. If your iPhone is running on an older version of iOS, you may see a larger download because your iOS 15.4 update includes the changes from iOS updates that you skipped.

If you’re moving from iOS 15.3.1, the installation process will take 10 minutes or less. It took about seven minutes to install on an iPhone 12 Pro 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 so far:

Connectivity

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

App performance

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

Speed

  • iOS 15.4 feels just as fast as iOS 15.3.1.

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

If you need help deciding whether or not to move to iOS 15.4, check out our reasons for installing and not installing the software.

iOS 15.4 Problems

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

The current list of issues includes installation issues, first and third party app issues, UI lag, Exchange issues, Touch ID and Face ID issues, and abnormal battery drain. The battery drain issues mostly affect users with older iPhone models like the iPhone 11, although we’ve also seen complaints from iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 users.

If you run into a problem on iOS 15.4, check out our list of solutions for the most common iOS 15 problems. We have also released some tips that can help you improve your phone’s performance and some tips that can help you fix bad iOS 15 battery life.

Apple recently stopped signing on iOS 15.3.1, meaning you won’t be able to roll back your iPhone’s software to the previous version of iOS 15 if iOS 15.4 starts to cause problems. You also cannot downgrade to anything older than iOS 15.3.1.

Keep this in mind if you have a good experience with iOS 15.3.1 or older. Once you’ve made the switch to iOS 15.4, there’s no going back.

To learn more about the downgrade process, see our guide.

iOS 15.4 Features

Apple’s milestone updates (xx) almost always bring new features, improvements, 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 is the official iOS 15.4 change log:

Face ID

  • Face ID while wearing a mask on iPhone 12 and later
  • 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 individual skin tones for each hand

FaceTime

  • SharePlay sessions can be started directly from supported apps

Siri

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

Vaccine Cards

  • EU Digital COVID Certificate support in Health allows you to download and save 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

Improvements

  • Safari web page translation adds support for Italian and Chinese (Traditional)
  • Podcasts app adds episode filters for seasons, played, unplayed, saved or downloaded episodes
  • Custom iCloud email domains can be managed through Settings
  • News offers improved detection 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 support adding, removing or requesting tags with Reminders
  • Emergency SOS settings have been changed to use Call Waiting for all users. 5 press calling 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 contain your own notes in Settings

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the keyboard could insert a period between typed numbers
  • Fixed an issue where News widgets in Today view may not open articles when tapped
  • Fixes an issue where photos and videos may not sync with iCloud Photo Library
  • Fixed an issue where the Speak Screen Accessibility feature stopped unexpectedly in the Books app
  • Fixes an issue where Live Listen may not turn off when disabled in Control Center

iOS 15.4 also comes with 36 new security patches and you can learn more about them 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 jailbreak 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 do not 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 not yet.

The latest version of unC0ver is compatible with newer iPhones, including the iPhone 12 series. That’s great news if you’ve been waiting to jailbreak your new phone. Unfortunately, it is 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, meaning you’re out of luck if you upgrade, or if you’ve 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 said, Apple usually puts a new version of iOS in beta testing shortly after an official release, so don’t be surprised if a new version comes out in the near future.

We’ll let you know when we know more.

4 reasons not to install iOS 15.4.1 and 11 reasons why you should

Install iOS 15.4.1 for better security

Install iOS 15.4.1 for better security

If security is important to you, then you should definitely consider installing Apple’s iOS 15.4.1 update right away.

iOS 15.4.1 has one new security patch on board and you can read more about it on Apple’s website† It helps protect your phone from damage.

If you missed the iOS 15.4 update, it had a whopping 36 new security patches on board. To learn more about these patches, visit: Apple’s security site for the details

If you missed iOS 15.3.1, it had one security patch on board. For more information, visit Apple’s security page

If you missed iOS 15.3, you will also get the corresponding patches with your upgrade. iOS 15.3 brought 10 new security patches for iPhone users. If you are interested in the details, you can read more about it here

If you missed iOS 15.2.1, you will get the security patch with your upgrade. More information about the switch can be found at Apple’s website

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

iOS 15.2 also included some significant privacy upgrades. The software brought the company’s app privacy report to Settings. This lets you see how many times your apps accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts, and more in the past seven days. You can also see their network activity.

In addition, iOS 15.2 . brought Apple’s communications security features for children. You’ll find these features in the Messages app, Siri, Spotlight, and Search.

If you missed iOS 15.1, iOS 15.4.1 will bring the security patches to your iPhone. You can read more about it at Apple’s website

If you missed iOS 15.0.2, you will also get the security patch with your upgrade. You can learn more about it here

iOS 15.0 also brought numerous security patches to your iPhone. If you’re moving from iOS 14 and you’re interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read more about them at Apple’s security website

Apple has updated its website with new information about iOS 15’s suite of security patches. The company now says the software has fixed an issue that could have exposed a user’s personal Apple ID information and in-app search history. It also states that iOS 15 has fixed an issue that allowed apps to ignore privacy preferences.

If you skipped iOS 14.8 or an older version of iOS, you will also receive the security patches from those updates with your iOS 15.4.1 update.

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

If you’re an Apple Card user, you now get a security code that changes regularly to use when transacting online.

Apple has also added a built-in authenticator similar to Google Authenticator. Allows you to generate verification codes for enhanced login security under your passwords.

There is also a Mail feature that hides your IP address.

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