(Pocket-lint) – Apple has confirmed that the rollout of iOS 15.4 will take place next week.
The latest iPhone software update, which has been available as a public beta since January, doesn’t have a locked-in release date just yet, though Apple did announce that it will arrive between 14-18 March during its ‘Peek Performance’ event.
Since the new finishes of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro will land on 18 March, coupled with the on-sale date of the just-announced iPhone SE (2022), our best guess is that iOS 15.4 will be available on the same date.
In any case, the new version will bring with it a few interesting changes to how compatible iPhone models work.
The headline addition involves Face ID, with a tweak allowing for the facial recognition software to work even when a user is wearing a mask. This follows on, of course, from a previous workaround Apple created, in which Face ID’s usual security checks could be bypassed if a user was wearing an Apple Watch linked to their iPhone.
For those that don’t own one of Apple’s smartwatches, though, this should prove to be a helpful little feature.
It’s not the only thing notable from the upcoming update, as well.
Apple’s new Tap to Pay feature is also coming, which allows compatible iPhone devices to be transformed into terminals for contactless payments. While not a mass-appeal feature, it does mean that the iPhone will soon have the potential to become a digital register, and, for those with businesses that rely on dedicated card readers, allows them to do it all from a smartphone.
There’s also a new safety feature landing for AirTags, which will see iOS devices warn users against using the item-tracking pucks to track a user’s location without consent.
In terms of compatibility, iOS 15.4 will be available to any device that already supports iOS 15. That means anything from a first-gen iPhone 6S to one of the iPhone 13 models should support it.
Writing by Conor Allison.