iOS, iPadOS 15.4 Beta 5 new features includes Face ID support for masks, Universal Control and more

Apple seems to have a busy month ahead, with its Spring event expected to take place right after the first week. Other than the product launches, the tech major is also likely to roll out new versions of its iOS and iPadOS for iPhones and iPads respectively. New beta versions for these are now being rolled out by Apple, and this hints at some new features that we may be able to see on Apple devices.

With a build number of 19E5241a, the beta 5 versions for both iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 are now available on iPhones and iPads respectively. As is understood, the new software versions are only available to registered developers at the moment. Those interested can upgrade to iOS 15.4 beta 5 or iPadOS 15.4 beta 5 through an over-the-air update, which can be initiated in the Settings app.

It has long been rumored that the iOS 15.4 will make its way to iPhones around the middle of March. But instead of waiting that long to have our first look at the new operating systems for the Apple devices, the new beta versions show some interesting features that might excite iPhone and iPad owners. Hint? Enhanced Face ID support, Universal Control on iPads, and more. Here is a look.

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iOS 15.4 beta 5 features and updates

The new beta version for iOS 15.4 is a small update with a size of 471.5MB but is quickly gaining attention among the developers, as it is the final appearance of the new operating system for iPhones before a Release Candidate or RC version that precedes the stable built.

As 9to5mac reports, it brings a much-awaited feature for iPhones to the public eye for the first time. The Face ID on the version now supports face scans even while the user is wearing masks, an understandably handy feature in today’s date.

The iOS update also shows a new Apple Support app card under Settings >> General >> About. There is a “Get” button placed right next to it which will let interested users download the app right from the Settings menu. The section under the app card is also different from previous versions now.

A reported update to Apple Music with the new iOS 15.4 beta 5 will let users sort their playlist based on the release dates of the songs. The option should appear on the Sort option on the top right of the Playlist screen. There is also a possibility that the sorting option will appear within an actual playlist.

Apple recently introduced a new non-binary voice option for Siri with iOS 15.4 beta 4, which addresses Apple users in the US. The new voice is listed as the “Voice 5” option under the American English category and can be found in the Siri Voice under Settings.

With the beta 5 rollout, Siri also brings an interesting response to a major question every Apple fan has – What is going to happen on March 8. “You can’t hurry news. No, you’ll just have to wait.” Any hints?

iPadOS 15.4 beta 5 features and updates


The new iPadOS beta update has a size of 259.6MB and finally brings the highly-anticipated Universal Control feature to iPads. First introduced at the WWDC last year, the feature lets users share a single mouse and keyboard for their Mac and iPad. With this, users will be able to easily switch between the two devices when they’re placed next to each other. The feature will also allow users to drag and drop files between Mac and iPad.

In addition, there are over 30 new emojis with the beta 5, including those like the melting face and the salute emoji.

Release notes for the iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 beta 5 list a host of known issues with the version. These pan across Home, iTunes, Phone, Message, Health App, Settings, StoreKit, and with authentication. Most of the issues are with Home, but none are too major. Strangely, there are no resolved issues with the update.

Apple is expected to release the RC versions of the two operating systems on March 8, a date that is highly anticipated to see Apple hold its Spring event. You can check out all that is expected from the house of Apple on that date.

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