Coming up on a year after Apple first showed off Universal Control at WWDC 2021, the company is finally releasing the feature with the launch of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3, available to download today for free.
The updates join iOS 15.4 in bringing new emoji and improved Face ID, to Apple’s Macs, iPhones, and iPads ahead of the launch of the company's new hardware on March 18.
Universal Control — For those not already in the know, Universal Control was Apple’s most impressive demo from last year’s WWDC, allowing for seamless use of a keyboard and mouse across your Mac and iPad. Drag and drop files, use your keyboard to send a Slack on your iPad before switching back to work on your Mac — the possible use cases boggle the mind.
The feature is limited to three devices at a time, and the oldest Mac able to take advantage of Universal Control is the 5K Retina 27-inch iMac from late 2015. iPad requirements are a bit more flexible, you can check Apple’s page for more information.
Face ID — iOS 15.4 adds the ability to unlock your iPhone with Face ID while wearing a face mask. Previously Apple required an Apple Watch to unlock your phone while you were wearing a mask. This feature obviously wouldn’t have been appreciated earlier in the pandemic, but still, better late than never.
AirTags — Apple is attempting to address AirTag-enabled stalking in iOS 15.4 by including new warnings that surface when you set the trackers up. In theory, they make it easier to identify what kind of Find My-enabled device is detected traveling with you.
Tap to Pay — The iPhone is becoming a capable payment terminal with the inclusion of Tap to Pay in iOS 15.4. The new feature allows apps and iPhone owners to use the NFC capabilities on iPhones to accept compatible debit and credit cards, along with Apple Pay payments.
Emojis — All of the updates include the bonus gift of over 30 new emoji, including a horrifying melting smiley face, and equally horrifying lip-biting emoji.
Apple’s new iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates are available to download for free right now.