Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, and while there aren’t as many new features as we got in the first betas, there are some notable additions and changes worth highlighting.
Tap to Pay on iPhone
With the second beta of iOS 15.4, Apple introduced support for the “Tap to Pay on iPhone” feature that is designed to allow NFC-compatible iPhones to accept payments through Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, without requiring additional hardware.
Tap to Pay on iPhone is enabled in the iOS 15.4 beta, but it does require third-party providers to add support, so it is not yet available for use. There are no outward-facing signs of it that are visible to end users, but there’s a new “PaymentReceived” sound file and images that show off the Tap to Pay interface.
Code suggests that reward passes and refunds will be available with Tap to Pay.
Face ID With Mask Tweaks
When unlocking your iPhone while wearing a mask with the new Face ID with a Mask feature, you might be prompted to “Look Down” to unlock your device. This will pop up if you’re holding your iPhone lower than eye level as the iPhone needs eye contact for the mask unlocking feature to work.
Preparations for Digital IDs in Wallet
Apple may be planning to roll out support for digital IDs and driver’s licenses in iOS 15.4. There isn’t a ton of evidence for this at the current time, but there is a mention of the feature in the PassKit code.
“Find out when your driver’s license or state ID is ready to use and get important updates about your ID,” it reads.
Captive WiFi Network Support on HomePod
Graphics found in the iOS 15.4 code confirm that Apple is adding support for captive WiFi networks on the HomePod, allowing them to be used in situations where there’s a web portal or an additional sign-up step to access WiFi.
This is common in hotels, dorms, and similar situations where logins are required for WiFi.
Other Code Tweaks
There are other mentions of new features in the code that don’t necessarily link to visible changes in the iOS 15.4 update, but might turn out to be something in a later beta.
- “You cannot manage or cancel any external purchases through the App Store. For more information contact the developer.” This is a new line of code in the App Store framework. This likely relates to the option for dating apps in the Netherlands to offer non-App Store payment options.
- A “Manage My Sports” mention in the News Feed framework provides further evidence that Apple is planning to offer expanded sports integration to the Apple News app. There are also mentions of other sports-related info, hinting at a new sports content push.
Everything Else New in iOS 15.4
iOS 15.4 also adds support for Face ID with a Mask, introduces Universal Control, adds new emojis, and tweaks several other features.
We have a full list of changes introduced in the iOS 15.4 betas so far in our complete iOS 15.4 features guide.