Last month, Apple released its latest update to iOS for iPhones and other iOS-enabled devices, iOS 15.4. Some updates to the operating system include the ability to use facial recognition to open a device while users are wearing face masks, a COVID-19-inspired update, and an update to seamlessly use multiple devices as multiple screens, to share information between two iOS 15.4-enabled devices.
Upon downloading the update, many users reported issues with the update, including an increased power drain on their batteries and some accessibility devices not working properly with the new update.
On March 31, Apple released a fix to many issues brought to their attention by their users, including fixing the battery drain and the accessibility issues on Braille devices and MFi hearing devices, a type of hearing aid that connects to phones wirelessly.
Grace Coelho, master’s student in forensic psychology, expressed concerns over the facial recognition software being based on a smaller percentage of the user’s face.
“I guess it’s interesting because then it’s only going based off your forehead and your eyes, so it’s maybe less reliable,” Coelho said. “It would make it more susceptible to other people being able to get in.”
Kristine Johnson, sophomore nursing major, however, said she thinks the mask update is a good idea, because people all over the world are still wearing masks, and it makes it easier to unlock your phone without having to remove it.
“I think that’s pretty cool, because so many of us have to wear masks now,” Johnson said. “Not as much on campus but locally, nationally, that’s still a pretty big thing. Very useful.”
Another update iOS 15.4 and iOS 15.4.1 offer is the ability to use multiple devices as multiple screens, and having your information spread through both screens.
Johnson said she thinks the ability to share information between devices is efficient.
“Apple has so many different products, and I think a lot of people like stick to Apple and buy everything Apple products,” Johnson said.
Apple’s website urges people to update their devices and tells them how, since it does not always happen automatically.
“You can update your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS wirelessly,” Apple’s website reads. “If you’re using iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later, you might see the option to choose between two software update versions.
“You can update to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS 15 as soon as it’s released, or continue to use iOS or iPadOS 14 while still getting important security updates for a period of time. If you can’t see the update on your device, use your computer to update your device manually.”
In the past, Apple has not been very responsive when people complain about the battery life of its products, but this time they heard the complaints about this bug in the software causing battery drain and they fixed it quickly. They also responded to the accessibility issues brought to their attention.
Coelho said she is glad Apple responded to these issues quickly.
“I think that’s a good upgrade to have to become more inclusive,” Coelho said.
Johnson said she would not have thought to complain about these issues, but she is glad other people did and they responded to it.
This new update is available for iPhone 6S and later, all models of iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad fifth generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch generation 7.