iOS 15.4 beta 3 changes and features: hands-on with what’s new [Video]

By | February 16, 2022


The initial iOS 15.4 beta brought about several significant new changes and updates, and the next release featured smaller tweaks to the update. Developer beta 3, the third release of the iOS 15.4 beta, follows this trend. Watch our brief hands-on video as we have a look at the iOS 15.4 beta 3 changes and features, and be sure to subscribe to 9to5mac on Youtube for more videos.

What’s new in iOS 15.4 beta 3?

Emergency SOS reminder

One of the easiest new changes to spot is the new Emergency SOS reminder that appears when visiting the Settings app. Users may find a Review Emergency SOS reminder right below the iCloud preference panel in the root of the Settings app. This reminder prompt, which takes users directly to Settings → Emergency SOS, serves as a means to review emergency contact settings and update or add to those contacts if needed. Emergency SOS is also where users can setup the Emergency SOS emergency services triggers either by holding the Side and Volume buttons or by rapidly pressing the side button fives times in a row.

Video: iOS 15.4 beta 3 changes and features

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Download software updates over 4G

Users have been able to download OTA updates via 5G since the iPhone 12, but today’s iOS 15.4 appears to allow some users in previously unsupported locations to download updates via cellular LTE.

Updated iconography in Magnifier app

The Magnifier app, which has seen several updates to its lens selection UI over the course of the beta, gets new iconography for the Auto, Close-up, and Front lens selections in beta 3.

TV app Still Frame / Poster Art selection option now works

A new preference for the TV app found in Settings → TV → Up Next Display was initially presented in the first iOS 15.4 beta, but changing the settings had no effect. In iOS 15.4 beta 3, you’ll notice a visible change when switching between a still frame from a paused image versus promotional poster artwork in the TV app.

What’s New in Apple Podcasts splash screen

A new Apple Podcasts splash screen highlights two new features — podcast filters and episode browsing – that rolled out in the previous iOS 15.4 beta.

Filter podcasts that you subscribe to by episodes

You can now filter podcasts that you subscribe to show episodes that are unplayed or downloaded. The new filter feature is accessible by tapping the Episodes drop down menu from the main podcast show page.

Browse podcasts by seasons

In addition to being able to filter podcasts by episodes, you can also browse individual seasons for shows shows that feature season metadata. Using the same Episodes dropdown menu on the main show page, you can quickly select between multiple seasons. Once you select a season, the Podcasts app allows you to continue to filter by episode.

Scheduled summary weekly notification average

The Scheduled Summary found in Settings → Notifications, now breaks down the Apps in Summary by weekly notification average instead of daily notification average.

New ‘Universal Control’ buttons in macOS beta

In an effort to make accessing options for Universal Control easier, Apple has replaced the Advanced button with a Universal Control button in System Preferences → Displays. Behind this button, you’ll find the three primary Universal Control settings. Be sure to watch our in-depth Universal Control walkthrough for all of the juicy details.

No new Xcode beta probably means hardware announcements soon

Finally, in what is perhaps the most significant portion of yesterday’s beta updates, there was no new Xcode 13.3 beta to download, which is usually indicative that hardware updates are right around the corner. Seeing as Apple is rumored to be holding a March 8th event, it may be several weeks before we see a new Xcode beta.

9to5mac’s Take

It looks like all of the major changes for iOS 15.4 happened with the initial beta release. That release included the update’s two headlining features: Face ID unlock while wearing a face mask, and Universal Control for iPadOS/macOS. Updates like iOS 15.4 beta 3 continue to work out the bugs and make minor modifications as iOS 15.4 gets closer to a public release.

What are your thoughts on iOS 15.4 beta 3? Sound off down below in the comments, and be sure to watch our previous two iOS 15.4 video walkthroughs for even more details:

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