The secrets of iOS 15.4: from the VR / AR viewer to the news for PWAs

Apple kicked off the iOS 15.4 beta cycle which introduced several important innovations, starting with the possibility of configuring the unlock via Face ID even when wearing a mask (valid from iPhone 12 onwards), to add the vaccination certificate directly on Wallet and beyond.

The next version of iOS – whose release in a stable version is expected in spring – therefore promises to be very rich and it seems that the news has not ended here, since digging into the code it is possible to find further secrets that reveal what is cooking in Cupertino. The developer took care of analyzing the next news Maximiliano Firtman, who has published all his discoveries on his personal website, going into detail about some of the most interesting changes brought about by the first beta of iOS 15.4.


One of the most interesting updates is undoubtedly the better support for Progressive Web Apps, supported by iOS since 2018 but which until now could not express their full potential due to the lack of implementation of some APIs.

The most important news in this field concerns the introduction of the API which will allow PWAs to receive push notifications, a fundamental element for many of these. Let’s think for example of the experimental versions of Telegram Web, two applications that work very well already today, but which are practically useless as it is not possible to receive push notifications relating to incoming chats.

The API for notifications can be activated within the experimental functions section of Safari, however it seems that they are not yet functional, so it will still take some work, but the road is now cleared. Among the other innovations we point out the arrival of the universal icon support for PWAs, so now developers will no longer have to provide a specification, but Safari will directly draw the right one.


The release of iOS 15.4 also brought with it new clues regarding Apple’s ambitions in the AR / VR world (which we talked about recently), in particular always linked to the world of the web. In fact, we are talking aboutintroduction of the WebXR API, which allows you to manage and enjoy web browsing through the use of a VR or AR viewer.

Again the API has been integrated into the operating system but there is no way to test it. In addition to being disabled by default, there is no device compatible with iOS devices, so it is not possible to carry out any type of test in this regard. Of course we know that the implementation of this API is just one first step towards the release of the much discussed Apple viewer, now at the center of rumors for some time.

The fact that these movements are happening at the end of iOS 15’s lifecycle – we consider iOS 15.4 to be the last or penultimate major update before iOS 16 – suggests that Apple is speeding up, so it shouldn’t be long. before the elusive device is shown in one of the Californian company’s upcoming events.


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