Apple has started beta testing iOS 15.5, which comes with a few small upgrades for iPhone users. While Apple releases major iOS versions every September with new iPhones, it also rolls out new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements throughout the year via minor updates. Alongside the first beta build of iOS i5.5, Apple has also rolled out iPadOS 15.5 Beta 1. The stable versions of both operating systems are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
Apple rolled out iOS 15.4 in March 2022, just a few days before the release of the iPhone SE (2022). It comes with several new features and enhancements, including the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask. It also includes a new voice for Siri, Digital IDs, AirTag anti-stalking improvements, Live Text integration with Notes and Reminders, a new Tap-to-Pay feature for Apple‘s digital wallet, new emojis, and more.
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The addition of so many new features to iOS 15.4 has resulted in iOS 15.5 being a minor upgrade. Still, there are a couple of notable additions, including new ‘Request’ and ‘Send’ buttons on the Apple Cash card within the Wallet app. With iOS 15.5, Apple is also expanding its new ‘SportsKit’ framework that the company is believed to have been working on for some time. It is, however, not yet available for developers. The latest beta version of iOS also includes several references to Apple Classical, the company’s upcoming streaming app dedicated to classical music. The app is expected to build upon the best features of the classical music streaming app Primephonic, which Apple acquired last year and then shut down.
External Payment Options For Third-Party Apps
In addition, 9to5Mac has also discovered code within iOS 15.5 that shows added support for external payment options inside third-party apps. The support will be limited to what the company calls ‘reader apps,’ such as Netflix, Spotify, Kindle, Audible, etc. Government regulations in many countries are forcing Apple and Google to allow third-party app payments, with South Korea becoming the first country to mandate this requirement in January 2022. The new feature will come with some restrictions, however, including the inability to seamlessly manage third-party purchases on iPhones or iPads.
Another change in iOS 15.5 relates to the iTunes Pass, which is being rebranded as ‘Apple Account Card’ to better reflect the fact that the balance can also be used for App Store and in-app purchases. The change was also originally highlighted by 9to5Mac, although it isn’t present in iOS 15.5 Beta 1. Apple’s Wallet app has also started referring to the physical Apple Card as the ‘Titanium Card.’ Finally, in iOS 15.5, the Home app displays Wi-Fi bars to indicate whether a HomePod is connected to an iPhone.