Apple has already told the world when this year’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference will take place, reserving time (as usual) during the first week of June. It’s at this event that we’ll see the next version of iOS, probably known as iOS 16. But, until we get there, we have at least one more update to iOS 15 — iOS 15.5.
And today is the day! Apple officially released the next update for the mobile operating system to the public. As one can imagine, though, while there are some new elements to the mix, it’s not jam packed with new features for the end user. That will come with the next update.
Things are pretty minor this time around. Interestingly, this software update appears to be more about laying the groundwork for more things coming down the pipe. But, it’s not a barren wasteland at least.
So, let’s take a look at what is new in iOS 15.5.
The new additions in iOS 15.5
- Apple Pay Cash: Apple is adding dedicated buttons for requesting and sending money through Apple Pay Cash. And in addition to that, you’ll now find “Apple Cash” in the Messages app instead of Apple Pay to send money. There’s the new “Enhanced Fraud Protection” feature as well for Apple Cash.
- iTunes Pass: Apple is rebranding iTunes Pass to Apple Balance. This is a fast and easy way to see how much money is available through your Apple ID — the money you can spend on apps, games, movies, and other content.
- Podcasts: The Podcasts app now boasts a feature that limits the number of episodes stored on your iPhone, and will automatically delete older episodes.
- Automations: iOS 15.5 fixes an issue that would see home automations, which are activated when someone arrives or leaves, would fail.
Here is the official changelog Apple attached along with the software update:
iOS 15.5 includes the following improvements and bug fixes:
- Wallet now enables Apple Cash customers to send and request money from their Apple Cash card
- Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones
- Fixes an issue where home automations, triggered by people arriving or leaving, may fail
Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
Apple has a Classical music app in the works, with direct references found in older beta versions of iOS 15.5. As mentioned above, this software update is laying the groundwork for additional changes that are coming in the future. Those include:
- Reader apps add external links: Apple has been working on this particular element for a bit of time now, a result of outside pressure. “External Link Account Entitlement” allows developers to add a dedicated link within apps designated as “Reader” apps to external websites for account creation and management. This means apps like Netflix and Hulu will now allow folks to tap a link within the app and create an account outside of the mobile app.
- Apple Photos: The Photos app now supports “Sensitive Locations.” This means that these specific locations will not auto populates within the Memories feature. Some of the first sites listed as a sensitive location by Apple are holocaust memorials and designated concentration camps.
- Apple Music: Apple is adding an API that will make it possible for third-party Apple Music players to adjust playback speed. Apple previously removed this API with the wide release of iOS 15.4, but has decided to bring it back with this release.
- SportsKit: Apple continues to develop SportsKit as it eyes even more sports content for Apple TV and Apple TV+. This new element to Apple’s operating systems allows for apps like Apple TV and Apple News to have even more robust sports content embedded within them. There will be a new play-by-play section within the TV app, and the scoreboard is getting redesigned as well.
- Home app: The updated Home app will now show even more relevant information related to your connected Wi-Fi network, including address. It will be clickable to see even more, such as network strength.
- Weather: The slightly redesigned app now has an easier “Report a Problem” option.
- AirTag: Additional support for a new chirp sound for the item tracking accessory.
- Safari: There is a new icon for “Find on page” in the web browser.
- Third-party game controller support: For folks who use Sony’s DualShock 5 controller, iOS 15.5 supports the controller’s adaptive trigger feature.
Found in the code and more
- There will be additional Focus modes in the future, all hinted at in the latest code for iOS 15.5.
- New notifications from apps that remind the user “external purchases from [insert app] may still exist.”
- General modem firmware update
And that appears to be it up to this point! It’s possible some newer elements are added to the mix with the public launch of the mobile operating system, and if that is indeed the case we’ll update this post accordingly.
It’s not a huge update, but at least Apple’s adding some elements and tweaking other aspects.
But now it’s all eyes on iOS 16 as we wait for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in early June to see what’s coming next.