Apple has released iOS 15.5 as its latest software release for iPhone users — just weeks before kicking off WWDC 2022 where iOS 16 is expected to debut. The iOS 15.5 update brings new experiences to Apple Wallet and Podcasts. It also carries a list of security fixes and could help the Cupertino company to address regulatory pressure over in-app purchases. Alongside iOS 15.5, Apple has brought iPadOS 15.5 for eligible iPad users. The tech giant has also released macOS Monterey 12.4 that helps fix the poor webcam quality of the Studio Display monitor.
The official changelog shows that iOS 15.5 brings an updated Apple Wallet app that allows Apple Cash card users to quickly send and request money. The update also brings Apple Podcasts with a new setting that helps limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones. Further, the new iOS release brings a fix for the issue that was causing home automation triggered by people arriving or leaving to fail. The latest iOS update also fixes an issue that was causing the iPhone SE (2022) to unexpectedly shutdown in some cases.
Apart from these minor changes, the iOS 15.5 release carries a number of security fixes that you can read in detail from Apple's support page.
The iOS update also expands Apple's Communication Safety in Messages that was initially launched in the US to restrict children from viewing or sharing photos that contain nudity. It has been expanded to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. Apple has mentioned the addition in the iOS 15.5 release notes available to its users in these supported countries, as reported by The Apple Post.
Using Communication Safety, parents and guardians can restrict access of their children to nude content that might appear in the Messages app.
"If Messages detects that a child receives or is attempting to send this type of photo, Messages blurs the photo before it's viewed on your child's device and provides guidance and age-appropriate resources to help them make a safe choice, including contacting someone they trust if they choose," Apple said while explaining the feature on a support page.
The feature can be enabled through the Screen Time settings.
In addition to Communication Safety, iOS 15.5 was seen in its beta version carrying references to enable support for apps with "external purchases". This may eventually allow developers to redirect users to make a purchase for subscription using third-party purchasing systems.
Apple has been facing regulatory pressure over allowing external purchasing systems for apps to reduce its dominance and allow developers to take subscriptions and enable in-app purchases, without paying a 30 percent commission to the company.
Similar to iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5 carries the new Apple Podcasts app that includes the setting to limit episodes stored on your iPad and automatically delete existing ones. There are also security fixes patching some of the known vulnerabilities.
Apple has introduced support for Studio Display Firmware Update 15.5 through macOS Monterey 12.4. The firmware update is touted to help refine camera tuning on the Studio Display monitor by including improved noise reduction, contrast, and framing.
The macOS Monterey 12.4 release also includes the Apple Podcasts app with the setting to limit episodes stored on your Mac and automatically delete older ones. Furthermore, there are security fixes that Apple has detailed on a dedicated support page.
Apple has notably released its new software versions a few weeks before its WWDC 2022 where iOS 16 and other new operating systems are expected to be showcased. This year's annual developer conference is taking place on June 6.
You can download iOS 15.5 or iPadOS 15.5 on your device by going to Settings > General > Software Update. The updates are available for all the devices that are running on a recent iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 release.
The macOS Monterey 12.4 update is available to all eligible MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. You can manually check for the update by going to System Preferences > Software Update after clicking on the Apple menu icon from the top-left corner of your computer's screen. You can also alternatively get the update by visiting the About This Mac setting from the Apple menu.