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With the official release of iOS 15.5, we walk you through all the changes found in this new iPhone update, including improvements to Wallet, Home, and Podcasts.
After the typical waves of betas, Apple released iOS 15.5 for the masses. Often referred to as “one-time” updates, they may contain minor new features and help improve the user experience.
Big changes are coming this summer with the announcement of iOS 16, but until then, here’s what Apple has tweaked.
New changes in iOS 15.5
Despite the imminent announcement of iOS 16, Apple is still not done with iOS 15. Some notable changes include the expansion of communications security in Messages to the UK, New Zealand, Canada and in Australia, as well as fixing dozens of security vulnerabilities.
Some apps seem to have gotten more love than others. Home, Portfolio, and Podcasts got the most improvements.
For HomeKit users, Apple has changed a few things in the Home app. Now the Home app will ask users for critical alert permissions.
Critical alerts are notifications that sound, even when your phone is in do not disturb or vibrate mode. They will be used for urgent events, such as triggering a smoke detector. Without critical alerts, you might miss those notifications.
HomePods will now also show their signal strength in the Home app. When you go to a HomePod’s settings, tap the Wi-Fi network to see the Wi-Fi signal strength.
Apple has now updated all references to the physical Apple Card in the Wallet app to the Titanium Apple Card. The iTunes Pass also appears to have been updated, now referring to the Apple Account balance.
Users can request or send money directly from the Apple Cash card in Wallet, rather than navigating to Messages first. In Messages however, Apple has renamed the Apple Pay Messages app to the Apple Cash Messages app.
Finally, vaccination records in EU COVID digital certificate format can now be added.
Ahead of the release of iOS 15.5, Apple announced new enhancements for podcast producers. This would streamline the distribution method so that producers can share their paid and free podcasts across multiple platforms without having to upload them to multiple locations.
It will come later this year for producers, but the iOS 15.5 update brought user-oriented functionality. You can now control the number of recent episodes downloaded to prevent too much space from being taken up.
In Settings, you can choose exactly the number of episodes downloaded, and the Podcasts app will automatically delete older episodes.
Other small changes
With iOS 15.5, iPhone supports new DualSense adaptive triggering firmware features. Photos will no longer suggest memories taken from sensitive locations, such as Holocaust-related locations.
After being removed in iOS 15.4, a third-party API to control music playback speed has been added. We’ve also heard rumors of a dedicated classical music app, although it wasn’t included in 15.5.
Reader apps now have the ability to link to external websites. Finally, Universal Control now requires your iPad to be on iPadOS 15.5 and your Mac to be on macOS 12.4.
The iOS 15.5 update is now available for free download. You can download it manually from the Settings app.