Apple released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 to the general public yesterday. These updates are lean on features as per the official release notes, however, there are some minor changes that Apple did not officially document. Here is a list of everything that is new in these updates.
iOS 15.5 Features
Apple has added a new “automatically download” feature that allows users to configure a “download and keep” option for the number of podcasts that can be automatically downloaded on an iPhone or iPad. Older podcasts are automatically deleted based on the selected option. This setting can be changed by going to Settings > Podcasts and is helpful for users with limited storage space.
Apple Pay Cash
Users can now use new send and request buttons under their Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app. Apple has also renamed the Apple Card to “Titanium Card” in the Wallet app, while Apple Pay appears as “Apple Cash” in the Messages app.
Third-party apps such as audio and video streaming, as well as apps that support purchasing books, can now link to external websites for creating accounts and managing payments. This could potentially allow apps like Netflix and Spotify to support payments on iPhone once again, this time through their own payment systems. These apps had stopped supporting in-app purchases to avoid giving a 30% commission to Apple.
Memories features in the Photos app now ignores sensitive locations such as holocaust memorials.
Apple Music API
iOS 15.5 brings back playback control support to the Apple Music API, which should allow third-party apps to change playback speeds.
A bug fix is now available for Automations, which could fail to trigger when users leave or arrive at a location.
Universal Control is no longer in beta in iPadOS 15.5. The same applies to macOS Monterey 12.4.
The Home app now shows Wi-Fi signal bars to show connectivity strength for HomePods.
Communication Safety in Messages
The “Communication Safety in Messages” feature has now rolled out to the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, after launching earlier in the U.S. This feature analyzes images shared in messages for nudity or CSAM, and if found, the feature blurs the image and triggers a warning that the image could be sensitive like showing private parts, can hurt them and could have been shared without the permission of the person in the image. Here is how you can enable it.
iPhone SE (3rd gen)
A bug fix is included in iOS 15.5 for an issue that could cause iPhone SE (3rd gen) to unexpectedly shutdown.
iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 feature around 27 security fixes, which apply to features like Wi-Fi, WebKit, Shortcuts, Kernel, Notes, and more.