iOS 15.2 may only be a few weeks away from a public release.
Apple released iOS 15 in September before following up with iOS 15.1 — the first major update to Apple’s latest operating system software — a month later. The 15.1 update brought FaceTime SharePlay and ProRes support to the iPhone, but we’re still waiting for features like Universal Control to move seamlessly between iOS devices and devices running MacOS Monterey.
However, Apple has released an iOS 15.2 beta, which gives us a glimpse at new features coming in the next public release. Here’s what we know so far.
iOS 15.2 release date
Apple hasn’t announced a public release date for iOS 15.2, but it offered the 15.2 release candidate to developers on Dec 7. Given that and other details, we can make an educated guess about when it might arrive. The 15.1 beta began on Sept. 21, and the update was released publicly on Oct. 25. The 15.2 beta started on Oct. 28, so we’re expecting a public release sometime in December.
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App Privacy Report
The biggest new feature in iOS 15.2 is the App Privacy Report. This report is intended to help users control who has access to their data. If you’ve ever looked at your weekly Screen Time reports, the App Privacy Report is similarly organized — but instead of telling you how much time you’ve spent in different apps, the report shows what data and sensors each app can access, network activity for those apps and other privacy-related data.
The latest version of the beta also changed the wording of the iCloud Private Relay setting. The option is now listed under Cellular and Wi-Fi settings as Limit IP Address Tracking. It’s not a functional change, but the new wording should make it clearer what users can opt into.
Apple Music Voice
A surprise addition to iOS 15.2 is Apple Music Voice, a new subscription tier for Apple Music, as reported by 9to5Mac. The Voice tier cuts the subscription price in half — down to $4.99 per month — but it can only be controlled through Siri, not manually through the Apple Music app. Spatial audio and lyrics features won’t be available, but you will have access to the full Apple Music catalog.
Apple Music playlist search
If you already have Apple Music, the iOS 15.2 beta now lets you search within a playlist for a song, according to MacRumors. You have to go into a playlist and swipe down from the top of your screen to show the search bar.
Macro Control for photos
People with an iPhone 13 Pro or Max can now use the Ultra Wide lens on these models to take close-up photos and videos in the 15.2 beta. To turn this on go to Settings, then Camera, and in this menu there’s a toggle called Macro Control. When it’s toggled on, you should see a flower icon on your screen when taking a picture. Tap the flower icon when you’re close to an object to enter Macro mode.
Updates to the Find My feature
The current iOS 15.2 beta also brought an update to Apple’s Find My feature. The change, reported by MacRumors, allows users to use the Find My app to scan for “Items that Can Track Me,” identifying nearby items, such as AirTags, that can send location data. They can then elect to disable the tracking feature on any devices found.
The update has stirred up some controversy because it drags the Find My feature in two conflicting directions. The update appears to be designed to help give people more control of their privacy by preventing unwanted devices from tracking them. However, it also seems to undercut the function of AirTags by potentially giving thieves the ability to shut off tracking of any AirTags on stolen items.
Parts and Service History
According to 9to5Mac, the 15.2 update will also let you see the repair history on your iPhone by going to Settings > General > About > Parts and Service History. The new section will detail any servicing that took place at Apple as well as whether the parts came from Apple or an unknown vendor. However, if you haven’t taken your iPhone in for service, the feature won’t display.
Other new features in iOS 15.2
The second version of the iOS 15.2 beta added the ability for users to designate legacy contacts as part of Apple’s Digital Legacy program. And iCloud Plus subscribers can now use Apple’s Hide My Email feature from the Mail app itself, instead of bouncing in and out. The full list of updates can be found on Apple’s developer site.
How to download iOS 15.2
Before you can test the beta versions of Apple software, you’ll need to sign up for Apple’s Beta Software Program. Be aware that beta versions of software are buggy and lack things like battery optimization, so we only recommend downloading betas on an extra device, not your primary phone, tablet or laptop. Once you’re participating in the program, you’ll need to download the configuration profile from Apple. After a restart, you should be able to find the latest beta version by going to Settings > General > Software update and selecting Download and Install.
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