The iOS 15.5 beta has just launched for developers, meaning it won't be too long before your iPhone gets another round of downloadable enhancements.
iOS 15 has been available for over half a year, but is still getting notable updates, with the last update, iOS 15.4, introducing some welcome changes like Face ID compatibility with face masks. iOS 15.5 therefore has a tough act to follow.
Nothing found in iOS 15.5 so far seems quite as big as being able to unlock your iPhone with face protection on. But there are hints of some handy changes all the same, such as to the Wallet app or new services aimed at classical music and sports fans.
Below are all the changes spotted so far in iOS 15.5. We'll be keeping this updated as more stuff is found, so be sure to check back and see how it's shaping up.
iOS 15.5 latest news and rumors (updated April 7)
- A new feature allowing limited third-party payments has been found in the iOS 15.5 beta, showing Apple's slowly becoming more permissive towards apps letting you spend money outside the App Store.
iOS 15.5 release date
The beta for iOS 15.5 is available now, but we don't recommend everyone go and try this software out immediately. Betas are run to check features are usable and free from bugs, meaning downloading the beta onto your iPhone may mean you don't actually have anything new to play with. Or even worse could cause problems for your phone like data loss. Only try out the beta if you happen to have a spare compatible device around to safely sample the new version of the operating system.
As for a stable iOS 15.5 release — the one the vast majority of us will want to download — there's no news yet. With the beta currently live though, we'd imagine it'll only be a month or two before it arrives.
iOS 15.5: the features so far
There's no exhaustive list of iOS 15.5 features yet since it's still so new. These are the highlights so far though.
Apple Wallet Cash and Account Card
In the Apple Wallet app (spotted by MacRumors), the Cash menu has now gained prominent Pay and Request buttons. These should make it easier to give and get money from your contacts, rather than going through your banking app or getting cash out at an ATM to do it in person. We hope this makes it out of beta and into the stable release for regular users.
A smaller Wallet change found by 9to5Mac is that the iTunes Pass, the name for your gift card funds or other money present within Apple services) seems to be getting renamed to Apple Account Card. As the iTunes app no longer exists since Apple decided to split out its various functions across other apps, it makes sense for Apple to change this feature's name. If anything it's surprising this wasn't already done.
The code of iOS 15.5 contains a few mentions of Apple Classical, the long-rumored streaming app focusing on orchestral music. The release of this app likely isn't dependent on iOS 15.5, but the fact it's present shows Apple might be preparing for an imminent launch.
Another rumored feature found mentioned in the code, SportsKit is an Apple software package that allows for live sports scores and data to be sent to a home screen widget and read out by Siri; it's possible it can do more, but that isn't known right now due to the way Apple's limited access to the framework. It sounds like only specifically authorized partners will be able to use SportsKit's features, perhaps official sports teams and franchises.
Third-party payments for apps
This should make managing your subscriptions via your iPhone much easier. A developer permission allowing specific types of apps to direct users to payment systems outside the Apple ecosystem has been discovered in the beta, including warnings to the user that this is the case (see the illustration below). Apple's not allowed this before, but in the wake of legal action such as Apple vs. Epic Games, it's seemingly had no choice but to allow users the option to set up and manage non-App Store payments through iOS apps.
It's also worth noting that WWDC 2022 has been announced for June 6, and that'll be where we see the next full generation of iOS, iOS 16, debut, along with the latest generation of software for iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and more. We don't know much about what Apple will introduce here, but we're excited to hear what's coming to our Apple devices in the near future.