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With iOS 15.5 officially released, we walk you through all of the changes found in this new update for iPhone including improvements to Wallet, Home, and Podcasts.
After the typical rolling waves of betas, Apple has released iOS 15.5 to the masses. Often referred to as “point” updates, they can contain minor new features and help solidify the user experience.
Significant changes will come this summer with the announcement of iOS 16, but until then, here is what Apple has refined.
New changes in iOS 15.5
Despite the near announcement of iOS 16, Apple still isn’t done with iOS 15. Some notable changes include the expansion of Communication Safety in Messages to the UK, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia plus the patching of dozens of security vulnerabilities.
Some apps seem to have gotten more love than others. Home, Wallet, and Podcasts got the largest number of enhancements.
For HomeKit users, Apple tweaked a couple of things in the Home app. Now, the Home app will prompt users for critical alert permissions.
Critical alerts are notifications that will sound, even when your phone is in do not disturb mode or on vibrate. They’ll be used for urgent events, such as a smoke detector getting triggered. Without critical alerts, you may miss these notifications.
HomePods will now also show their signal strength in the Home app. When you go into a HomePod’s settings, tapping the Wi-Fi network will show how strong the Wi-Fi signal is.
Apple has now updated all references to the physical Apple Card within the Wallet app to be the titanium Apple Card. The iTunes Pass appears to have been updated as well, now being referred to the Apple Account Balance.
Users can request or send money directly from the Apple Cash Card in Wallet, rather than first navigating to Messages. In Messages though, Apple has renamed the Apple Pay Messages app to the Apple Cash Messages app.
Finally, Vaccination records in the EU Digital COVID certificate format can now be added.
Ahead of the iOS 15.5 release, Apple announced new improvements for podcast producers. It would streamline the distribution method so that producers could share their paid and free podcasts on multiple platforms without having to upload to multiple locations.
This will be coming later this year for producers, but the iOS 15.5 update brought a user-facing feature. Now you can control how many recent episodes download to prevent too much space from being taken up.
In Settings, you can choose exactly how many episodes to download and the Podcasts app will auto-delete older episodes.
Other small changes
With iOS 15.5, iPhone supports new DualSense adaptive trigger firmware features. Photos will no longer suggest memories taken in 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 back. We’ve also heard rumors of a dedicated app for classical music, though it wasn’t included in 15.5.
Reader apps now have the option to link to external websites. Finally, Universal Control now requires both your iPad to be on iPadOS 15.5 and Mac to be on macOS 12.4.
The iOS 15.5 update is available now as a free download. You can download it manually from the Settings app.