The first beta of the upcoming iOS and iPadOS 15.3 update has leaked, suggesting that the next major iPhone and iPad update will focus on bug fixes, speed improvements, and security improvements, rather than larger additions set for software releases in the spring. Mac beta version beta version 15.3 received by MacRumors includes some notable changes, such as updated descriptions for the recently announced Child Safety features, minor improvements to the podcast application, and a review article about the automated release of newsletters at Apple News + for offline reading. While this is likely to be the first draw of several betas, it suggests that the upcoming upgrade will be less significant than some might have expected.
MacRumors analytics have shown an increase in devices on iOS 15.3, with the update taking place around the beginning of the month. Similarly, the same analytics show the stability and regularity of visits from devices running iOS and iPadOS 15.4. The latter could be a more important update, with more user changes ahead of what iOS 15.3 seems to be ready to find.
One feature that many have kept an eye on is Global Control. Apple has officially released the feature, first demoed at WWDC in May, until spring. Global control has not yet been revealed to developers and public beta tests. Apple yesterday also launched its beta macOS program with macOS Monterey 12.2. Neither macOS 12.2 nor the latest version of iPadOS 15.3 with Global Control, adding that the upcoming iPadOS 15.4 and subsequent macOS updates, due to be set up for some time in the spring, will incorporate a much-anticipated and other new changes. Global Control is one of two features initially announced at Apple’s World Developers Forum in May that have yet to be released. Along with Global Control, Apple says the ability for users to add their ID cards and driver’s license to the Wallet application in participating states will be available in early 2022.
Apple this week released iOS and iPadOS 15.2, which includes the updated Update Notification, App Privacy Reports, and more. iOS 15.2 follows iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, released earlier in the fall, bringing the new SharePlay feature of FaceTime.
The download link for iOS 15.3 beta has not been released directly from the source code for Apple’s development release page. The first betas of iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, watchOS 8.4, and tvOS 15.3 obviously should be released to developers yesterday alongside macOS 12.2, but they were pulled back last time. Instead of removing them from the page, however, Apple simply defines the entries in HTML so they do not appear on the page.