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Apple isn’t done with iOS 15 and macOS 12 yet

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Apple isn’t done with iOS 15 and macOS 12 yet
Teasing begins on first betas of iOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 and more Apple operating system updates.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the first betas of iOS 15.6 and macOS 12.5 to developers on Wednesday, even though their replacements will be announced in less than a month. iOS 16 and macOS 13 will surely be unveiled at the WWDC developers conference in early June, but work on their predecessors goes on.

Developers were also given access to iPadOS 15.6 beta 1, watchOS 8.7 beta 1 and tvOS 15.6 beta 1.

Wait is over for iOS 15.5, macOS 12.4 and watchOS 8.6

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iOS 15.5, macOS 12.4, iPadOS 15.5, watchOS 8.6 and tvOS 15.5: If you have an Apple computer, no matter the shape or size, there's a good chance it just got a software update.
If you have an Apple computer, no matter the shape or size, there's a good chance it just got a software update.
Photo: Szabo Viktor/Unsplash License

Apple released software upgrades for all its computers Monday. After finishing weeks of beta testing, macOS Monterey 12.4, iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, watchOS 8.6 and tvOS 15.5 are available for anyone to download.

Many of them include an update to the Podcasts application to keep it from taking up too much storage space. And the webcam in the recently released Apple Studio Display will work better after a firmware update.

iOS 15.5 and macOS 12.4 take a big step toward release

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iOS 15.5 and macOS 12.4 take a big step toward release
There are new release candidates for the operating systems that run all these Apple devices.
Photo: Apple

Apple gave both developers and the public access to the release candidates of macOS Monterey 12.4 and iOS 15.5 on Thursday. The iPadOS 15.5 Release Candidate also went out, as did the watchOS 8.6 RC and tvOS 15.5 RC. That’s the final step before introducing them to the public.

Aside from long-overdue improvements to the Studio Display webcam in macOS, all these are really just minor tweaks. But that’s not surprising considering Apple is expected to unveil the next major upgrades for the OSs at WWDC22 in early June.

Apple re-signs iOS 15.4 to fix Studio Display update issue

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Firmware updates for Studio Displays failed over the weekend but they're fixed now.
Firmware updates for Studio Displays failed over the weekend but they're fixed now.
Photo: Apple

Late last week, Apple stopped signing iOS 15.4 following the release of iOS 15.4.1, making it impossible for users to downgrade their iPhones’ software. But the change also inadvertently stopped people from updating their new Studio Displays’ firmware, based on iOS.

Complaints ensued on Sunday. And before the end of the day, Cupertino re-signed iOS 15.4, making it valid and verifiable to servers again.

Did Apple release the $1,599 Studio Display with so much fanfare only to forget about it when it launched iOS 15.4.1?

Apple no longer allows you to downgrade your iPhone to iOS 15.4

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macOS Monterey 12.3 brings Apple’s Universal Control, iOS 15.4 offers Face ID with a mask
You cannot go back to iOS 15.4 now
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has stopped signing iOS 15.4 just over a week after releasing iOS 15.4.1 to the public. This means it is no longer possible to downgrade your iPhone to the older version of the operating system. The company also stopped signing iPadOS 15.4, so you cannot downgrade your iPad to the older firmware either.

iOS 15.5 adds support for apps with external payment options

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Apple lets reader apps link to their own sites
Apple last week confirmed it will allow 'reader' apps to add links to external sites.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest iOS 15.5 update, which was first made available to registered developers on Wednesday, begins adding support for external payment systems inside third-party apps.

The change comes after Apple last week confirmed that it will give “reader” apps the ability to include links to external sites where users can manage their accounts and subscriptions, and make purchases outside of the App Store.

iOS 15.4.1 improves iPhone battery life, macOS 12.3.1 fixes Bluetooth bug

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iOS 15.4.1 release improves iPhone battery life, macOS 12.3.1 fixes Bluetooth bug
If you have an Apple device, it probably got an OS update on Thursday.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple introduced bug fix updates for every one of its operating systems on Thursday. These updates should improve the battery life on iPhone and iPad. And for Mac users, the new version fixes well-publicized bugs recently introduced by macOS 12.3.

However, there are no new features in macOS Monterey 12.3.1, iOS 15.4.1, iPadOS 15.4.1, watchOS 8.5.1 and tvOS 15.4.1 — Apple just fixed small problems. All five updates are available to download immediately.

How to get the new gender-neutral Siri voice in iOS 15.4

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri doesn’t have to sound female.
Image: Apple

One of the new features in iOS 15.4, released earlier this week, is a new, gender-neutral voice for Siri.

Apple developed the gender-neutral voice in response to criticism for using female voices as the default for the virtual assistant. If you want Siri to use a voice that is not explicitly female or male — maybe if you don’t identify that way yourself, or if you just want a nongendered voice assistant — now you have the option.

Here’s how to switch to the new voice on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

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