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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 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.

Apple resumes beta testing upcoming iOS and macOS versions [Updated]

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Apple resumes beta testing upcoming iOS and macOS versions
Developers got their first look at macOS 12.4, iOS 15.5 and more on Tuesday. And the public could join in starting Wednesday.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

After a three-week hiatus, Apple seeded to developers beta versions of all its operating systems on Tuesday. That includes macOS Monterey 12.4, iOS 15.5 and more. On Wednesday, the public was also given the option to test these.

These pre-release versions for iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, etc. first came out on the same day Apple announced the date for its WWDC Developers Conference. Beta testing for the five just-released OS versions is expected to end around the same time as the conference.

Hulu adds SharePlay support on iPhone and iPad

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Hulu adds SharePlay support
Enjoy Hulu content with your friends, wherever they may be.
Image: Hulu/Cult of Mac

Hulu today joined the list of third-party video streaming services that offer SharePlay support on iPhone and iPad.

Its latest app update gives viewers the ability to enjoy movies and TV shows with their friends over FaceTime while everyone stays in sync. It also adds the ability to easily switch between channels for Live TV users.

iOS update fails to deliver promised iPhone battery improvement

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iOS update does not deliver promised iPhone battery improvement
While some iPhone models saw an increase in battery life with iOS 15.4.1, most did not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Benchmark testing of nine different iPhone models shows that less than half of them experienced any improvement to battery life from the recent iOS 15.4.1 update, despite Apple describing that as a major feature of the new version. More of the handsets saw a decrease instead.

On the devices affected, the drop in battery life is generally small, but it’s nevertheless likely to leave some iPhone users holding off on the update. Which is unfortunate, as iOS 15.4.1 also closes a security hole that Apple says has been actively exploited.

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.

Apple Maps gets a major upgrade in Canada

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Apple Maps gets a major upgrade in Canada
Enjoy a more detailed city experience, with 3D buildings and landmarks.
Images: Apple

Apple Maps users in Canada can now enjoy a more detailed mapping experience, as well as enhanced navigation, in several big cities.

Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are the latest to get Apple’s most recent Maps upgrades — which first debuted in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area in iOS 15 last September.