Release candidate shows iOS 15.3 will be just bug fixes

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Mac malware is real. Watch out.
Bug fixes aren't exciting, but they're necessary.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the iOS 15.3 release candidate to developers on Thursday, along with the iPadOS equivalent. Surprisingly, the updates appear to include nothing but bug fixes and security updates. There are no new features. Still, I t’s possible these will take care of a headline-making WebKit bug that leaks user information.

Release candidates for macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4 and tvOS 15.3 are also out on Thursday.

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2021 App Store Awards
Illinois wants new legislation against Apple and Google.
Image: Apple

Apple prepares fix for Safari bug that exposes user data

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Safari 15.1 design
But we don't yet know when we'll get it.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple has prepared a fix for a Safari 15 bug that allows websites to view your browsing habits and Google account details. And, because it’s a bug in WebKit — Apple’s browser engine used by Safari and third-party apps in the App Store — it affects virtually all iOS and iPadOS browsers, including Chrome and Brave.

Unfortunately, Apple’s patch won’t be available until the company rolls out new macOS, iOS and iPadOS updates. There’s currently no word on when that might be. Apple is in the process of beta testing new software updates, but it may be too late for the fix to be implemented into those before they are made available to all.

Microsoft ditches its only Forza game for mobile

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Forza-Street-iPad
Forza Street is just too different to actual Forza.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Microsoft has confirmed that it is throwing in the towel on the only Forza game we got for mobile devices. The free-to-play Forza Street will get its final update this month before closing this spring, just two years after it landed.

“We’re proud and grateful for the community of players we were able to build with Forza Street,” Microsoft said. “We want to use what we learned on building new and exciting Forza products.”

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App Store will accept alternative payment systems
The App Store will accept alternative payment systems in South Korea.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

HomeKit bug can send iPhone into reboot loop of death. Here’s how to avoid it.

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Apple Home app
Beware random Home invitations.
Photo: Apple

A newly discovered HomeKit bug can render unsuspecting iPhone and iPad users with a completely unresponsive device. All it takes is for a smart home gadget to be given a super-long name.

Once the bug affects an iOS or iPadOS device, the gadget will continually freeze and restart itself. The only way to fix it is to factory reset the iPhone or iPad — and avoid logging into your iCloud account.

First iOS 15.3 beta is all bug fixes [Updated]

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iOS 15.3 beta 1, iPadOS 15.3, watchOS 8.4 beta 1, tvOS 15.3 beta 1
Apple began beta testing iOS 15.3 and a lot more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the initial iOS 15.3 beta to developers later than usual Friday, along with the iPadOS equivalent. And on Monday, Apple added iOS 15.3 beta 1 and iPadOS 15.3 beta 1 to the Apple Beta Software Program. So far, no one has been able to find any new features in them.

watchOS 8.4 beta 1 and tvOS 15.3 beta 1 also went to developers Friday.

Apple rolls out Swift Playgrounds 4, allowing you to build apps on iPad

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Swift Playgrounds 4
Download the update and start building today.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Swift Playgrounds 4, the newest version of Apple’s official development app for iPad, is now available from the App Store. The update lets you build iOS and iPadOS apps using nothing but your iPad for the first time.

When you’ve finished building, you can upload directly to the App Store. And if you also use a Mac, it’s now easy to transfer projects back and forth between Swift Playgrounds and Xcode using App Projects.

New iPhone security features are almost here

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New iPhone security features are almost here in iOS 15.2
Devs can start testing iOS 15.2. The full release is expected by mid-December.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the iOS 15.2 release candidate to developers on Tuesday, along with the iPad equivalent. When released to the public, iPhones will alert parents if their children send or receive nudes, there’s a new App Privacy Report, and users will be able to look for AirTags that might be tracking them.

The macOS 12.1 RC and watchOS 8.3 RC also went to devs on Tuesday.