Home Latest News Is Apple done with iOS 15? – Macworld

Is Apple done with iOS 15? – Macworld

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About two weeks ago, Apple released iOS 15.4 and macOS 12.3 (and their associated contemporaries in iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS). These were big releases with lots of features, but that’s not the weird part. The weird part is that they were not immediately followed by a beta of iOS 15.5 or macOS 12.4.
That’s usually the way these things go. A new version of iOS is released, and within days–sometimes hours–the a beta of the next version is made available to developers. Head to the developer beta site now and you’re greeted with a big blue box that simply says, “There’s currently no beta software available for download.” And it has been that way for two weeks!
Update 03/31/22: Apple has released iOS 15.4.1, a minor bugfix and security update with no new features. As this article says, these are to be expected, while major updates with new features may not arrive until after WWDC in June.
It’s a bit unusual, at least in modern years, for iOS releases to be finished by this time of year.
While iOS 14.8 was just a big security release, and iOS 14.7 was mostly bug fixes, we got new features in iOS 14.6 in late May. But those features were announced in Apple’s spring event, which was held in late April.
For the first time since iOS 15 arrived, the Apple Developer site turns away anyone looking for a beta.
The last significant iOS 13 release was iOS 13.6, released in July 2020. The last major iOS 12 release was iOS 12.4, released in July 2019. But there was a pretty large 12.3 release in May as well.
What most of these last few years of iOS releases have in common is a big May release to support features announced during Apple’s spring event, and then a July release to support new features announced at WWDC.
In the case of iOS 15, all of the major features announced at its unveiling last summer are finally available (Universal Control was the last big one) and Apple didn’t announce anything at the “Peek Performance” spring event that would require an iOS or macOS update. The third-gen iPhone SE is supported in iOS 15.4, and the Friday Night Baseball games are ready to roll in the existing TV app. The Mac Studio works with macOS 12.3.
That explains the unusual lack of any beta software to test right now, but it doesn’t mean Apple’s done with this branch of iOS and macOS just yet. For the last several years, Apple has announced new features at WWDC that are supported by not just the next major version of iOS and macOS, but the current version as well (with an update). Those often come about a month later, in July. (For example, in July 2020, iOS 13.6 brought digital car key support, a feature that was announced at WWDC.)
This strange beta-less period is a little unusual, but it doesn’t necessarily mean iOS 15 releases are over. Apple might be ready to move on to iOS 16 (barring minor but necessary security updates), but if history is our guide, there could be an iOS 15.5 and macOS 12.4 update sometime in July that incorporates one or more of the smaller features announced at WWDC in June.
I have written about technology for my entire adult professional life – over 25 years. I enjoy learning about out how complicated technology works and explaining it in a way anyone can understand.
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