It’s common for Apple to start beta-testing a new version of iOS just a day or two after the previous version is released. And sure enough, iOS 15.2 began its beta test period just a day after iOS 15.1 was released on October 25, 2021.
As is typical of these releases, it is first available only to registered developers. The public beta typically follows within a day.
Update 12/07/21: The release candidate for iOS 15.2 is now available for developers and public beta testers. The final release of iOS 15.2 could come as early as tomorrow, or possibly next week. This update adds the Apple Music Voice plan for $4.99 a month.
New features in iOS 15.2
Apple Music playlist search
It’s hard to believe it took this long, but iOS 15.2 brings the ability to search for songs within Apple Music playlists.
Apple Music Voice Plan
The $4.99/month Apple Music Voice Plan is first supported in iOS 15.2
Macro mode toggle in the Camera app
While iOS 15.1 added an “auto macro” toggle in Settings for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, iOS 15.2 goes a step further and puts a macro toggle button right in the Camera app. A small circle with an icon of a flower shows up when you get close enough to engage Macro mode, and you can turn Macro on or off with a tap. This toggle apparently only appears when “auto macro” is disabled in Settings. In the third beta, Apple renamed the toggle “Macro Control” to let people know that it will show a button instead of automatically switching.
App Privacy Report
According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 15.2 brings the App Privacy Report, which is basically a new interface for the Record App Activity feature.
The App Privacy Report in iOS 15 offers a detailed view of how apps are using your data and sensors.
Communication Safety feature in Messages
Before the release of iOS 15, Apple announced a new CSAM feature to detect child sexual abuse and trafficking in iCloud photos. It also announced a new parental controls feature for Messages, whereby a parent can enable a feature for their child’s phone to warn them if adult content is shared in Messages. This is separate from the CSAM scanning and has to be enabled in parental controls.
With the iOS 15.2 update, Apple is making the Messages child safety parental control available, but it has not yet rolled out the iCloud Photos CSAM feature. Apple said it will delay the launch of that feature while it re-works it to address complaints from privacy advocates.
The Legacy Contact feature allows you to designate someone who can access your iCloud data in the event that you pass away. You can access it by opening Settings, choosing your Apple ID, then Password & Security.
Find My: Items That Can Track Me
Apple has added a new feature to the Find My app that lets people search for a nearby AirTag or other Find My item that may be surreptitiously being used to track your location. When the option in Items is tapped, it scans for unknown Find My items.
On the iPad, iPadOS 15.2 replaces the tab bar at the bottom of the screen with a sidebar. The tab bar includes a new section: Store.
Hide My Email in Mail app (iCloud+)
Tap the From label in an outgoing mail in the Mail app to see a Hide My Email option. This is only available to iCloud+ subscribers (basically anyone who pays for expanded iCloud storage space).
iOS 15.2 brings the ability to bulk rename and delete tags in the Reminders app.
How to download iOS 15.2
When the final release of iOS 15.2 is out, here’s how you can download iOS 15 on your iPhone or iPadOS 15 on your iPad:
Tap Software Update
After quickly checking the servers, the update will display there, with “Download and Install” button. Simply tap that to begin the install process. It will take several minutes to download and prepare the update, and then your iPhone/iPad will restart.
iOS 15.2 adds Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription tier that provides access to music using Siri. This update also includes the App Privacy Report, new safety features for children and parents in Messages, and other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.
Apple Music Voice Plan
Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using SiriJust Ask Siri suggests music based on your listening history and likes or dislikesPlay it Again lets you access a list of your recently played music
App Privacy Report in Settings lets you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days, as well as their network activity
Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nuditySafety warnings contain helpful resources for children when they receive photos that contain nudity
Siri and Search
Expanded guidance in Siri, Spotlight and Safari Search to help children and parents stay safe online and get help with unsafe situations
Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death
Macro photo control for switching to the Ultra Wide lens to capture macro photos and videos can be enabled in Settings on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place
Enhanced city map in Apple Maps with road details like turn lanes, medians, bike lanes, and pedestrian crosswalks for supported cities
This release also includes the following enhancements for your iPhone:
Hide My Email is available in the Mail app for iCloud+ subscribers to create unique, random email addressesFind My can locate iPhone for up to five hours when in Power ReserveStocks allows you to view the currency for a ticker and see year-to-date performance when viewing chartsReminders and Notes now allow you to delete or rename tags
This release also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
Siri may not respond while VoiceOver is running and iPhone is lockedProRAW photos may appear overexposed when viewing in third-party photo editing appsHomeKit scenes that include a garage door may not run from CarPlay when your iPhone is lockedCarPlay may not update Now Playing information for certain appsVideo streaming apps may not load content on iPhone 13 modelsCalendar events may appear on the wrong day for Microsoft Exchange users
I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life - over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.