Apple iOS 15.5 Release: Should You Upgrade?

Tech Industry

Apple iOS 15.5 has arrived and it is an extremely important update, but not for the reasons you might expect. So should you upgrade? Here’s everything you need to know.

Tip: bookmark this page because I will keep it up to date if/when new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week.

Who Is It For?

Apple iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 have been released for all iOS 15-compatible devices, this means the iPhone 6S (2015) and newer and iPad Mini 4 (2015) and newer. I must warn you that there are now concerns around delays to the auto-update process, so the best method is to trigger it manually by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update. If you are running newer beta software (see ‘The Road Ahead’ section at the end), you must unenroll your device before the update will appear.

Note: this guide is not focused on older iOS updates or iPadOS, but I will touch upon pertinent issues in these guides.

The Deal Breakers

Jailbreakers, nothing has changed. Unc0ver and checkra1n continue to be stumped by iOS 15 and with a critical security updates in this update (spoilers), I’d suggest to switch priorities and upgrade.

For everyone else, the first 24 hours is promising. While I have seen isolated reports from upgraders of poor network reception, screen wake up failing during calls and missing FaceTime notifications there has been no momentum around any of these so far. Reddit and Apple Support Communities are also quiet.

As always, I will continue to monitor this as more users upgrade.

So What Do You Get?

Apple’s official iOS 15.5 release notes read as follows:

– Wallet now enables Apple Cash customers to send and request money from their Apple Cash card

– Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones

– Fixes an issue where home automations, triggered by people arriving or leaving, may fail

Unsurprisingly, the release notes don’t mention the biggest news in iOS 15.5: the new Macs leaked in its beta code. Expect big news from Apple here at WWDC on June 6.

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Aside from this, the potentially transformative introduction in iOS 15.5 is the ability to now receive money through Apple Cash not just send it. This could have a huge impact for small businesses, stall traders, etc. It’s also useful for getting friends/family to quickly pay their debts!

And yet the most significant reason you should upgrade to iOS 15.5 is security. The official iOS 15.5 security page reveals no less than 34 security patches. The good news is there are no known ‘Zero-Day’ vulnerabilities (flaws which hackers are actively exploiting before a fix can be issued) but there is a wide range of affected areas, including: graphics, memory, Apple Notes, Shortcuts, WiFi and WebKit (the engine that powers Safari) and Safari Private Browsing.

Apple iOS 15.5 Verdict: Upgrade

Despite a dumpster fire launch, iOS 15 is now a very polished platform. Few releases in recent months have had serious problems and iOS 15.5 looks like another solid entry to this list as Apple winds it down ahead of iOS 16.

For the most hesitant, bookmark this guide. I will continue to update it with any relevant flaws or features I find and you will receive my final verdict here in one week.

The Road Ahead

At the time of publication, Apple has not released a new iOS 15 beta and I while several ‘minor point’ releases (iOS 15.5.1 etc) are likely, I would be surprised to see another major point upgrade (iOS 15.6) before the launch of iOS 16.

And we will see that soon. Apple will debut iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 which kicks off on June 6 and early leaks suggest our hopes should be high. Developer and public betas will follow, though reports claim test builds are buggier than normal which may delay this.

Apple has settled into a one-good-one-bad pattern for generational iOS releases in recent years (iOS 13 – bad, iOS 14 – good, iOS 15 – bad), so let’s hope iOS 16 doesn’t break the trend. We are due a good one.

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