iOS 15.3 Beta Leaks With Only Minor Changes as Apple Prepares for More Feature-Packed Updates in the Spring [Updated]

What appears to be the initial beta of the upcoming iOS and iPadOS 15.3 update has leaked, revealing that the next major iPhone and iPad update is likely to be focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and security enhancements, rather than larger features destined to be part of software updates in the upcoming spring.

iOS 15 General Feature Purple
The build of the iOS 15.3 beta, obtained by MacRumors, includes only a few notable changes including wording regarding the newly launched Child Safety features, small tweaks to the Podcasts app, and modified text regarding the automatic download of magazines in Apple News+ for offline reading. While this is likely only the first of several betas, it does indicate that the forthcoming update is likely to be a more minor update than what some may be hoping for.

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MacRumors analytics showing visits from devices running iOS 15.3

MacRumors analytics have shown an increase in devices on iOS 15.3, with the uptick happening around the beginning of the month. Likewise, those same analytics show a stable and consistent pattern of visits from devices running iOS and iPadOS 15.4. The latter could be a more significant update, with more front-end users changes than what iOS 15.3 is seemingly poised to be.

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MacRumors analytics showing visits from devices running iOS 15.4

One feature that many have kept an eye out for is Universal Control. Apple has officially delayed the feature, first demoed at WWDC in June, until the spring. Universal Control has yet to appear for developers and public beta testers.

Apple yesterday restarted its macOS beta cycle with macOS Monterey 12.2. Neither macOS 12.2 nor the leaked build of iPadOS 15.3 includes Universal Control, adding credence that the approaching iPadOS 15.4 and accompanying macOS update, reasonably set for sometime in the spring, will add the highly anticipated feature and other new changes.

Universal Control is one of two features initially announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June that have yet to be released. Alongside Universal Control, Apple says that the ability for users to add their ID cards and driver's license to the Wallet app in participating states will be available in early 2022.

Apple this week released iOS and iPadOS 15.2, which includes a newly redesigned Notification Summary, App Privacy Reports, and more. iOS 15.2 follows iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1, released earlier in the fall, bringing FaceTime's new SharePlay feature.

Update 10:10 am: The download links for the unreleased iOS 15.3 beta came straight from the source code for Apple's developer downloads page. The initial betas of iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, watchOS 8.4, and tvOS 15.3 were apparently supposed to be released to developers yesterday alongside macOS 12.2, but were pulled back at the last moment. Rather than removing them from the page, however, Apple simply commented the entries out in the HTML so that they didn't show up on the page.

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(Special thanks to Berkin Ceylan!)

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
6 weeks ago
Sweet! Just make it more stable, please. As long it hits the performance, battery life and security features. Then we are good
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
6 weeks ago
Even more reason to wait until after the spring. Apple could have seriously just skipped this year and launched iOS 15 and macOS 12 when everything was ready. I won’t be upgrading my devices to all the latest versions until WWDC. I still believe there are just too many bugs to iron out and missing features to ad.

Beside, the current versions are so solid it’s not like you are missing out on anything particularly special.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scotty321 Avatar
6 weeks ago
Why is Apple still acting like it's 1990 and that they have to send out floppy disks in the mail to provide updates?

No software vendor on the planet comes out with huge, gigantic, device-breaking annual releases anymore — and then scrambles to fix all the bugs from that gigantic release for the next 11 months.

All software companies just continually release updates throughout the year.

Apple should take the same approach.

And this is exactly why Apple should never get into the car business. Lol.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
6 weeks ago
Features like scanning our phones? "Want privacy? Who needs iPhone?" I found Apple's new tagline.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alfred.Woodden Avatar
6 weeks ago

"...it does indicate that the forthcoming update is likely to be a more minor update than what some may be hoping for."
Some may be hoping for? Bug fixes and performance updates are what we all are hoping for! And it's about time, too.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
6 weeks ago
Can we please stop with annual "new" iOS releases?

They end up just trickling out features slowly over time anyhow, and their rush and insistence to push out a new version number each Fall just creates a new set of problems every single year -- some that never really get fixed.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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