Apple released its latest software update, iOS 15.2, on Monday, bringing with it a new Apple Music plan, more security and privacy tools, and other improvements.
The latest version of iOS 15 lets you set up legacy contacts who can access your iCloud account in the event of death. It offers a cheaper Apple Music plan, voice only, controlled by Siri. The software includes the launch of the anti-sexting tool which will warn minors in the United States before sending or opening messages containing nude photos. There’s also a new app privacy report that explains how apps access sensitive data on your phone.
Google’s Android is the most widely used smartphone software in the world, but iOS remains more popular in the United States.
Sometimes it’s worth waiting a few days to upgrade, however. The installation may take longer than expected, especially at launch when many people are trying to download it at the same time. And if there are any issues in the software itself, these usually appear a few days after iOS is released.
When you’re ready to install iOS 15.2 on your iPhone, go to Settings> General> Software Update. From there, choose Download & Install, then follow the instructions.
IPad and Mac users receive similar updates. (Mac users can now access the SharePlay feature to watch videos, listen to music, or workout with friends via FaceTime.) You can download macOS Monterey 12.1 by going to System Preferences> Software Update> Update. up to date now. For iPads, you can follow the same process as for iPhone to get iPadOS 15.2.
Here are the notable additions in the software updates:
Apple Music voice plan
Apple’s new $ 4.99 subscription level for Apple Music allows users to control playback through Siri. The monthly plan doesn’t include access to touchscreen controls, lyrics, music videos, or offline playback, but it does give you access to the entire library through Siri-enabled gadgets, including iPhones, iPads and HomePod Mini.
You can subscribe to the Apple Music Voice plan by saying, “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial”.
A big issue today is what happens to your digital life when you die. Family members will want to access your photos and other files, which allows them.
Apple will let you identify five people you would like to have access to your iCloud data, including your photos, notes, and messages. Let these people know that they’re your legacy contacts, and Apple will give them a digital key that won’t work until you’re successful.
Security and privacy tools
A new tool for Apple’s Messages app will warn children under the age of 18 before sending or opening messages containing nude photos. Parents activate it in the family sharing settings. Once enabled, flagged photos will appear blurry and present warnings before allowing users to continue.
However, Apple will not notify parents when this happens, as our colleague Julie Jargon noted in early December. See his column for more information on how the tool works.
Apple has also updated ways to get help in an emergency. You can now press the side button multiple times or simultaneously hold the side button and the volume button to trigger an emergency call.
IPhone users who download iOS 15.2 will also have access to an app privacy report detailing how often apps access their sensitive data like photos, contacts, and location. The Membership Report also indicates where this information is shared. The report builds on Apple’s application tracking transparency feature, which it rolled out in April.
Write to Dalvin Brown at [email protected]
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Appeared in the print edition of Dec. 14, 2021 as “Apple iOS update brings features for kids and music.”