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Apple launches iOS 15.5: Tech giant moves to appease regulators over in-app payments

Apple said in its release notes that the update also included bug fixes, including one to improve the reliability of home automations.

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The iOS 15.5 comes less than a month before Apple announces its forthcoming iOS 16 update at the annual developer conference. (File)

Apple has released the latest version of its iPhone operating system — the iOS 15.5. While the new update does not boast user-facing enhancements, it could help the Cupertino-based tech giant appease regulators after concerns were raised over Apple’s control over in-app purchases.

Among the new features, the iOS 15.5 has a pair of buttons added to the Wallet app, allowing Apple Cash card users to request or send money quickly. The iOS 15.5 also has a new setting in Apple Podcasts that allows limits to be placed on the number of episodes stored in the phone. Apple said in its release notes that the update also included bug fixes, including one to improve the reliability of home automations triggered by people leaving and arriving.

Some of these features, however, will only be available in select regions.

Alongside the latest iOS update, Apple has also released a macOS update. The Monterey 12.4 update is notable for being the macOS version that fixes Apple’s Studio Display monitor’s poor webcam quality, reducing the amount of visible noise, improving contrast, and boosting colour accuracy.

Also Read | Apple testing iPhones with USB-C port, report says

Although the iOS 15.5 update does not boast too many user-facing changes, an earlier report by 9to5Mac had said that it contained references to “external purchases”, suggesting the update laid the groundwork for some apps to be able to link out to external purchasing systems. These changes would be in line with the ones Apple announced last month.

Apple requires developers to use its own in-app payments system for digital purchases, thus earning a 30% commission. However, this policy is now facing scrutiny from regulators across the world. Some countries such as South Korea and The Netherlands have already ordered Apple to allow developers to link out to external payment systems.

Also Read | European Union law on regulating Big Tech likely in spring 2023

The iOS 15.5 comes less than a month before Apple announces its forthcoming iOS 16 update at the annual developer conference.

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