Apple has released the first beta versions of iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 for developers to test before their public debut. The new beta versions come just a month after the public launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. In terms of new additions, the iOS 15.5 beta is said to have included the code to enable support for apps with external purchases. Apple is also said to have included some references to the Apple Classical app, which could aim to give a collection of classical music alongside the regular tracks available on Apple Music.
Developers who have already signed up for beta testing can download iOS 15.5 Beta 1 to their devices by going to settings > General > Software update. When exactly the iOS update will be available to the general public is not yet known.
On the part of changes, 9to5Mac reports that the latest iOS beta adds support for apps to be able to offer third-party payment platforms. It also has an implementation that warns users that if the user deletes an app that supports external purchases, they will not be able to manage their purchases and subscriptions through the App Store.
Users will also see a warning that appears the first time they open an app that supports external purchases. However, the warning is not available for all of these apps.
Apple has Are defined its App Store Policies that it has enabled “external link account permission,” which is only available for “reader” apps — essentially those that offer digital content such as magazines, books, songs, or videos. The guidelines also point out that the apps that offer in-app purchases on iOS and iPadOS are not allowed to use the “External Link Account Permission”. Additionally, app submission with the new permission must be approved by Apple’s App Review team.
Apple’s new move is the result of the regulatory pressure it has received in the recent past.
In January, a South Korean regulator said the iPhone maker plans to allow third-party payment systems on the country’s app store. Dating apps in the Netherlands are still allowed to use Apple’s in-app purchase system alongside a third-party option or external link.
In addition to support for external purchases, iOS 15.5 Beta 1 includes references for the Apple Classic app, as reported by MacRumors.
Last August, Apple acquired classic music streaming service Primephonic and announced plans to launch an app dedicated to the genre. The Apple Classical App could be the end result of this announcement.
The new app is likely to have Apple Music features like Lossless and Spatial Audio support – alongside a catalog of classical music tracks.
Exact details on the launch of the Apple Classic app have yet to be announced.
The new iOS beta also includes an updated Home app with Wi-Fi signal bars to let users know if their HomePod is connected to the internet. The beta version also carries a new wallet app that has inquiry and Send Buttons in the Apple Pay Cash section. Apple Pay in the Messages app has also been renamed to Apple Cash to match the other changes.
Alongside the Apple Pay Cash update, the Wallet app has a rebranded iTunes Pass available as an Apple Account Card. There are also notes on SportsKit support.
iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 are expected to be the final versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 respectively, as Apple speculates to release iOS 16 later this year as its big new update. The next-gen iOS version is expected to be announced at WWDC 2022 in June.