-December 14, 2021 at 12:48 p.m. Pacific Time
Yesterday, Apple released another feature-rich update for iPhone and iPad in the form of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2. In the beta version since late October, iOS 15.2 has bundled many enhancements, including features such as application privacy reports, which first appeared on WWDC 2021.
In addition to the application privacy report, there are more changes and features in iOS 15.2. Users can look forward to an updated mail application that includes integrated hide my email, implementation of digital legacy contacts, Apple Music voice plan, and more. For more information, please watch our iOS 15.2 hands-on video walkthrough.
iOS 15.2 is a major update of iOS 15, which brings several new key features. Let's take a look at each function and what it contains.
App privacy reports allow users to see how often apps use the permissions you grant them. Permissions include access to sensitive areas such as camera and microphone, location, media library contacts, etc. The report also includes data about the network activity of the applications you install on your device.
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In general, the App Privacy Report provides data on four key areas related to privacy:
You can access the application privacy report through Settings → Privacy → Application Privacy Report. Once enabled, the data will be recorded immediately and stored for up to 7 days. If you disable application privacy reporting, the recorded data will be erased.
Although the app privacy report does not provide all the details about how apps use your data, it is a great resource for monitoring how apps behave at a high level. It is hoped that Apple will continue to build application privacy reports to include more data logging functions and access to more network and sensor data.
Much of life in the 21st century involves digital objects. Although most of these objects are intangible, they can be very valuable to those closest to us. This data may include photos, messages, notes, files, applications, backups, etc.
What will happen to these data after you die? This is not a question that most of us like to discuss, but it is an important question that Apple is trying to help users answer by implementing the new Legacy Contact feature.
The old version of contacts can be found in Settings → Apple ID, iCloud, media and purchases → password and security → old version of contacts. There, you can add an old contact-someone you trust can access your data after you die.
It is important for users to actively establish old contacts before death, because these contacts need to be pre-approved by the user through the access key. As you can see in the hands-on video walkthrough above, setting up a Legacy Contact is relatively simple, but it must be done in advance.
Only in the event of death, heritage contacts can request data from their loved ones through Apple's Digital Legacy portal. Before approving the request, Apple needs an access key and a valid death certificate. After the request is approved, the old contact will receive a special Apple ID that can be used to access your account. The Apple ID of the deceased will be disabled, and the activation lock on any device associated with the Apple ID of the deceased will also be disabled.
The old version of contact access is available for a limited period of three years after approval. After that, the data will be permanently deleted. For more detailed information about Legacy Contacts, please check Apple's Legacy Contact support page.
One of the more useful features in iOS 15.2 is an update to the default mail application to include the hide my email function. An iCloud+ feature, Hide My Email allows you to create an anonymous random email address and forward it to your real email address to protect your privacy. In previous iOS versions, users could only set up a hidden my email address through Apple login, the Hide My Email preference panel in iCloud settings, and Safari when creating a new login.
In iOS 15.2, Apple took the next logical step by hiding my email, allowing users to instantly create new addresses directly in the default mail app. Clicking on the sender: field will display a new hide my email option, which will create a new random anonymous iCloud address and forward it to your real address.
The hidden my email address created in the default mail application is directly linked to the recipient selected in the To: field. Therefore, hiding my email is only supported when sending mail to a single recipient. After the link is established, every time you use "Hide My Email" to send an email to that specific email address, the same randomly generated email address will be used. If you want to generate a new address when sending to a specific email, you need to go to Settings → Apple ID, iCloud, Media and Purchase → iCloud → Hide My Email, delete the email address and create a new address randomly generated address.
iOS 15.2 brings the super convenient function of searching in the playlist. When viewing a playlist, simply swipe up to the top of the page to reveal inline search options. Thanks to iOS 15.2, it is now easy to find a specific song in the playlist, even if the playlist contains dozens of tracks.
The more information-intensive information pane in the Photos app that debuted in iOS 15 has been updated to include more detailed information about photos taken using night mode. In iOS 15.2, you will now see the night mode indicator and the night mode exposure time.
Emergency SOS is an iOS feature that can automatically contact emergency services in your area when calling. One of the main benefits of this feature is that it can be activated separately while your iPhone is still in your pocket.
Some updates to the wording of emergency SOS settings can be found in Apple's latest iOS update, but the most significant change in iOS 15.2 is the three-second countdown timer.
When calling emergency SOS in iOS 15.2, by pressing and holding the volume + side button for five seconds or pressing the side button five times in quick succession, the countdown timer will now count down from eight seconds instead of five seconds. The increase of the countdown time can reduce the situation that users accidentally contact emergency service personnel due to false alarms.
When you get close to the subject, auto macro will be called automatically, and it will switch to the ultra-wide-angle camera to take close-up shots on the iPhone 13 Pro. In the previous iOS 15 version, this automatic switching could not be disabled, but iOS 15.2 resolved the complaints caused by this feature.
A new macro control switch was found in Settings → Camera, allowing users to display a button in the camera application interface to disable macro mode. Users can also choose to keep the auto macro setting in Settings → Camera → Keep Settings.
A new restricted IP address tracking option can be found in the cellular network settings of iOS 15.2. Restricting IP address tracking will hide your IP address from known trackers in Mail and Safari. Please note that this feature is different from iCloud Private Relay, which is designed to protect all unencrypted internet traffic. Restricted IP address tracking can be enabled separately from the iCloud Private Relay, but if you disable restricted IP address tracking, iCloud Private Relay will also be disabled for that individual connection.
If you get the service on your iPhone, you can now view the service history in iOS 15.2 by visiting Settings → General → About. There, you will find the "Parts and Service History" heading, which contains detailed information about iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 battery, display, and camera replacement. Older models may only show details of battery or display replacement. The update will also indicate whether genuine Apple parts are used and let you see when repairs have been performed. For more detailed information, please visit Apple's iPhone Parts and Service History support page.
Although my test attempts so far have no results, Apple officially launched the new Apple Music Voice Plan with iOS 15.2 yesterday. The new $4.99 plan provides users with a cheaper way to access Apple Music, but you can only interact with the service using Siri.
In addition to the above changes and features, iPad has gained some of its own new features in iPadOS 15.2.
iOS 15.2 is a major new update, and almost all users will find some of its value. In addition to these features and changes, there are several notable bug fixes for Apple ProRAW photos, HomeKit and CarPlay, video streaming, and more. You can view the full set of release notes for iOS 15.2 on Apple's iOS 15 update page.
What is your favorite new feature in iOS 15.2? State your thoughts in the comments below.
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iOS is Apple's mobile operating system, which runs on iPhone and iPod touch. Historically, Apple has released a new iOS version every year, and the current version is iOS 13.
iPadOS is the operating system of Apple's iPad. It was announced at WWDC 2019.
Jeff makes videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials, and reviews. He prides himself on being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise way.
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