Apple rolled-out of iOS 15 in September and there have already been a few updates, two minor and one major. Now the company has started developing the beta of the next major update to iOS 15: iOS 15.2.

Apple released the first beta of iOS 15.2 just days after it made iOS 15.1 available for the public.

iOS 15.2 release date

Apple began work on iOS 15.1 on 21 September - the day after iOS 15 launched. The iOS 15.1 update was finally made available to the public on 25 October, just over a month later.

On that basis the iOS 15.2 update can be expected around the end of November 2021, although it could be toward the middle of December. 

It's possible that Apple will release interim updates in the meantime - in September and October Apple issued iOS 15.0.1 and 15.0.2 while it was working on the beta of iOS 15.2. Those updates fixed a few of the difficulties people were experiencing with iOS 15.

What's coming in iOS 15.2?

The iOS 15.2 update should enable Apple to address any bugs and add some of the previously announced features that haven't yet made it into iOS 15. To find out more about the missing features read Eight iOS 15 features that will be missing at launch

Here's what we already know about the new features coming in the next update to iOS 15:

New macro switch in the Camera app

In iOS 15.1 Apple added a switch to automatically activate macro mode in the settings for the iPhone 13 models (previously it was on by default, but some photographers wanted to be able to manually adjust it).

In iOS 15.2 users will get even more flexibility for the function. A new button will be added to the Camera app that can be used to manually activate macro mode. If you do so the small symbol with a flower as a symbol appears in the app when you approach a motif down to a very short distance. However, it only appears if auto macro mode is deactivated in the settings.

Send emails anonymously

If you are subscribed to iCloud+ the updated Mail app will gain a way to hide your own email address behind an anonymized sequence of numbers and letters that can be used as an aliases. To do this, you have to tap on the "From" field when the mail is being sent.

Scan for devices that may be tracking you

If you find a lost AirTag right now you can use the Find My App in iOS 15.1 to disable tracking if you are concerned that someone might be using it to follow you. However, this requires you to actually find the AirTag. In iOS 15.2 you will be able to actually scan your environment for 'Items That Can Track Me'. If you find something suspicious you will be able to disable the tracking function.

There's also a new 'Help Return Lost Items' option coming in iOS 15.2 that will provide instructions on how to contact the devices owner to return the lost product.

Access accounts of deceased

In iOS 15.2 it will be possible to specify who will be allowed to access one's accounts in the event of death.

The new feature is called Legacy Contact and makes it much easier for relatives or friends to access digital photographs and other personal content, something that many learn to appreciate.

Facebook, Twitter and Google have already introduced similar solutions, so Apple is far from the first to draw attention to the problem.

It is also possible to specify which people should be able to help access an account in the event of a forgotten password. This feature is called Account Recovery Contacts.

App Privacy Report

One of the new features in iOS 15 is the ability to see which apps are collecting personal data. Currently this isn't on by default. You need to open the Settings app and go to Privacy. Once you have set it up you will be able to access an Apps Privacy Report option, but if you don't see that you need to go to Privacy > Record App Activity > switch the slider for that to green. Now that your iPhone is recording this information you can tap on Save App Activity to crate a document detailing the activity.

In iOS 15.2 this information will be more readily available. You will find a new App Privacy Report in the Privacy section under Settings. You will need to go to: Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report > Turn On App Privacy Report.

You will be able to view a summary of which apps use which iPhone data and how often. Users can see which apps read the data of the smartphone, which sensors they access and how often the app goes online. Apps will appear in this evaluation only if they have been used at least once.

New SOS procedure

In iOS 15 and earlier it is possible to make an emergency call by pressing the side button five times or more in fast succession. As detailed here: How to make an emergency call on iPhone or Apple Watch.

Another way to make an emergency call was a bit more complex, and very similar to the way we take screenshots on the iPhone. You could press and hold the Side button and simultaneously press a volume button. After pressing those buttons for a while, an Emergency call would be initiated.

In iOS 15.2 it looks like it will be possible to choose to turn off the Side and volume control button method.

Apple will also make the countdown timer longer. Currently you will see an eight-second countdown before the call is placed. In iOS 15.2 Apple has slowed down the countdown of eight to one a little so that you will have some warning that the emergency call is about to be made and you can cancel the call.

Abuse warnings in iMessage

In the summer of 2021 Apple announced that it would implement some steps against child abuse in iOS and other systems. Now in iOS 15.2, part of those innovations will arrive: parents will be able to set controls to protect their children from abuse. This will mean that suspicious images are blurred and will be fully loaded only after consent has been given. Parents will receive a notification that the child received a concerning picture via iMessage.