Apple releases minor iOS, iPadOS updates along with second beta of iOS and iPad 15.3
Not every iOS update is chock full of features. Today, Apple released iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 to fix a couple of minor issues. The update fixes a bug that caused Messages not to load photos sent via an iCloud link. It also exterminates a bug that prevented third-party CarPlay apps from responding to inputs.
Apple releases a minor update to iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1
To update your iPhone or iPad go to Settings > General > Software Update. If you're a member of the Apple Beta Software Program, you will also receive a link to download and install the second betas of iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3. It's been three weeks since the first beta versions of iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 were released, and about a month since iOS and iPadOS 15.2 were dropped by Apple.
Apple today released iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1
Thus far, it isn't clear what we might expect from the upcoming iOS 15.3 update although there are some new features that are expected from Apple such as the ability to put Digital IDs in the Wallet app. States (in alphabetical order) that have agreed to offer this include: Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. Florida is reportedly in talks to be included.
Apple first discussed putting Digital IDs inside the Wallet app back at WWDC seven months ago. This feature was not found in both beta 1 and beta 2 of iOS 15.3 and iPad OS 15.3
Another feature that could come to iPadOS 15.3 is called Universal Control. This allows iPad and Mac users to control their devices using the same keyboard and mouse. It is now scheduled to be released this spring following a delay.
Apple originally called for a fall 2021 release of Universal Control but had to push back the release date. With that in mind, we might not see this surface on a stable release until iPadOS 15.4 is pushed out by Apple.
This update is too minor to join the Apple Beta Software Program for, but anytime you don't want to wait to try out an upcoming iOS feature, you can enter the program and receive beta updates OTA. Remember though, most beta updates are not stable and you could find that your most important iOS capabilities are incapacitated. Or, you might find that the beta update has your device drinking battery juice like Andy Capp consumes ale.
If you can't wait for the stable update to be disseminated, you can quit the beta program and install a backup that you created in iTunes before entering the beta program. You're still going to lose the data created since you made the backup. Another option is to factory reset your device which is one thing that this writer compares to the sound of scratching nails on a blackboard.
How to quit the iOS Beta Software program without having to perform a factory reset
Or, you can join the beta program, install the beta software, and simply quit the beta program when the next stable build of the software is released to the public. For example, let's say you must have (for some reason) iOS 15.3 while it is still being tested. So you go to the Apple Beta Software site and install iOS 15.3 beta 2. And you sit through beta 4 and by beta 5 the battery life of two hours and twenty minutes (just an exaggeration because we don't know what the battery life will be on beta 4 and beta 5 or even if there will be a beta 4 and beta 5) is driving you batty.
As we said, if you have a fairly recent backup to load, things might not be so bad. But if you forgot to create a backup and don't feel like performing a factory reset, you can stay in the beta program until the next public version of iOS is available which in this scenario would be iOS 15.4.
If that is your game plan, you can quit the beta program and install iOS 15.4 by going to Settings > General >Profiles & Device Management. Select iOS 15 & iPadOS 15 Beta Software Profile, and tap on Remove Profile. Once that is complete, you would update to the next stable release (iOS 15.4 in this example).