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iOS 15.3 beta: What are the new features?

Hot on the heels of the full rollout of iOS 15.2, Apple has launched the first beta of iOS 15.3.

iOS 15.2 has only just launched with Apple Music Voice Plan, App Privacy Report, Digital Legacy and more. But Apple hasn’t rested on its laurels, with the first versions iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 now rolling out to beta testers.

It’s not exactly looking like a jam-packed release in its initial guise, to put it mildly. But then, no iOS build is ever launched feature-complete at the beta stage.

Still, the brutal truth about this initial build of iOS 15.3 is that it doesn’t appear to contain any new features whatsoever. There may be bug fixes, UI changes, and performance improvements in there, or even structural preparations for forthcoming features. But there’s no actual new feature to discuss as yet.

So what can we expect to see from future beta versions of iOS 15.3? The most obvious candidates are those features that ended up missing the final iOS 15.2 release, such as digital ID cards and Universal Control.

Announced way back at WWDC 2021, digital ID cards will enable users in the US (initially at least) to add their drivers license or state ID to the Wallet App. Apple announced at the end of November that it was delaying digital ID cards until early 2022, which makes it a prime iOS 15.2 candidate.

Perhaps less likely to appear, but still seemingly on the cards, is Universal Control for iPadOS 15. This is a feature that promises to enable you to connect your iPad to your Mac, seamlessly turning the former into a second monitor, simply by placing the two side-by-side.

Apple has said that this has been delayed until the spring, so we may be looking at an iPad 15.4 rollout for Universal Control. We’re holding on to the hope that it could come sooner, given how sparse the iOS 15.3 feature list is looking right now.

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