iOS 15.3 looks like it won't change much on your iPhone

A selection of iOS 15 screenshots showing how the software works
(Image credit: Apple)

The last couple of iOS updates have been fairly substantial, with iOS 15.2 bringing App Privacy Reports, Legacy Contacts and more, while the headline features of iOS 15.1 were SharePlay and ProRes, but it’s looking like iOS 15.3 might lack notable upgrades.

MacRumors reports that an initial beta for iOS 15.3 has leaked, and the only real changes are wording around the Child Safety features that were added in iOS 15.2, small changes to the Podcasts app, and tweaks to the text about the automatic downloading of magazines in Apple News Plus.

Beyond that there will likely be bug fixes and security updates as part of iOS 15.3, which will perhaps be more important, but these haven’t been named.

It’s worth noting that as this is just a leak it’s possible that features in the officially released beta will differ. We’ll likely also see multiple betas of iOS 15.3 before the finished version launches, and subsequent ones may gain additional features.

So there’s still some hope that it could be an interesting update, but we’re not optimistic, as we’d expect to have seen more in this initial beta if there was going to be much of note.

iOS 15.2 only landed on December 13 and there’s usually at least a month between updates, so don’t expect iOS 15.3 to land in finished form before mid-January, although if it really is this small then perhaps it will arrive sooner.

Apple Wallet state ID

(Image credit: Apple)

Analysis: there’s more to come, but perhaps not until iOS 15.4

While we’re not seeing much of note in iOS 15.3, Apple has already announced one big feature that we’re waiting on, namely the ability for US users to add their driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app.

This would theoretically be an accepted form of ID at TSA checkpoints, and would eventually work for access to retailers, venues, and events too. Apple has delayed the feature to early 2022, but if it doesn’t arrive as part of iOS 15.3 – which it probably won’t based on this leak – then we’re unlikely to see it before mid-February, if not later, when iOS 15.4 or beyond launches.

For many people, the wait for this feature could be even longer though, as it sounds like it will initially only be available in select US states, and while it will likely widen out to the whole US and hopefully eventually much of the world, that could take time.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.