Apple iOS 15.3 Release Candidate Now Available—Why You Should Download It Right Now

In possibly the shortest beta cycle ever, the iOS 15.3 Release Candidate is now available for all Apple Beta Program participants. Why so short? And why are we getting a release that’s all bug fixes and no new features? It all hinges on what’s been found in the iOS 15.3 RC.

What’s New 

Last week’s iOS 15.3 Public Beta 2 brought us a tooltip correction that clarified that the Public Relay feature needed to be enabled in cellular settings (after there was some major confusion about the feature supposedly being disabled by T-Mobile). But that hardly seems like enough to hang a release on. So why the quick “two and out” release cycle for iOS 15.3?

Earlier this week, it was discovered that there was a major Safari bug that leaked Google account info and browsing history. It was so bad that security experts were recommending that everyone immediately stop using Safari on all devices. 

While we don’t yet have the public release notes (which always have more details than the developer notes), testing has verified that this Safari leak has been patched in the final release candidate for iOS 15.3. Given the major security impact of this bug, it makes sense that Apple would want to get it into everyone’s hands as soon as possible. 

What’s Fixed and Broken

As I mentioned, the official release notes don’t contain anything at all. In all likelihood, the first time we’ll see acknowledgement of the fix will be when iOS 15.3 is released to the public next week. 

And even though this is the Release Candidate, that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to report bugs as you find them. If you find something, make sure you report it right away via the Feedback app.

What’s Next

Even though the Safari data leak is serious, Apple is not known for late-week releases (never ship a new release on a Friday unless you want to work all weekend). That said, I can’t see them waiting any later than next Tuesday to release iOS 15.3 to the general public. 

But given the nature of the leak, I would say even that’s too long. Luckily, it’s super simple to sign up your device for the beta program and the iOS 15.3 Release Candidate is supremely stable. You can always unenroll your device as soon as you get the upgrade to go back to a normal release cycle. Just follow my steps in the next section. 

For us beta testers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see iOS 15.4 Public Beta 1 ship sometime next week. Especially as iOS 15.3 testing was cut short. Maybe we’ll finally get a new feature to sink our teeth into?

How Do I Enroll My Device in a Beta?

Head over to the Apple Beta Program site on the device you’d like to enroll, sign in with your enrolled Apple ID (or create a beta account if you don’t have one already) and follow the steps, it’s as simple as that! You’ll download the beta profile to your iPhone or iPad, then reboot, check for a software update, and you’ll be testing in no time!

Remember, this is beta software and Apple makes it extremely clear in the agreement you scroll past on the way to the Agree button that it can do anything up to and including bricking your device and corrupting your data. My Public Beta Installation Guide has all the housekeeping steps you need to take before installing the beta.

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