iOS 15 Overview Updated September 20, 2021

iOS 15: New features, compatibility, release date

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157 'iOS 15' stories

November 2020 - October 2021

iOS 15 guide

Apple has officially taken the wraps off iOS 15, the next version of its operating system for iPhone users. The company says it designed iOS 15 with four different things in mind. The update was presented by Apple VP Craig Federighi. Here’s what’s new.

FaceTime updates:

iOS 15 includes a handful of new features for FaceTime, including new features to help it compete with services like Zoom.

  • Spatial Audio support
  • Grid view for videos
  • Portrait mode for videos
  • FaceTime links
  • Join FaceTime calls from the web on Android and Windows
  • SharePlay for sharing content during FaceTime, including screen sharing, music, and more

SharePlay can work with third-party apps and streaming services using an API available to developers. Apple is already working with Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, TikTok, NBA, Twitch, and more.

Messages

Apple has also announced new features for Messages, including new ways to easily access content that people send you. Shared Stacks will bring over content from Messages to the News app and Photos app.

Notifications

  • Notification summary can be delivered anytime you choose.
  • When you enable Do Not Disturb, your status will be shown to other people via the Messages app
  • Notification design has been revamped with larger icons for improved glanceability
  • You can set different “Focus” statuses that change your Home Screen, notification preferences, and more.

Photos

  • The Photos app now includes a new OCR feature for recognizing text. Apple says the feature uses AI to detect text images automatically.
  • Photos also now appear in Spotlight search.
  • New interactive memories feature.

Wallet

  • Apple Pay VP Jennifer Bailey is here to talk us through new features in the Wallet app.
  • iOS 15 includes new keys for your home and work in the Wallet app, as well as automatic hotel keys, Hyatt to roll out Apple Wallet support to hotels later this year.
  • Identify cards are coming to Apple Wallet later this year, encrypted and safely stored in the Secure Enclave.

Weather

  • The Weather app has been redesigned with a ton of new data.
  • Layout design of the Weather app changes based on the weather in your current location.

Maps

  • New Apple Maps interface coming to Spain and Portugal today and to Australia and Italy later this year.
  • A variety of design updates for Apple Maps to bring a ton more details for cities in commercial districts, buildings, and more.
  • New Nearby Transit features for Apple Maps as well, notifications for when to disembark.

Devices compatible with iOS 15

Here’s the full list with every iPhone and iPod touch model supported by iOS 15:

  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st gen)
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen)
  • iPod touch (7th gen)

Hands-on with iOS 15

Release date

iOS 15 is available now to developers and public beta users. It will be released to the general public in the fall.

iOS 15 Stories October 22

Hands-on: Here’s how tags work in the Reminders app on iOS 15

Apple’s Reminders app is leveled up in iOS 15 with tags. Let’s look at how to organize iPhone Reminders with tags, search, quickly create new reminders in a tag group, with Smart Lists, and more.

iOS 15 Stories October 21

iOS 15 lets you set new iCloud recovery options, here’s how

Apple is making it easier to recover iCloud data in the event of forgotten passwords or device passcodes with iOS 15. There are two options. Let’s look at how iCloud Data Recovery Service works with iCloud Recovery Contacts and the iCloud Recovery Key.

iOS 15 Stories October 20

iOS 15 brings new Announce Notifications feature for Siri, here’s how it works

iOS 15 expands on the previously available “Announce Messages” and “Announce Calls” features with the ability to have Siri “Announce Notifications” from first- and third-party apps. The functionality works with certain AirPods and Beats headphones as well as CarPlay, and there’s also the ability to customize which apps can use the feature.

iOS 15 Stories October 18

Apple stops signing iOS 15.0.1, blocking downgrades from iOS 15.0.2 and iOS 15.1

Earlier this month, Apple stopped signing the first public release of iOS 15. Now the company has just stopped signing iOS 15.0.1, which means that users who updated their devices to iOS 15.0.2 or iOS 15.1 can no longer downgrade to iOS 15.0.1.

Right after Apple’s September keynote, the company introduced iOS 15.1 beta, which reintroduces some features removed from iOS 15.0 and also adds some new ones. Now iOS 15.1 RC (Release Candidate) is available for developers and public beta users.

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iOS 15 Stories October 14

iOS 15 offers custom control to hide your email address; here’s how it works

Apple brings some advanced features to iCloud with iOS 15, including iCloud Private Relay, the ability to use more cameras with HomeKit Secure Video, and total control to keep your email private. Let’s look at the latter — here’s how to use Hide My Email with iPhone and iPad in iOS 15.

iOS 15 Stories October 13

Update: iOS 15.1 beta 4 is now available to public beta testers as well.

The iOS 15.1 beta process continues today as Apple is now rolling out iOS 15.1 beta 4 to developers. This comes one week after the last update, which added ProRes support and a new Auto Macro toggle for iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max users.

With Apple having scheduled a special event for next week on October 18, we could be just days away from the official public release of iOS 15.1…

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iOS 15 Stories October 11

Apple is continuing to refine and improve iOS 15 following its release to the public last month. Apple today is rolling out iOS 15.0.2 to iPhone users everywhere with continued performance improvements and bug fixes. Head below for the full release notes.

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When iOS 15 was released to the public last month, a common complaint quickly emerged about notifications. In previous versions of iOS, Apple offered a dedicated way to disable Apple Watch Keyboard and Apple TV Keyboard notifications on your iPhone, but this option was removed in iOS 15 without reason.

iOS 15.1 is currently in beta testing with developers and public beta users, and as it turns out, this update restores the ability to disable Apple TV and Apple Watch Keyboard notifications…

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iOS 15 Stories October 8

A few days ago, we reported that Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.8, blocking downgrades from iOS 15 to any version of iOS 14. Now the company has also stopped signing the first iOS 15 release, which means that users who upgraded their devices to iOS 15.0.1 or iOS 15.1 beta can no longer downgrade to iOS 15.0.

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iOS 15 Stories October 7

One of the handy, under-the-radar additions with iOS 15 is an integrated 2FA code generator that makes it more seamless to log in to your accounts that have enhanced security. Let’s look at how to use the native iOS 15 2FA code generator that comes with autofill on iPhone and iPad.

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iOS 15 Stories October 6

Apple today released iOS 15.1 beta 3 to developers, and in addition to native support for ProRes, today’s update also adds a new toggle to disable Auto Macro for the Camera app. This addresses one of the biggest concerns that reviewers had for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max…

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iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 beta testing continues today. Apple today is rolling out iOS 15.1 beta 3 to developers alongside iPadOS 15.1 beta 3. iOS 15.1 includes the return of SharePlay as well as updates to the Apple Wallet and Apple Health app for storing COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Update: Now available to public beta testers as well.

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Apple prepping for launch of Legacy Contacts feature in iOS 15

One of the features Apple announced for iOS 15 is Legacy Contacts, a way to ensure that your digital life outlives you – if you would like it to.

The company hasn’t yet launched it, saying only that it is “coming in a software update to iOS 15,” but there are signs that Apple is preparing for its introduction …

iOS 15 Stories October 5

Back in mid-September, two days after iOS 15 was released to the public, it was reported that users were taking longer to update to iOS 15 than they did with iOS 14. Two weeks later, iOS 15 adoption remains slower compared to last year’s numbers.

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iOS 15 Safari: How to change the address/search bar design on iPhone

Apple’s latest iOS release comes with an all-new Safari design that places the address/search bar at the bottom of the screen by default. But you can switch back to the classic iOS Safari design with a top bar. Here’s how to change the iOS 15 Safari address/search bar on iPhone.

Update 10/05: After the press started reporting that Safari Bookmarks were end-to-end encrypted, Apple updated its iCloud security overview page once again saying Bookmarks are currently “in transit & or server.”

It has been almost a month since iOS 15 was released, and there are still things we are discovering about the system. For example, recently, 9to5Mac covered that you can review Apple’s own apps. Now, it appears that Safari Bookmarks are finally end-to-end encrypted.

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iOS 15 Stories October 1

iOS 15 is officially here and even though there aren’t as many flashy features as we saw in iOS 14, there are a number of great changes and improvements. While there are over 300 new features and tweaks, let’s narrow things down, here’s how to use the most popular iOS 15 features.

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One week after the release of the iPhone 13 and iOS 15, Apple is rolling out a bug fix update with some notable improvements. iOS 15.0.1 and iPadOS 15.0.1 are rolling out now with a fix for ‘Unlock with Apple Watch’ and more. Head below for the full release notes.

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There are some big features that should arrive with iOS 15.1 but one of the subtle and useful changes coming looks to be the option to set HomeKit automations based on humidity sensors.

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iOS 15 Stories September 29

One week after the release of the first beta, Apple today is rolling out iOS 15.1 beta 2 to developers, among other updates. iOS 15.1 includes the return of SharePlay as well as updates to the Apple Wallet and Apple Health app for storing COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Update: iOS 15.1 beta 2 is now available to public beta testers as well.

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iOS 15: How to switch to Private Browsing on iPhone with the new Safari

Safari has gotten a major overhaul with iOS 15, and while there are a number of improvements and changes, some features aren’t found where they used to be. Read along for a look at how to switch to iPhone Private Browsing in Safari with iOS 15.

Apple released iOS 15 and the iPhone 13 to the public last week, and a handful of early bugs have emerged since then. Now, users of the iPhone 13 are taking to Reddit and Twitter to report touch screen responsiveness issues on their new devices. Interestingly, however, the problem also seems to extend back to older iPhones with iOS 15 as well.

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iOS 15 Stories September 28

Shortly after the official iPhone 13 launch, multiple users noticed that the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature wasn’t working, and Apple later confirmed that it identified a related issue affecting only iPhone 13 users. Now that bug appears to have been fixed with iOS 15.1 beta 2.

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