iOS 15: New features, compatibility, release date
179 'iOS 15' stories
November 2020 - December 2021
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.
Table of contents
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
iOS 15 is available now to developers and public beta users. It will be released to the general public in the fall.