iOS 15 Overview
Apple announced the latest version of its iOS operating system, iOS 15, in June 2021, with a fall release date. iOS 15 provides new capabilities for FaceTime calls, distraction-reduction tools, a redesigned notification experience, enhanced privacy protections, and entire reimaginings of Safari, Weather, and Maps.
Notifications in iOS 15 have been revamped to include contact photographs for people and larger appilcation icons. To minimize distraction, a notification summary group notifications together for timely delivery and organizes them by importance.
Focus is a new feature that allows users to prioritize notifications and apps based on what they want to focus on at any given time. When a user’s Focus is set to block incoming alerts, their status in Messages is revealed to others. Using on-device intelligence, iOS will propose a Focus for certain times, like as work hours or calming down for bed, but users can also design a personalized Focus. When one Apple device’s Focus is set, it is automatically applied to all other Apple devices.
Safari now sports an all new design. Controls are now easier to access with one hand and provide a greater emphasis on the content of a webpage. A new, small tab bar floats at the bottom of the screen, allowing users to quickly switch between tabs. Tab Groups enable users to keep and conveniently access tabs across many devices. For the first time, there is also a customized start page and web extensions.
Maps now includes a new 3D representation of cities that has dramatically expanded detail, such as buildings, pedestrian crosswalks, and bike lanes. There is a new city driving experience with better road information and Transit features such as pinned favorite lines, disembarkation notifications, and augmented reality walking directions.
FaceTime calls on iOS 15 now have voice isolation and Spatial Audio, which makes voices sound as if they are emanating from the person’s location on the screen. FaceTime also supports Portrait mode and introduces a new grid view that allows for simultaneous viewing of multiple faces. SharePlay is a new feature that enables users to collaboratively share media during a FaceTime session. Additionally, users can generate shareable links to scheduled FaceTime calls that can be accessed via Android or Windows devices.
In iOS 15, the Meteorological appilcation has been revamped to include more graphical representations of weather data, full-screen maps, and dynamic layouts that vary in response to changing weather conditions. Completely redesigned animated backgrounds now represent the sun’s position and current precipitation more precisely, and notifications indicate when rain or snow begins and ends.
In iOS 15, the Wallet appilcation gains support for new key types, including those for homes, offices, and hotel rooms. Customers in participating states in the United States will be able to add a driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app later this year.
With a fresh look and an engaging interface, the Photos appilcation is a significant improvement to Memories. Memories now integrates with Apple Music, utilizing on-device intelligence to provide personalized song suggestions for Memories.
Live Text is a new feature that leverages on-device intelligence to identify text within a photo and allows users to search for, highlight, and copy it. Spotlight may now search for images based on their location, subject, scene, object, or text. Additionally, Spotlight provides web image search and enhanced results for actors, musicians, television shows, and films. Contacts’ enhanced results include recent discussions, shared photographs, and location information if shared via Find My.
Additionally, iOS 15 introduces new privacy features, including the ability to process Siri requests directly on the iPhone, which improves responsiveness, Mail Privacy Protection, which prevents senders from knowing when an email has been opened and detecting the recipient’s IP address, and an appilcation Privacy Report view that shows how frequently apps use the permissions granted to them.
There are dozens of tweaks and changes to other apps, including user-created tags, mentions, and an Activity view in the Notes app, Trends, Walking Stability, and a new sharing tab in the Health app, a system-wide Shared with You feature for highlighting content shared in Messages conversations, and a new For All of You row in the TV appilcation to recommend entertainment for the entire household.
iOS 15 is compatible with iPhone 6s and later, which means it will operate on all devices capable of running iOS 14. It is scheduled to be released this fall.
How to Download and Install iOS 15
iOS 15 is only available as a preview beta for developers and public beta testers at the moment. Registered developers can obtain the iOS 15 beta profile from the Apple Developer Center, and after installing the profile, beta updates will be accessible over-the-air. Apple is currently testing an iOS 15 public beta at beta.apple.com.
It is recommended to install iOS 15 on a secondary device, as this is a beta version of the software that may contain bugs or glitches.
Apple will enhance iOS 15’s new features and address issues during the operating system’s testing cycle, which will span several months. Additionally, developers can use this beta testing time to include support for the new operating system and new iOS 15 features into their products. iOS 15 will be available in the fall to all users with eligible devices.
Please direct any questions or concerns to our iOS 15 forum, where readers are debating the release.
Apple has seeded developers with two beta versions of iOS 15 and public beta testers with one.
Developer beta two included SharePlay in Facetime, a new Maps app icon, Memoji costumes and customization choices, UI adjustments throughout Safari and other apps, and a new splash screen for the revamped Weather app.
Notifications have been entirely overhauled in iOS 15. Notifications now include contact images for persons and larger icons for apps to aid in their identification.
There is a new tailored notification summary that groups together non-emergency notifications to be given at a more convenient time, such as in the morning or evening. The summary’s notifications are prioritized based on on-device intelligence that evaluates the user’s interactions with apps, with the most critical and relevant messages appearing first. Urgent messages and notifications that are time-sensitive will continue to be delivered instantly.
There is now the ability to temporarily disable notifications for any app or message thread, and iOS 15 will recommend that you mute a thread if it is unusually busy but you are not engaging with it.
Additionally, there is a new notification API for developers that enables them to deliver Time Sensitive notifications and customize the style of messages from people.
iOS 15 introduces a new tool called Focus that assists users in reducing distraction. A Focus may be used to filter notifications and Home Screen pages based on what a user prefers to focus on at any given time, while still allowing for critical messages. When a user’s Focus is now blocking incoming alerts, their status is automatically displayed to other people in Messages, indicating that the user is not available at the moment unless an urgent message is received.
iOS will recommend Focuses to users automatically, based on on-device knowledge about which individuals and application should notify them at specific times. Suggestions for focus are made in accordance with the user’s context, such as work hours, personal time, or winding down for bed. Additionally, users may build a custom Focus to display only particular notifications and Home Screen pages, pick which notifications and application are allowed interruptions, and configure auto-replies for Messages during a Focus.
When a user establishes a Focus, it is synchronized across all Apple devices. Developers can create a new Status API to reflect the Focus state in third-party messaging application.
Spotlight can now search for images intelligently by location, people, scenes, or objects, and Spotlight can also find text and handwriting in photos with the new Live Text feature.
Additionally, Spotlight supports web picture searches and provides substantially more detailed results for actors, musicians, television shows, and films. Contact card enhanced results include recent discussions, shared photographs, and location information if shared via Find My.
Additionally, Spotlight can be accessed from the Lock Screen, allowing for rapid appilcation installation from the application Store without leaving Spotlight. There is an action button on the Maps result in Spotlight for businesses that support appilcation Clips.
FaceTime introduces Spatial Audio in iOS 15 so that speech in video calls seem as if they are coming from the location of the person on the screen. Additionally, there are additional microphone settings that isolate a user’s voice from surrounding noise or, if requested, introduce background noise in Wide Spectrum mode.
FaceTime also includes Portrait mode for video conversations, which allows users to obscure their background and focus on themselves, as well as mute warnings that make it evident when they are speaking on mute. Additionally, there is a new grid view for group FaceTime chats that enables users to see more faces simultaneously, as well as an optical zoom option for the rear camera.
SharePlay is a new feature that enables users to share experiences with one another during FaceTime chats, including music, TV shows, and movies from Apple Music. All participants’ media is played in sync, and there are shared playback controls, which allow anyone participating in a SharePlay session to play, pause, or skip content, as well as add to a shared queue. Additionally, SharePlay enables users to share their screens during a FaceTime chat in order to view apps together.
Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, and Twitch, among others, have committed to integrating SharePlay.
SharePlay is now available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, enabling users to watch shows or movies on a larger screen while chatting via FaceTime. Dynamic and automated volume management ensures that you can hear your friends even when shared content is playing loudly. Additionally, SharePlay includes in-app Messages controls.
Users may now create and share a link to a FaceTime call via Messages, Calendar, Mail, or third-party apps.
FaceTime links can be opened on Apple devices to utilize the FaceTime software, but they can also be opened via a web browser, bringing FaceTime to Android and Windows for the first time. FaceTime calls made via the web remain encrypted end-to-end to ensure privacy.
Memories has been significantly updated in the Photos app, with a new design, connection with Apple Music, a more interactive interface, and Memory looks.
Memories will recommend songs based on your Apple Music listening history and will sync with films and photographs to provide a more personalized experience. Users can personalize memories by swiping through Memory mixes, which allow users to audition songs with varying tempos and atmospheres.
There are 12 Memory styles that add mood to photos and videos by evaluating them and applying the appropriate amount of contrast and color correction for a consistent look. Additionally, new Memory categories have been added, including extra international holidays, child-focused memories, historical patterns, and enhanced pet memories, including the ability to recognize particular dogs and cats.
Additionally, a bird’s-eye view of all the content in a Memory is available for viewing and editing, and a Watch Next section proposes relevant memories to watch.
Individuals are more easily recognized, and it’s easier to remedy naming errors in the People album. There is a Feature Less option that indicates to Photo that you would like to see less of a particular date, place, holiday, or person across Featured Picture, the Picture widget, Memories, and the Library page.
Picture in iOS 15 includes a more detailed Info pane that allows you to view details about the photo, such as the camera, lens, and shutter speed, the file size, and who sent a Shared with You photo in Messages. Additionally, you can update the date and location of the photograph, add a description, and learn about the items recognized by Visual Look Up.
The Photos picture picker, which is now available in the Messages app, now allows you to share photos in a desired order. Additionally, when you provide access to certain content in the Picture library, third-party apps might offer simplified selection workflows.
Additionally, Apple claims that iOS 15 speeds up the initial sync of iCloud Picture on a new device.
Maps now includes an interactive globe and greatly expanded detail in a new three-dimensional view for cities. Neighborhoods, business areas, elevations, and buildings are newly detailed, in addition to new road colors and labels, custom-designed landmarks, and a new “moonlit” night mode.
Additionally, the Maps appilcation now includes a new 3D city driving experience that includes road elements such as turn lanes, medians, bike lanes, and pedestrian crosswalks. This experience is compatible with both the iPhone and Apple CarPlay.
The transit navigation system has been overhauled, and travelers can now simply locate nearby stations and save their preferred lines. Maps will automatically follow a set transit route, alerting users when it is approaching the time to disembark.
Additionally, there is a new augmented reality-based walking instructions view. Simply hold up the iPhone and the Maps appilcation will establish an exact location in order to provide comprehensive walking directions via the camera.
Place cards have been redesigned to make information on businesses, locations, and physical elements simpler to access and engage with. There is a new Guides Home section that contains editorially produced content about new locations.
When looking for a new location, new options for filtering results by cuisine or hours of operation have been added. Maps will also dynamically update search results as you move about, and the most frequently used settings have been consolidated into a single, easier-to-access place.
Wallet iOS 15
In iOS 15, the Wallet appilcation now supports more key types, including home, workplace, corporate, and hotel room key cards.
Additionally, the Wallet appilcation is expanding its support for automobile keys, allowing you to open, lock, and start your car without taking your iPhone out of your pocket. Additionally, Ultra Wideband provides exact spatial awareness, preventing you from locking your car while your iPhone is inside or from starting your vehicle while your iPhone is outside.
Wallet now includes remote keyless entry controls that enable you to lock or unlock your car, honk your horn, pre-heat your car, and open your trunk.
Customers in eligible states in the United States will be able to upload their driver’s licenses or state identification cards to the Wallet application later in 2021. According to Apple, the Transportation Security Administration is aiming to enable users to utilize their digital Identity Card in Wallet at airport security checkpoints first.
Additionally, the Wallet application will now archive expired boarding passes and event tickets. Additionally, Safari allows for the addition of several passes to Wallet in a single operation, rather than one pass at a time.
Safari iOS 15
Safari receives a fresh redesign in iOS 15. Controls are relocated to the bottom of the screen, making them more accessible with one hand.
There is a new, compact tab bar that floats at the bottom of the screen and features a Smart Search field. Tab Groups enable users to organize their tabs and sync them across their iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Additionally, a new tab overview grid view has been added.
Users may now refresh a web page by just pulling it down, and voice search is now supported. Safari now includes a configurable start page and mobile web extensions.
iOS 15 introduces new Safari privacy features, including Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which prevents trackers from profiling you based on your IP address, and automatic HTTPS upgrade for sites that support it.
Messages iOS 15
Content given to you via Messages is automatically added to the appropriate app’s “Shared with You” section. Photo, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app all include Shared with You. Users can pin noteworthy content that has been shared with them to elevate it in Shared with You, the Messages search, and the conversation’s Details view.
Messages groups of photographs now appear as a glanceable collage or a swipeable stack, depending on the number sent. Additionally, photo shared via Messages can now be located using a contact’s name.
Messages also receives several regional enhancements in iOS 15, including spam SMS filtering in Brazil and notification options in India and China, which allow users to disable notifications for specific types of messages.
Weather iOS 15
In iOS 15, the Weather application has been completely overhauled. The Meteorological application now includes richer graphical representations of weather data, a full-screen map, and a dynamic layout that adapts to changing circumstances outdoors.
Apple has improved the accuracy of the animated backgrounds in the Weather application by redesigning them to more closely represent the sun’s current location and precipitation conditions. Additionally, notifications indicate when rain or snow begins and ends.
The Health application in iOS 15 now has a new sharing option that enables users to share chosen health data with family or carers. Descriptions, highlights, and the option to pin results for quick access have been added to lab results. Health can now detect Trends, highlighting significant changes in users’ personal health metrics.
Additionally, the Health application introduces Walking Steadiness as a new indicator to aid with fall risk management. COVID-19 vaccinations and test results can be recorded in the Health application with the use of a QR code generated by a healthcare professional. Blood glucose highlights now include information about blood glucose levels during sleep and activity, as well as interactive charts.
Find My iOS 15
The Find My application now has new features that enable it to assist in locating a missing device that has been switched off or wiped via the Find My network. A family member or acquaintance who decides to share their location with you will now live-stream their location indefinitely to provide direction and speed information.
Apple is adding support for Find My network to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, as well as a new Find My widget that provides an overview of locations. Separation Alerts have also been added to inform users when they leave an AirTag, an Apple device, or a Find My Accessories network behind in an unfamiliar environment.
Notes in iOS 15 now supports user-created tags, allowing for new ways to efficiently filter and categorize notes. There is a Tag Browser that allows you to rapidly view tagged notes by tapping on combinations of tags. Additionally, there are new custom folders that collect notes automatically depending on tags.
It is now able to mention other users in shared notes to notify them of modifications, and an all-new Activity view displays the most recent edit history.
Reminders iOS 15
Tags have been added to Reminders to aid in organizing, and it is now able to search for and filter reminders based on tags. There is a new Tag Browser that allows you to tap on combinations of tags and instantly examine reminders that have been tagged. Additionally, there are new personalized smart lists that automatically group reminders based on tags.
Additionally, iOS 15 introduces quick-access options for deleting finished reminders, enhanced natural language support, and extended suggested features such as tags, flags, and priority.
Siri requests are processed on-device in iOS 15 using the Neural Engine, which dramatically improves security and responsiveness while also eliminating the need for an internet connection.
As you use your gadget, your device’s speech recognition and understanding capabilities increase. Siri can also learn about the contacts with whom you connect most frequently, new phrases you enter, and topics you read about in order to offer more relevant responses.
Siri can now send in-app objects such as images, web pages, content from Apple Music or Apple Podcasts, Apple News stories, and Maps locations via Messages, or even capture a screenshot. Additionally, Siri can now send a message or make a call based on on-screen context.
Siri is now more adept at keeping context between queries, allowing you to make conversational references to earlier inquiries. Additionally, you can submit requests to control a HomeKit gadget at a specified time or under specific conditions, such as when you leave the house.
Siri may now Announce Notifications, such as Reminders, on AirPods and in Apple CarPlay, and users can inquire about what is displayed on their screen via Siri.
Siri now supports more languages with its neural text-to-speech voice in iOS 15, including Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish. Additionally, Siri supports Mixed English, Indic, and a combination of Indian English and a native tongue, such as Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, and Punjabi.
Additional Features of IOS 15
- Find My widget – Indicates the whereabouts of friends and personal belongings.
- Contacts widget – Displays a list of relatives and friends who may be reached via phone, text, FaceTime, mail, or Find My. Additional options are available with Family Sharing, such as authorizing purchases or Screen Time requests.
- Widgets for Game Center – The Continue Playing widget displays your recently played Game Center-enabled games across all of your devices, while the Friends Are Playing widget helps you find games your friends are playing.
- App Store widget – Displays Today tab news, collections, and app events.
- Sleep widget – Displays information about your sleep patterns and enables you to review your sleep schedule.
- Mail widget – Provides a fast overview of your most recent emails and quick access to one of your mailboxes.
- Default widgets – When you first upgrade to iOS 15, you’ll see a new default layout with widgets from the apps you use the most organized in Smart Stacks.
- Intelligent widget suggestions – Based on your prior activity, suggested widgets for apps you already use can appear in your Smart Stack at the appropriate time. An option allows you to persistently add the widget to your stack.
- Reorder Smart Stacks – With additional controls, users may more easily rearrange the widgets in their Smart Stacks right from the Home Screen.
- Translation system-wide – iOS 15 enables the translation of any text across the entire system by selecting it and tapping Translate. Users can then copy, save, change, or open the selected text in the Translate app. Additionally, users can translate selected text within photographs.
- Auto Translate – When you begin speaking, the Translate software will identify and translate your speech without requiring you to hit the microphone button during a chat.
- Face to face view – When speaking face to face, users can switch the discussion view so that each person can watch the chat from their own perspective.
- Conversations can be begun using the Conversation tab in landscape or portrait mode, which then displays a revamped conversation view with chat bubbles to make following along easier.
- Language selection simplified – Language selection has been simplified with the addition of new drop-down choices.
- For All of You – The TV app now includes a new row dubbed “For All of You” that recommends episodes and movies based on the preferences of specific individuals or a complete family.
- Shared with You – The TV app now highlights all of the series and movies shared via Messages by friends and family.
- SharePlay – Using SharePlay, the TV application syncs content with friends and family via Messages and FaceTime.
- Japanese streaming apps – The TV app now supports popular Japanese streaming apps.
- Editor for Smarter Shortcuts – Next Action Suggestions will provide options to assist you in completing the shortcut you are creating.
- Management across devices – Shortcuts will now sync across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
- Improved sharing – Without the need to modify security settings, shortcuts can be shared and downloaded via a link. Smart prompts will guarantee that only permitted data is shared with recipients.
- Speed of playback – There are new options for speeding up or slowing down recorded playback.
- Skip quiet – With a single swipe, Voice Memos analyzes your recordings and automatically skips over pauses in your audio.
- Improved sharing – Multiple Voice Memos recordings can now be shared simultaneously.
- Updated panorama captures – The panorama feature on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro has been improved to catch moving subjects more accurately while also decreasing image noise and banding.
- Zoom in and out of QuickTake videos – Users can zoom in and out of QuickTake videos by swiping up or down.
- Improved discovery – Podcasts organizes suggested shows into tailored groupings based on specified subjects.
- Shared with You – Use the Messages app to share your favorite podcast episodes, and listen to all the episodes shared with you in Listen Now.
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking – Using AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, listeners may now experience music with Dolby Atmos and Apple’s dynamic head tracking for a more immersive experience.
- Music Shared with You – Music shared with you via Messages will now be highlighted on the Music app.
- The News stream has been redesigned to make it easier to browse and engage with articles. Dates of publication and bylines have been increased in prominence, and you can now save and share stories right from the feed.
- Shared with You – In Apple News, stories sent to you via Messages now appear automatically in the Shared with You area of the Today and Following tabs.
- The Apple App Store.
- Current events within apps and games – The App Store now makes it easier to discover current events within applications and games, including as gaming competitions, movie premieres, and livestreamed experiences.
- Conceal Installed Apps – In search results, the App Store will hide screenshots for previously installed apps.
- App Store widget – A new App Store widget displays Today tab stories, collections, and in-app events.
- Recent Game Center messages and group invitations – A new multiplayer friend selection brings users’ most recent Messages buddies and groups into Game Center-enabled games.
- Game Center buddy requests – The Game Center friend request inbox now displays incoming requests.
- Gaming highlights – By pressing the share button on game controllers such as the Xbox Series X or Series S Wireless Controller or the Sony PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller, users can save a video clip of up to 15 seconds of gameplay.
- Widgets for Game Center – A new Continue Playing widget shows recently played Game Center-enabled games across several devices. A Friends Are Playing widget enables users to discover which games their friends are currently playing.
- A proposed Focus for gaming allows players to remain immersed in their games by blocking out unwanted messages.
Text in real time.
- Live Text in pictures – Live Text is a new feature that leverages on-device intelligence to recognize text in Photos, screenshots, Quick Look, Safari, and camera live previews. Following that, users can take action on it, such as highlighting it for copying. Additionally, users will be able to search for photographs using recognized text in Spotlight or the Photos app.
- Swipe up or tap the new information button on any photo to highlight identified objects and situations, allowing you to learn more about the image’s content.
iOS 15 Release Date
Apple is scheduled to release iOS 15 this fall, most likely between September and November.