Apple iOS 15 Features: A Complete Guide
Apple has released iOS 15, its latest iPhone operating system designed to pair with new features in its updated iPhone, iPad and Watch lineup. The new iOS 15 features are set to enhance the iPhone user experience and provide greater connectivity across all Apple devices, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Security concerns have plagued the release and some visual upgrades have been controversial, however, iPhone users can rest easy knowing Apple has addressed the issues.
New iOS 15 Features
Whenever Apple announces a new operating system, it’s big news, and this iOS 15 is no exception. This time around, the entire framework for the much-loved iPhone device gets a refresh and users see a host of new features enter the fold. When it comes to the new iOS 15 features, there is a lot to get through, from app updates like FaceTime and Notes to different ways to keep your iPhone usage private. Here’s what in store for the iOS 15 update.
The most extensive updates in iOS 15 go to FaceTime, which copped a series of upgrades to help the app compete with Zoom and Google Meet. Apple has announced that the video chat function will now feature Spatial Audio, providing a three-dimensional soundscape that utilises directional noise for other call members. Additionally, this feature uses voice isolation to prioritise your voice over other noises, however, you can override this with something called Wide Spectrum.
FaceTime also adds Portrait Mode for more professional calls, with Apple confirming FaceTime SharePlay, which allows you to watch movies, listen to music or share your screen with others at the same time will arrive in a coming update. You can even generate a link to a FaceTime call now, meaning even if your workmates have an Android phone or Windows device, they can join the call.
In an effort to minimise distractions, Apple also rolled out the new Focus feature. This update allows users to choose what tasks to prioritise while minimising the number of notifications received from other apps. You can also signal to others that they are in Focus mode to avoid disruption.
The Messages app copped a connectivity upgrade in iOS 15 as well. With the new operating system, you can now share a music track in Messages, which will then show up in Apple Music in a special Shared with You section. This new section will also be in Safari, Apple News, Podcasts, Apple TV and Photos.
One upgrade that was more visual than anything else was the revamped Notifications app. Notifications now have larger icons for easy skimming and can now be sent out as a streamlined daily summary. According to Apple you can set this to be delivered in the morning and evening, or scheduled at a time you choose. The summary is intelligently ordered by priority, with the most relevant notifications at the top, so you can quickly catch up. Additionally, the Maps app now offers greater detail, better walking directions and 3D landmarks.
In a good move for Safari, the web browser can now support extensions and has been revamped to include a bottom tab bar for easier page swiping. You can swipe left or right on the address bar to move between tabs, or swipe up to see all your open tabs. These tabs can be grouped for organisation and synced across your devices.
Add Home Keys to Wallet
Arriving straight from the future, iOS 15 now lets you add home keys to Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch. With this new feature, you simply tap to unlock a compatible HomeKit door lock for seamless access to your home. When you’re out on the road, hotel keys can be added to Wallet from the participating hotel provider’s app. You just add your hotel key in Wallet after making a reservation, use it to check in so you can skip the lobby, and use your iPhone and Apple Watch to tap to unlock and access your room. You can also add your driver’s license and state ID to Wallet on your iPhone and a paired Apple Watch.
Live Text in Photos
This iOS 15 update is seriously impressive. According to Apple, text is now completely interactive in all your photos, so you can use functions like copy and paste, lookup, and translate. Live Text works in Photos, Screenshot, Quick Look, and Safari and in live previews with Camera.
Visual Look Up
Like the Live Text in Photos option, you can also swipe up or tap the information button on any photo to highlight recognised objects and scenes. This is going to be particularly helpful once internationally travel kicks off, as you can use the function to learn more about popular art and landmarks around the world, plants and flowers out in nature, books, and breeds of pets.
Memoji gets a little more interesting in iOS 15 as well. The upgrade includes body language with everything from high fives to yoga poses, now that upper body depictions are included. You can also personalise your Memoji with new clothing headwear and glasses.
Privacy & Security
As mentioned, Apple did come under fire initially for privacy and security concerns, but the tech giant has answered accordingly. In a major advancement, your iPhone now tells you which apps have accessed your data and what they’ve done with it. A section in Settings lets you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the last seven days. It also shows you which apps have contacted other domains and how recently they have contacted them. This is a good complement to an app’s privacy label, so you can be sure you’re comfortable with how it’s treating your privacy.
Which iPhones is iOS 15 Compatible With?
According to Apple, every iOS 14-capable iPhone runs iOS 15, too. The new operating system is now available to download on compatible iPhones, with iPadOS 15 for suitable iPads. The complete list includes:
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 mini
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE (second generation)
- iPhone SE (first generation)
- iPod seventh generation
How to Get iOS 15
To get iOS 15, you need to go to the Settings app on the device and then choose General, then Software Update. Once you’ve clicked on Download and Install, it will initiate the update. You can check out the full iOS 15 features and overview via the link below.
According to Apple, every iOS 14-capable iPhone runs iOS 15, too. The new operating system is now available to download on compatible iPhones, with iPadOS 15 for suitable iPads. The complete list includes: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, Phone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (second generation) iPhone SE (first generation) and iPod seventh generation.
To get iOS 15, you need to go to the Settings app on the device and then choose General, then Software Update. Once you’ve clicked on Download and Install, it will initiate the update.
The new iOS 15 features update a series of major elements on the iPhone. These include better FaceTime connectivity and audio, redesigned messages, Focus updates an changes to Notifications.