Finally, after a bunch of beta versions, On the 20th of September Apple released their new operating system iOS 15 for iPhones and iPadOS15 for iPads. iOS 15 brings amazing new features and advancements that help you connect, share, explore and do whatever you want from your iPhone.
iOS 15 is currently available for selected devices starting from iPhone 6S and supported almost all thereafter. Both the first and second generations of the SE model also get the update. More recent (7th generation) iPad users are also able to download the iPadOS15 for their devices.
Apple currently providing the OTA (over the air) and manual (download and install through PC) update. If you are currently using iOS 14.5 version or later then you are eligible for the system update. Just go to the settings of your phone then select general and click on software update.
But first, back up your device. Make sure your iCloud backup is up to date by opening the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tapping on your account information at the top and then on your device name. Additionally, you can also plug your iOS device into your computer to do a manual backup in Finder or iTunes for Windows.
You may see two software update options available. You can choose to stay on iOS and iPadOS 14 and still get important security updates or choose the upgrade to iOS 15.
If your iPhone is running on iOS 14.8 then the iOS 15 update is available. The Size of the update is 3.12 GB or even more for some devices depending on the OS you’re currently running. After installation, you are booted into a brand new iOS 15.
The introduction of new fresh themes and wallpapers gives a new refreshing look to the iOS. The introduction of large icons and new animation is felt nice and gives a modern look.
iOS 15 introduced some completely modified features like Focus Mode for better productivity, Share play in Facetime app to share and play with friends and family, Live text to pick up anything and get informed instantly, A much-improved Notification center, redesigned Stock apps (Weather, Clock, Safari, Apple Maps) and many more.
Apart from these big changes, there are tons of new customization and new features added to the iOS 15. The Siri (voice assistant), message, Sound and Mic mode, Emoji, Wallet, Helth, spotlight, Photo, privacy, iCloud+, note, translate, widgets all the apps are modified to give you a better experience altogether.
Here in this post, we have discussed some key features of the new iOS 15 and their usability. So let’s get started…
Introduction of Focus Mode:
Apple has added a new function called Focus inside the settings menu. It boosts your productivity and gives you a more personalized experience from your iPhone. Focus helps you to create separate profiles for different types of environments.
It’s the upgrade version of Do not disturb which lets you put off all your notification when turned on but Focus creates every profile for different purposes.
Focus lets you filter notifications based on what you’re currently doing and organize apps and widget pages on your home screen to match your activity or state of being. When you’re using focus your status is automatically displayed in messages so others know not to interrupt you.
By default, there is a couple of focus mode already created by the iOS, like driving, fitness, gaming, reading, and mindfulness along with do not disturb and silent modes.
iOS will automatically suggest Focuses to users using on-device intelligence to determine which people and apps should notify them at certain times. Focus suggestions are based on users’ contexts, such as work hours, personal time, or winding down for bed.
For example, while you’re driving it turns off the calls and messages to minimize distraction, similarly in work you maybe want to choose to accept the calls of co-workers and family members and turn off others. Later after work in your leisure time you want all the app notifications and calls so you can activate that profile also.
And one cool part is you can show off your status in messages that you are busy. so if you’re in the middle of work and don’t want to be interrupted then turn on the focus mode and all of your family and friends can see the silenced profile while they message anything.
You can even choose a custom home screen for your focus profile and then activate it and it will show you only the chosen home screen.
All the customization in focus mode is synced across all your devices and intelligently triggered across different times and locations automatically and it’s relay great.
SharePlay and Facetime:
The popular video-telephony software from Apple is also updated with some wonderful features. Facetime is getting some essential and much-awaited changes in iOS 15.
If you’re a Facetime user then you should be delighted with these new add-on features and improvements. Now in a video call, we have the Spatial Audio feature, which gives the interaction a natural feel so that voices in a video call sound as if they are coming from where the person is located on the screen.
Apple also uses voice isolation using machine learning and a wide spectrum to bring in more ambient sounds so sound changes according to your surroundings. So facetime now has three modes the normal standard mode, the voice isolation mode for less background noise, and a wide spectrum for sharing the same vibe.
In terms of video, they included a new grid view with the same sized tiles, this feature is useful for better conversation in a large group. The speaker always highlighted each person giving a clear understanding of who is talking.
There is a new portrait mode added to blur your background when in a call, and this gives your call an artistic blurry background. This one is more natural than the wall of blur on a zoom call there isn’t that jagged cutout or weird halo you get sometimes.
But there are two big inclusions in Facetime, SharePlay and Facetime Events. Both will take your multimedia experience to another level.
SharePlay is a new feature that allows users to share experiences during FaceTime calls, including media like Apple Music songs, TV shows, or movies.
So as a feature you can listen to apple music together with someone or watch tv shows or movies on apple tv with synced playback controls. If one person pauses it pauses at the same time for everyone, one person fast forwards or scrubs around to show you something it’ll fast forward for you too.
Right now the app support is very limited for SharePlay only ESPN, HBO, and Disney apps are supported but as Apple launched the API, we see more apps support SharePlay like Youtube or Spotify.
Facetime calls are now like Events and you can add them to your calendar or share a link with all your friends. And this works the same way as Google meet or Zoom meetings now using iPhone you can share a link to Windows and Android users and they join your events by opening the link.
Live Text and Lookup:
The ability to search anything instantly from a picture or grab some information with the help of a camera is called Live text. iOS 15 included this feature more like Google lens.
Now any image you have with text in it from your camera or just anything in your gallery you can long-press the text in that image and it’ll recognize it and gives you the options to copy, paste or translate the information or search for appropriate answers.
Using Artificial intelligence Live Text can recognize Photos, screenshots, Quick Look, Safari, and live previews with Camera.
The visual Lookup feature was also added to the iOS and it works very well with any type of image. You have to point your camera at something and lookup for that thing and return the answer instantly.
This is super useful in cases like if you want to know the name of an unknown place or company then select the text or picture and look it up in real-time or if you want Siri can find this for you.
Even Live Text understands seven different languages: English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. And with system-wide translation, you can simply tap and translate.
Although Apple is approaching this thing now what google lens has been doing for a while now but even more intuitive since you can just literally long-press straight on a photo without the need of a separate app.
Live Text works with devices with an A12 bionic chip or later so not all iPhones get this feature.
The Notification Center is completely remodified with new colors and bigger icons. Now all your notifications look more organized and easy to understand. Notifications will now display contact photos for people and larger icons for apps to make them easier to identify.
A new Notification Summary feature is included that collects non-urgent notifications together to be delivered at a more appropriate time, such as in the morning or evening.
So if you don’t use your phone for a while basically if you’ve gone to sleep and wake up or you haven’t used it for a bit it’ll round up all your low-priority notifications and put them in one place. This seems more helpful than having to go through the whole list.
The device can intelligently analyze the user’s interactions with apps, with the most important and relevant notifications rising to the top. Urgent messages and time-sensitive notifications will still be delivered immediately.
There is now the option to mute any app or messaging thread’s notifications temporarily, and iOS 15 will suggest muting a thread if it is unusually active but you are not engaging with it.
Redesigned Stock Apps:
These are well-known apps for iOS and are very popular across the ecosystem. These apps are beautifully updated with modern looks and there are some functional changes.
The Weather App:
It’s redesigned in iOS 15 and the looks and animations give a nice experience. The Weather app now features more graphical displays for weather data, a full-screen map, and a dynamic layout that changes based on outside conditions.
The background changes according to your weather, So if it’s sunny outside the app will show the sun and when it’s raining the app shows the raindrops that fell on your screen.
The local weather, hourly update, display by date or time, UV index, Humidity, Air quality index, Air pressure, and rainfall are all features added for a detailed weather report.
The New Clock:
The new clock app also looks mostly the same but one subtle thing is it lets you type the time for your alarm instead of, having to deal with the sliders all the time.
So it’s a small change but makes more sense than sliding up and down for choosing the right hour, minute, and seconds.
iOS 15 brings a completely new design to Safari. Controls are brought to the bottom of the screen so that they are easier to reach with one hand.
The design changed and a Search bar resides at the bottom of the screen. Now the search bar is more reachable but now it kind of moves around a bit more fluidly like it disappears when you scroll.
it’s looking pretty full screen all the time but then you can swipe across it to switch between your open tabs and when you want to type in it moves back up to the top so it’s a little more fluid.
The introduction of tab Groups allowed the users to save their tabs in a folder and sync across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. In addition, there is a new tab overview grid view. Users can simply pull down a web page to refresh it and there is now support for voice search.
Over the years Apple has worked on maps and in iOS 15 they have added new features that are pretty unique and interesting so this new version of Maps has much more detailed and has a lot more 3d models of various buildings and landmarks.
It’ll now offer a globe (like Google Earth) and it adds new city details like elevation, turn lanes, and bike lanes. It’ll also show you new road details and traffic conditions.
Maps also feature new road colors and labels, custom-designed landmarks, and a new “moonlit” night-time mode for a better experience.
Transit navigation has been redesigned and travelers can now find nearby stations more easily and pin their favorite lines. Maps will automatically follow along a selected transit route, notifying users when it is almost time to disembark.
Apple maps also use the augmented reality feature to navigate your destination. If you don’t know the location you’re in then hold your iPhone and let it scans the buildings around you. It’ll bring up the last directions you need to get to your destination.
This feature lets you search intelligently for photos by using location, people, scenes, or objects, and the new Live Text feature, Spotlight can find text and handwriting in photos.
Spotlight shows you more information at a glance with new rich search results for artists, entertainers, TV shows, and movies, as well as your contacts.
It is also possible to access Spotlight from the Lock Screen and quickly install apps from the App Store without leaving Spotlight.
Now, whenever you send something in messages it automatically appears in a new “Shared with You” section in the corresponding app. Shared with You is featured in Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app.
Groups of photos sent in Messages now appear as a glanceable collage or a swipeable stack, depending on how many have been sent. It is also now possible to find images shared through Messages using a contact name.
Messages also gain some regional improvements in iOS 15, such as unwanted SMS filtering in Brazil and notification options in India and China, allowing users to turn off notifications for the types of messages they choose.
iOS 15 offers the most robust security features. All speech recognition is handled on-device by default, including Siri queries. Mail Privacy Protection keeps senders from seeing if you’ve opened an email and also prevents them from grabbing your IP address.
Apple introduces many widgets some of them are Default, Game center, App store, sleep, mail, contacts, Find my, intelligent widgets suggestion, Reorder smart stacks and people with family sharing integration.
iCloud has always kept your important information (like photos, documents, and notes) safe, up to date, and accessible across all of your devices. With iOS 15 iCloud, the cloud service offered by Apple also gets an upgrade.
All paid subscriptions will become iCloud Plus, which offers some new features. Some of those include iCloud Private Relay lets you connect to websites while hiding your IP address and encrypting your activity.
Hide My Email adopts a Sign In with Apple feature by creating unique, disposable email addresses for times when you don’t want to share your real email address with an online form or registration. It also expanded HomeKit Secure Video support.
iCloud+ plans: 50GB with one HomeKit Secure Video camera ($0.99/ ₹75/month), 200GB with up to five HomeKit Secure Video cameras ($2.99/ ₹219/month), and 2TB with an unlimited number of HomeKit Secure Video cameras ($9.99/ ₹749 /month).
Devices that are eligible for iOS 15 Upgrade:
So that’s it those are my favorite new features coming with iOS 15 but there’s a whole lot more that I didn’t touch on literally like over a hundred features coming in this update.
According to mine, the new update is huge In many ways, but now I want to hear from you what you think of iOS 15. what’s your favorite feature so far and what’s your experience been like on your iPhone? throw your thoughts in the comments.
If you want more assistance in Update and want to know more about the iOS 15 update and installation process, visit support.apple.com.