Since the end of June, iOS 15 has been accessible as a public beta; however, the software is now available as a download that anybody may install.
Open the Settings app on your phone and hit General — from there, you can pick Software Update, where iOS 15 will be waiting for you if you have not already loaded it.
In terms of supported devices, if your phone is running iOS 14, you may update to iOS 15.
That implies any iPhone 6s or later, and the original iPhone SE and the 7th generation iPod touch will operate.
Significant changes like FaceTime call web links for pals on Android and Windows to minor tweaks like pinning chats to the top of the Messages app have enhanced my iPhone without disturbing my day.
Overall, iOS 15 appears to be a continuation of iOS 14, which appears to be a continuation of iOS 13.
Following in the footsteps of iOS 13 and 14, iOS 15 allows you to customize your iPhone experience to your liking.
For example, in Safari, you may relocate the tab bar to the bottom of your phone’s screen to make it simpler to grasp with one hand.
iOS 15 does not significantly alter the appearance of your phone.
This is not the vast change witnessed between iOS 6 and iOS 7.
Furthermore, iOS 15 is not defined by a few significant, showy additions. Instead, it comprises hundreds of tiny and medium contributions that build up to something more significant.
From new options to customize your Memoji to more remarkable aesthetic enhancements in Maps, iOS 15 is a significant upgrade to your phone.
Instead of trumpeting its changes like a procession of elephants, Apple has discreetly crept in enhancements to help make your phone better without disrupting your current settings and workflows.
Apple’s iOS is unrivaled in terms of device support.
If you own an iPhone 6S or the original iPhone SE, iOS 15 will be compatible with your device. You may not receive all of the new additions.
The focus mode in iOS 15 is game-changing.
Focus mode had the most influence on me out of anything in iOS 15.
Focus allows you to filter alerts depending on what you are doing right now and organize app and widgets pages on your iPhone’s main screen to fit your activities and mental state.
When you engage in Focus mode, your state is immediately shown in Messages for friends to observe.
It is similar to establishing an Away status on Slack, except it serves as a reminder to others not to interrupt you.
The distinction is that a Focus status affects your iPhone, Mac, and other devices on a system-wide basis. You may also disable your Focus status so that it is not shared.
If they choose, third-party app developers can provide Focus status in their messaging applications.
As a result, your Focus status may be compatible with WhatsApp, Signal, and other services in the future. When iOS 15 is launched, Slack will support the Focus status.
In Settings, you can set up or change a Focus. I created a few Focuses featuring default ones for work and fitness.
I designed a few unique Focuses for dining and riding.
You may call the Focus anything you like, so do not pass judgment on my somewhat boring naming system for cooking and riding.
You may plan a Focus to begin and finish at a specific time or be activated when you arrive at a specific area, or you can utilize Control Center to turn them on and off at your leisure.
When you create a Focus, you can specify who will be notified.
You can keep your interaction with your employer and coworkers to a minimum to concentrate on your work.
You will still get all of your messages and calls, just as in Do Not Disturb mode, but you will only be notified of those from the contacts you specify.
Contacts You did not specify who tried to contact you when you are using Focus are notified above the text box in Messages that your notifications have been suppressed.
There is a “Notify anyhow” option that will notify me.
You may choose which app pages from your main screen appear during each Focus.
FaceTime calls in portrait mode look fantastic.
Portrait mode is no longer only for photographs.
With iOS 15, you may enable Portrait mode for FaceTime conversations, allowing you to create an artsy fuzzy background behind you.
Zoom, Skype, and other video chat applications enable you to create a blur around yourself, but Apple’s approach is far superior and more natural.
Portrait mode, rather than being a blurred wall, simulates the natural out-of-focus falloff produced by a mirrorless camera and fast Lens. FaceTime Portrait option avoids the ragged cutoff and strange halo effect.
When you combine Portrait mode with FaceTime’s spatial audio capability, video conversations become even more immersive.
Spatial audio establishes the position of the audio source about you.
All of the callers are on your phone, but spatial audio distributes them out so that they seem like they are speaking to you from your left and right sides as well as the center.
It is a very cool effect. It seems to function best on calls with four or more individuals.
Notification Summary reduces the amount of noise on your iPhone.
Notification Summary is similar to your unique dossier of handpicked alerts that are not timely or urgent.
App alerts may be pretty annoying.
Managing your alerts has traditionally been an all-or-nothing proposition. However, iOS 15 allows you to collect relevant alerts in one location to access them whenever you want.
Notification Summary is ideal for dealing with alerts you want but does not necessarily need to view right away.
An excellent example would be a gaming notification informing you about games.
Notification Summary can completely transform your connection with your iPhone.
Live Text is an excellent method to enter Text, numbers, and URLs.
When I initially saw Live Text, I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s Apple’s equivalent of Google Lens.” Yes, they are on the same wavelength, but they are not the same.
Google Lens is more like a hybrid of Live Text and iOS Spotlight.
To recognize Text, you may utilize Live Text in real-time with your camera or pictures.
It automatically recognizes the presence of Text and contextualizes it. It also works with printed Text as well as handwritten.
If there is a phone number, you can press it to call it.
If there is a Spanish term, it can be translated into English.
If you have a photo, press the Live Text symbol in the lower right corner to interact with any text in the frame. The UI is sleek and straightforward to use.
iOS 15 features will not be available from the start
The ability to add identity cards such as your driver’s license to your iPhone’s wallet is one of several iOS 15 capabilities that will not be available at launch.
As a backup, you may save your driver’s license in the iPhone Wallet app.
Another product that has piqued my interest is SharePlay.
When you are on a FaceTime call, SharePlay enables you to listen to music or watch a movie or TV show with your pals in real-time.
You may even show your screen to others. It is a hybrid of various group video-watching capabilities added to applications like Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney Plus throughout the epidemic, combined with screen sharing through Zoom.
The difference is that SharePlay is more integrated throughout your phone and is not restricted to just a few apps.
You may use it for TikTok, music sharing, and any other app that supports SharePlay.
It features a simple UI and even allows you to broadcast SharePlay media to an AppleTV-enabled TV from your phone.
Live Text is a fantastic addition to the Photos library.
Google Lens has been around for a while, and it uses your phone’s camera to recognize Text in photos, translate foreign languages, and identify real-world things such as animals or plants.
Furthermore, soon, your iPhone will get its version of Lens, dubbed Live Text.
Live Text may be used in a variety of ways.
You may utilize it before snapping a shot in the viewfinder by pressing on the Live Text button that appears, or you can launch the Photos app and select an image from your collection.
Whether you enabled Live Text before snapping the photo or viewed an old one, you should be able to identify any text, including phone numbers, email addresses, or street locations, and then share, call, or utilize that information as you see fit.
The new Do Not Disturb settings maintain the Focus on what is essential.
Do Not Disturb is a helpful option if you want your phone or tablet to remain entirely silent and free of distractions, but the all-or-nothing approach is not always appropriate.
Apple included a new Focus mode in iOS 15 and iPad OS 15 that takes DND to the next level.
You may create unique Focus profiles that enable just the applications you choose to notify you while keeping the others silent.
You may even choose which contacts will still get notifications, whether they be texts or phone calls.
Everyone who messages you while you have a Focus profile activated will receive a status notice informing them that you are busy and will view the message later.
The iPhone’s Quick Notes
The new Quick Notes feature is not exclusive to iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey, but it is close.
It is true enough, and Quick Notes is excellent enough that you will be hoping iOS 16 delivers it to the iPhone properly.
For the time being, though, you may open and modify any Quick Note on the iPhone by running Apple Notes.
When you open that app and then touch on the Quick Notes folder, you will have complete access to every Quick Note you have made on either the iPad or the Mac.
So, in iOS 15, you could slide down to open the Control Center, press the Notes icon, and you would be writing an Apple note in no time.
It is not the same as a Quick Note because you leave an app to accomplish it, and you cannot link that note to that app.
Furthermore, the new note shows in the previous folder you saw in Apple Notes on iPhone.
As a result, it is less structured, less convenient, and lacks the connecting capabilities of Quick Notes. Aside from that, everything is good.
Maps by Apple
Apple has spoken a lot about new capabilities coming to Apple Maps across all of its devices, but most are location-based.
One tiny but beneficial improvement concerns driving directions.
Apple Maps will color-code routes like previously, with red indicating long delays, yellow indicating minor delays, and blue indicating everything is OK.
The issue was always that you might see a stretch of red ahead of you and have no idea how long it would take.
Because the map display varies as you travel, no single constant metric can tell you if the delay occurs over one mile, 10 miles, or more.
Apple Maps will now include a label showing you how many minutes it will take to go through a particular delay in iOS 15, as well as through CarPlay.
It is a little erratic in that it does not always appear, and it might take a minute or two to emerge. However, considering how delays tend to escalate, it is pretty realistic.
That tiny feature is quite reassuring, and it will frequently prevent you from looking for alternate ways.
However, there is still a long-standing issue in Apple Maps driving directions that causes speed restrictions to be incorrect.
Motorways in the United Kingdom, for example, frequently cross regular roadways.
When they do, Apple Maps may detect the speed limit for that route and say that it is now 30 miles per hour rather than 70.
Pros & Cons, Should you upgrade?
It is challenging to return to iOS 14. That is how great this update is, and that does not even consider the things that have yet to be included.
Yes, but not right away. Allow a week or three for others to uncover the problems and Apple to solve them.
- Safari Tab Groups
- Texting in Real-Time
- Improvements in overall stability and performance
- Focusing Mode
- Certain planned features have been postponed
- Apps such as Final Cut Pro cannot be run on iPadOS 15
Watch what Marques Brownlee’s video on iOS 15