Unveiled at the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021, the iOS 15 is set to roll out for supported iPhone models on Monday (September 20). The new operating system for iPhone will bring tons of new upgrades, including redesigned Safari browser, FaceTime link for group calls with people outside Apple ecosystem, new memojis, redesigned notifications, and Live Text in photos for easy copy and paste functionality.
How to upgrade to iOS 15
The iOS 15 will be available as a free software upgrade for supported iPhones. Once the rollout begins, the supported iPhones will automatically show a notification for the available software upgrade. To initiate the upgrade, tap on the notification and then tap on the download button. To manually check for the update, go to Settings> General> Software update.
iOS 15: List of compatible iPhones
The iOS 15 will be compatible with iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
iOS 15: Key features
With the iOS 15, Apple extends the FaceTime calls beyond Apple devices. Like any other video conferencing platform, Apple users will now be able to create a link for an event and share it with others, so anyone with access to the link can join the FaceTime call from their web browser – Android and Windows devices. The FaceTime call link can be created from iPhone, iPad and Mac, and shared with others through Messages, Calendar, Mail, or any third-party apps. Apple said at the WWDC 2021 that the FaceTime calls on the web remain end-to-end encrypted.
The iOS 15 will also bring the SharePlay feature, which will help users share experiences while connecting with friends and family on FaceTime. The feature will allow FaceTime call participants to listen to songs together with Apple Music, watch a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together. SharePlay works across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and with shared playback controls, anyone in a SharePlay session can play, pause, or jump ahead. SharePlay will also be available on the Apple TV, so users can watch shows or movies on a big screen while connecting over FaceTime. Apple said at the WWDC 2021 that many over-the-top platforms’ app like Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch, etc. are integrating SharePlay into their apps.
Another new feature of the iOS 15 is ‘Focus’. According to Apple, Focus will help users focus and reduce distraction. Focus is developed to filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on. That said, Apple users can set their device to help them be in the moment by creating a custom Focus or selecting a suggested Focus, which uses on-device intelligence to suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them. Focus suggestions are based on users’ context, like during their work hours, and when Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to their other Apple devices. Users can create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce distractions. When a user’s Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status is automatically displayed to others in Messages, reflecting that a user is not currently reachable.
The above-mentioned features seem just the right addition to improve user experience amid the pandemic. Aside to these, there are several other features coming to iPhone with iOS 15. FaceTime is set to get Spatial Audio support, microphone modes, portrait mode, and grid view for group calls.
Notifications have been redesigned with bold icons for apps and contacts for easy recognition. To help reduce distraction, a new notification summary is added in the iOS 15 that collects non-time-critical notifications for delivery at a more opportune time, such as in the morning and evening.
Another new addition in the iOS 15 is the Live Text, which uses on-device intelligence to recognise text in a photo and allow users to take action. Apple Wallet is also set to get new utilities, including the ability to store driver’s license or state IDs. Apple said the Identity Cards in Wallet are encrypted and safely stored in the Secure Element, the same hardware technology that makes Apple Pay private and secure.
The iOS 15 will also introduce more privacy controls to help protect user information. For example, Apple adds on-device speech recognition to process all Siri requests entirely on iPhone by default. Apple also added ‘Mail Privacy Protection’ to stop senders from learning whether an email has been opened, and hides IP addresses so senders cannot learn a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them. The iOS 15 has a new space for ‘App Privacy Report’ in settings that offers an overview of how apps use the access that has been granted to location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts in the last seven days, and which other domains are contacted.