What’s new and how to install it
Apple released iOS 15, its big annual iPhone software update, on Monday.
The new version includes FaceTime for Android and Windows users as well as artificial intelligence which can identify plants, animals and other objects in photos. It also has a better control over notifications.
Apple updates its iPhones on a daily basis, but the major changes and features that are included in the annual update will be available alongside the new iPhones.
IOS 15 also works with older iPhones, starting back at the iPhone 6S in 2015. This is what you’ll receive.
What is new with iOS 15?
Windows and Android users can now use FaceTime. FaceTime, Apple’s videoconferencing software, used to be reserved for Apple products only — users who wanted to FaceTime with an Android phone or Windows PC were out of luck. Any Apple computer with iOS 15 will have a button to allow them to make a link to FaceTime. This link can be shared to any device or person with access to a web browser on any modern computer. Users also have the option of joining in chats. The chat will not allow random users access without permission. Users must be allowed to participate in the chat.
Apple’s new Focus feature in iOS 15
Todd Haselton | CNBC
New Messages integration. Many people receive many links from Apple Messages (formerly iMessage) throughout their day, but they don’t always have the time or the patience to go through them all. This information can now be shared by Messages with other applications. If someone links to an Apple News story, the link will appear in Apple News’ section called “Shared With You”. The same applies to Apple Music, Apple Photos. The new integration is also available for Safari web links and podcasts, as well as Apple TV movies/TV shows.
Apple iOS 15 is able to identify text within photos.
AI that can tell what’s in a photo, including text. Apple has made significant improvements to its Photo Recognition capabilities over years. However, this year’s update brings a major leap forward regarding the objects that it can identify in photos. iOS 15 allows Apple to identify animals and landmarks and give more details about plants, books, and other objects. The software makes it possible to search for text within your photos. Users can also copy and paste text from one of their photos into another document. Apple’s AI is run on iPhones, and not on remote servers. This means that the items you identify and copy will never be returned to Apple.
Apple’s new Focus feature in iOS 15
Todd Haselton | CNBC
More control of notifications during off-hours. iPhone users used to have a feature called “Do Not Disturb”, which limited notification except from close contacts. This mode has been in use for several years. Apple’s iOS 15 update has made these features even more powerful with “Focus.” This main feature displays only notifications that have been approved by you and other apps. When someone texts a Focus Mode user, they will receive an alert that their notifications have been stopped. This is similar to an “away message”. Multiple Focus profiles can be created by users for various situations. This will enable users to make different home screens, so that they have, for instance, different collection of apps for their home and work.
Apple Maps reminds. Apple Maps has annual updates that include better directions, schedules for public transportation, and an enhanced reality walking directions feature. This features places huge arrows on real scenes, telling the user where to go. Commuters may prefer the real-time notifications that inform users when to hop on the subway, bus or train before the stop is missed.
Redesigned Safari. New Safari redesign. The default browser for the iPhone has undergone its largest overhaul in many years. It now places the back and address buttons closer together to make them easier to access. The old Safari can be restored if the user doesn’t like it. Safari will also save groups of open tabs, so you can come back to them later, and supports extensions — just like Google Chrome or Safari on the desktop — for the first time through Apple’s app stores. Although there isn’t much available at the moment, extensions are tiny apps that give you more control over a site.
Improved system search. Spotlight by Apple is an Apple power-user feature. It searches the internet and files, and makes it easier to find apps. You can access it by simply swiping to the bottom of the screen. The interface has been updated with new photos and Apple-provided info about television shows, movies, artists, and any links you have shared.
Privacy protections. Apple has been a strong advocate for privacy over the years. However, iOS 15 is starting to make it a worthwhile feature. The “App Privacy Report” feature will let you see how many times an app has accessed your location or microphone in the past seven days. It also will tell users if apps are phoning home to their own servers — which is normal but can highlight certain uses of data that have previously been overlooked. People who subscribe to iCloud will get “iCloud private relay,” a beta feature similar to a VPN that hides your IP address. Apple Mail users can create random burner email addresses. They also have the ability to hide tracking pixels which tell marketers whether an open email was received.
It’s faster Siri. Siri is no longer required to transmit data to distant servers in order for it to answer your question. Now, it can do it on the device itself, which will lead to a snappier experience without a slight delay, as well as additional privacy — Apple won’t have access to all the recordings of your Siri requests anymore.
Apple iOS 15 will allow you to store your driver’s license within Apple Wallet.
Driver’s license and keys in Apple Wallet. Apple has added the ability to place driver’s licences and keys into its Wallet app. But it could take a while for all users to be able use these new capabilities.
Apple says the TSA and eight states are already on board The program allows you to add driver’s licenses or state IDs to your iPhone. It will be necessary for users to wait until the state supports this feature.
Apple Wallet users will be able store their keys (including car ignition keys) in Apple Wallet. You can unlock your front door using your smartphone if you own a smart house or office that has compatible locks. You will need a BMW, or another compatible vehicle to use the car ignition key feature.
Apple iOS 15 lets you share movies, TV series and more over FaceTime with your friends.
One big delay: Apple is planning to launch a feature called SharePlay that lets you watch a movie or TV show with other people over FaceTime. This feature, however, is not yet available and will arrive later this year.
How to get iOS 15
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller speaks on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus during a Special Event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium September 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
It’s really easy to install iOS 15. Only an iPhone SE (1st Generation) or older or iPhone 6s (or later) are required. These phones were launched in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Most people should update. Here’s what you do:
- Connect your compatible iPhone to Wi-Fi and power.
- Open Settings.
- All Open.
- Open Software Update.
- Click Download and install.
This is it!