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Apple iOS 15 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know

iOS 15
Image: Apple

The newest model of Apple’s working system for cell units, iOS 15, was introduced on June 7, 2021 on the firm’s Worldwide Developer Conference. The beta model of iOS 15 was launched on June 7, 2021 to builders, and the general public beta was launched on June 30, 2021. Apple launched iOS 15 to the general public on Sept. 20, 2021.

This new model of iOS consists of many new options related to customers and builders alike, together with: an emphasis on communication modifications, the power to concentrate on particular features of your life, on-device intelligence and exploring the world.

SEE: Apple iOS 15 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is iOS 15?

iOS 15 is Apple’s newest cell working system that helps iPhones and iPod contact units. It was introduced at Apple’s 2021 WWDC and consists of many new options and companies that might be obtainable for iOS units (see the part beneath to discover out in case your machine is supported).

This new model of iOS consists of many new options which can be related to customers, builders and enterprise prospects. These options embrace additions to communication, enhancements for customers to have the ability to concentrate on particular duties and contacts at hand and world-interaction options.

SEE: Apple’s Sept. 2021 occasion: What enterprise execs need to know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Will iOS 15 work on my machine?

Most {hardware} that supported iOS 14 may also help iOS 15, together with the next Apple units which can be obtainable on the time of this writing:

  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • 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 (first technology, 2016 mannequin)
  • iPhone SE (second technology, 2020 mannequin)
  • iPhone SE (third technology, 2022 mannequin)
  • iPod contact (seventh technology)

SEE: How to migrate to a brand new iPad, iPhone, or Mac (TechRepublic Premium)

What are the important thing iOS 15 options?



FaceTime is receiving a considerable replace with iOS 15, to make video chatting extra pure, snug and lifelike. This begins with the FaceTime app supporting Spatial Audio that Apple pioneered with AirPods Pro. This signifies that audio will sound as if it’s coming from the machine when sporting Spatial Audio-compatible AirPods.

FaceTime may also obtain an replace that lets you block out ambient noise via a characteristic referred to as Voice Isolation. Machine studying will energy this characteristic that isolates your voice and blocks all different noise. In one other TechRepublic article, you can study how to allow this FaceTime characteristic.

SEE: Best hidden iOS 15 options to begin utilizing now (TechRepublic)

In iOS 14, Apple unveiled a brand new view for multi-person video calling that supported stay tiles that enhance in measurement primarily based on who’s talking. While many customers appreciated this characteristic, many didn’t. Apple is making a change that lets you choose between the stay tiles view and a grid view that can present all video members in the identical measurement grids so you can simply see all members on the identical time.

The greatest bulletins for FaceTime revolve round two new options: FaceTime Links and Share Play.

SEE: WWDC 2021: The 5 finest iOS 15 options for enterprise execs (TechRepublic)

FaceTime hyperlinks will permit you to schedule a FaceTime assembly upfront, then ship the hyperlink out to members through e mail, iMessage, or a calendar invite. When a person clicks the hyperlink, it’s going to robotically open FaceTime if their machine helps it, and if the participant is on Windows, Android or one other machine incapable of utilizing FaceTime, an online browser will open that lets them securely be part of the decision with out the FaceTime app.

Share Play is one other notable FaceTime characteristic that unlocks three new options for customers: Listening to music collectively, watching movies collectively and screen-sharing collectively.

Listening to music and watching movies collectively will synchronize the audio so that every one viewers are watching at the very same second whereas additionally having the ability to video chat on the identical time. Utilize Picture in Picture to accomplish different duties whereas this is happening, or AirPlay to an Apple TV or different AirPlay suitable show to get a cut up view the place the video seems on the bigger display and video chat happens on the machine display.

In addition, Share Play additionally helps the power to share your display with different FaceTime members to give assist to somebody or to demo one thing in your display.

Learn extra about (*15*)creating and sharing hyperlinks to FaceTime calls, together with utilizing FaceTime with Android and Windows customers.


Messages introduce a number of new niceties that can permit for higher looking, higher app integration and photograph administration.

The first new characteristic is when your machine is in Do Not Disturb mode, Messages will show that standing to anybody making an attempt to contact you. They might be alerted that you’re in Do Not Disturb mode earlier than sending the message. They can nonetheless select to interrupt you for necessary messages, nonetheless, and you might be notified of them regardless of being in Do Not Disturb mode.

SEE: Apple’s bank card will get a household plan with new Apple Card Family program (TechRepublic)

If you share numerous images with the Messages app, then you know that sending numerous images includes spamming the chat with every photograph by itself chat line. With Photo Stacks, Messages will resolve this by combining a number of despatched images right into a single carousel view that may be flipped between or tapped to get a grid view of all of the images.

The Photos app may pull in images that embrace these despatched in Messages by others. You will not need to manually pull out images individually from the Messages app.

The final main characteristic to Messages is the power to pin objects in a chat, which may be extra simply discovered when looking in Messages. This is nice for coming again to a video, hyperlink or photograph afterward when you have time.

SEE: Hiring package: iOS developer (TechRepublic Premium)


Notification Summary lets you specify a time to get non-urgent notifications delivered as a digest so you can atone for what you missed all through the day.
Image: AppleApple is wanting customers to extra simply concentrate on the duty at hand with iOS 15 by introducing two new options: Notification Schedules and Summary, and Focus mode.

Notification Schedules and Summary

Notifications have been redesigned to embrace bigger icons, person profile images for Messages and bigger images to make them simpler to distinguish between each other. In addition, you can now set particular apps as non-priority in order that you don’t see them all through the day and as a substitute get a Notification Summary at your chosen time to have the ability to atone for non-priority notifications at your comfort. Important communication notifications will at all times come via, however having the ability to set which notifications you need will go a good distance to enhancing focus when working or on household time.

SEE: One Apple platform in 2021: The yr iPad and Mac start to converge (TechRepublic)

Focus mode

Focus mode lets you create an area to concentrate on (for work, for private, exercises, and many others.). Creating a Focus mode lets you specify which apps, Home Screens and contacts you could have entry to whereas in that mode. When swapping between modes, any irrelevant apps or contacts might be ignored.

Live Text permits you to use the digicam to seize textual content out of real-world environments. Want to dial a telephone quantity on a enterprise card? Use the digicam, then faucet the telephone quantity to dial it.
Image: AppleFocuses created on one machine might be synced via iCloud to further units so you can simply share focuses from iPhone with iPad and Mac. Learn extra on this TechRepublic tutorial: iOS 15: How to enhance your work-life steadiness with Focus modes.

On-device Intelligence

Apple is continuous to enhance the on-device machine studying and information processing via their new iOS 15 on-device intelligence options beneath.

Live Text

This characteristic permits customers to simply preview a photograph (or use the digicam pointed at textual content) and choose textual content straight from the photograph and even dial telephone numbers with out typing the quantity straight into your iPhone. Text from images is robotically OCRed and may be pasted into emails, chats or every other apps that help pasting plain textual content. At launch, this characteristic will help the next languages robotically: English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish.


Spotlight’s new wealthy information views will let you do numerous contact looking or primary net searches with out ever leaving your Home Screen.
Image: AppleSpotlight is getting further upgrades that are available in two areas: Photo search is now doable, thanks to the Live Text characteristic, to search via images containing particular individuals, scenes or textual content within the photograph. In addition, wealthy outcomes are actually returned for contacts you search and embrace the power to provoke a name with the context, textual content them or see appointments, notes and recordsdata that point out them.

Photo Memories

Photos is an app that constantly sees enhancements thanks to on-device machine studying. In iOS 15, Photo Memories has obtained a big enchancment. This characteristic will sew collectively related images and movies to create a video with a track chosen from Apple Music that matches the event and beat of the track to the motion within the video. You can edit the model of the video and new music will robotically be chosen to match the styling.

Exploring the world

Apple is making a giant push to make the digital pockets even higher by permitting you to ditch your driver’s license in case your state helps it.
Image: AppleWallet

Apple launched Car Keys in Wallet as part of iOS 14; nonetheless this characteristic is way improved and expanded in iOS 15. Car Keys, lodge keys and passes can now be added into the Wallet app. Continuing on Apple’s objective to digitize the whole bodily pockets, it’s also partnering with particular states to permit you to scan your driver’s license into the Wallet app and use the digital license for all the things. The TSA is even on board and would be the first to take part on this program.

Initially, the Driver’s License help in Wallet is proscribed to these U.S. states:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah

For extra data on the safety and privateness of this characteristic, learn Apple’s detailed rationalization of the way it works when rolled out nationwide.


Apple bought Dark Sky a little bit over a yr in the past, and it’s bringing a lot of these climate options over into the default Weather app in iOS 15. A brand new design will characteristic a format that modifications primarily based on present outdoors circumstances, and new climate information that’s certain to make any climate nerd blissful.

Image: AppleMaps

Apple is vastly enhancing the Maps app in iOS 15 by including new “City Experiences” into maps. For choose cities, necessary landmarks might be included as digitized 3D fashions, and new information will supply details about business districts, highway colours and labels. In addition, a brand new night time time mode will permit exploring cities in a moonlit atmosphere.

Image: AppleThere are new driving instructions that add and enhance highway particulars, and can now embrace data on the highway you’re touring, akin to bike lane data, taxi lanes and extra. This will permit drivers to extra safely journey with the help of GPS.

Transit riders can now pin their favourite strains and get notification on watchOS when it’s time to disembark when approaching the vacation spot.

Lastly, Maps provides a brand new augmented actuality view to choose cities. Use the digicam to scan buildings and get strolling instructions overlaid in a digicam view in supported cities. At launch, this might be obtainable in London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Diego, and extra might be added later this yr.


Privacy Reports in iOS 15 will permit you to hold a examine on apps and what they’re doing together with your information.
Image: AppleApple continued its stance on making iOS essentially the most safe cell working system on the earth with iOS 15 modifications primarily based round privateness. These new options embrace Privacy reviews, Mail and Siri.

In Mail, Apple is enabling the person to block pixel monitoring and can obfuscate the IP deal with in order that senders can’t monitor your e mail studying.

For Siri, Apple will start doing the speech recognition for Siri on machine by default, which signifies that your voice won’t be despatched to Apple’s servers in any respect so as to be transcribed for Siri. This can be a pace profit as a result of it signifies that requests can typically be processed faster.

Apple is introducing a brand new Privacy Report characteristic for apps that may be accessed to see how nicely sure apps are behaving when it comes to your privateness. The report will element the permissions you’ve granted them, which third-party domains they contact, and the way just lately they made contact.

SEE: iOS 15: How to allow Mail Privacy Protection (TechRepublic)

Other notable iOS 15 options

  • Memoji options new clothes, glasses, headwear and eye coloration customizations that customers can choose from.
  • Maps will characteristic editorial-curated guides for cities and locations to go to when touring.
  • Safari has been fully redesigned with tabs which can be swipeable, a brand new sensible search discipline, and the power to set up third-party net extensions similar to on macOS.
  • Wallet now helps workplace keys for company badges and the power to archive passes that aren’t in present use.
  • Photos features a new Info panel that shows data such because the digicam, lens and shutter pace, the file measurement, or who despatched a Shared with You photograph in Messages. You may edit the date taken or location, add a caption, and study objects detected by Visual Look Up.
  • Health app lets you simply share your information with others, see Lab data from well being suppliers, and examine well being traits.
  • Secure paste signifies that apps received’t see what you’ve copied till you particularly give them entry.
  • Siri now has offline help for a lot of duties, together with Timers & Alarms, Phone, Messaging, Sharing, App Launch, Control Audio Playback and Settings.
  • Apple ID can now take part in Apple’s Digital Legacy program to permit members of the family or family members the power to entry your information after you die. In addition, if you get locked out of your Apple ID, you can specify trusted contacts who can provide you a code to immediately get entry again to your locked out account.
  • VoiceOver now helps the power to discover photographs and get particulars about individuals, objects, textual content and tables inside photographs.
  • The App Library characteristic now lets you simply reorder Home Screens.
  • Apple Pay has redesigned the cost stream display to permit customers the power to enter issues like coupon codes or further data that the service provider permits.
  • Camera features a new panorama mode that has improved geometric distortion and higher captures shifting topics whereas additionally decreasing picture noise and banding.
  • CarPlay can now announce messages and notifications.
  • FindMy can be utilized to discover supported fashions of AirPods in the identical approach that customers can discover AirTag units.
  • Apple has introduced again the magnifying loupe for textual content entry when urgent and holding on the cursor
  • The Software Update part of the Settings app will now permit you to keep on the earlier main model and nonetheless obtain safety updates, or transfer to the most recent main model for characteristic and safety updates.
  • Temporary iCloud storage permits you to use iCloud to switch to a brand new machine even when you don’t have sufficient free area in iCloud. Apple will grant you free storage for this course of.
  • Additional system widgets together with ones for Mail, App Store, sleep information, Game Center, Find My and Contacts.
  • The capability to tag and higher manage reminders utilizing the Reminders software constructed into iOS.
  • The capability to tag notes and use FastNotes on iPadOS to extra simply add a observe utilizing your Apple Pencil.

SEE: Getting began with iOS improvement (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

iOS 15.4 brings new performance to present iPhones

iOS 15.4 brings myriad new options to iOS and present iPhones. This launch debuted the week of March 14, 2022, and launched the next new (and extremely anticipated) options:

  • Tap to pay performance that permits supported third-party apps to obtain contactless funds utilizing the built-in NFC {hardware} on the machine. This is a giant deal for iPhone customers who settle for funds via Square and different POS techniques and can now have the ability to settle for funds with out carrying round further {hardware} units.
  • Mask-friendly Face ID characteristic lets customers go for a decrease safety model of FaceID that may work with masks enabled to unlock the machine, carry out Apple Pay options, and enter passwords and different biometric-enabled safety checks. This characteristic is proscribed to iPhone 12 and that iPhone 13 due to Face ID digicam system modifications wanted to carry out this extra authentication sort.
  • Apple additionally introduced further AirTag safety features to stop the units from getting used as instruments to stalk customers.
  • A brand new fifth Siri voice is out there for customers within the US to select from that may be a nonbinary, LGBTQ+ voice that may be enabled within the Settings app.

How do you obtain and set up iOS 15?

iOS 15 may be downloaded and put in over the air on any iOS 15 suitable machine by going to Settings | General | Software Update and choosing Install iOS 15 within the banner that seems on the backside of the Software Update part.

Alternatively, you can replace it via any Windows or Mac pc by plugging in your machine and following the directions in these Apple help paperwork:

Updating iOS utilizing a Mac working the most recent model of macOS (macOS Catalina or later)

Updating your iPhone utilizing a Mac working macOS Mojave or earlier, or Windows

What’s the discharge historical past of iOS 15?

June 7, 2021: Apple unveils iOS 15 to builders at WWDC and releases a beta for builders to obtain and start creating apps.

June 30, 2021: Apple begins the general public beta of iOS and iPadOS 15.

Sept. 20, 2021: Apple makes iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 obtainable for obtain. In the discharge model of iOS 15, notably lacking is Share Play, Legacy Contacts (for having the ability to transition your person information over to another person on the time of a dying), App Privacy Report, 3D Maps navigation in CarPlay, and probably the most anticipated options: Universal Control (with iPadOS) to permit for controlling iPadOS units utilizing a Mac when aspect by aspect. Apple notes these options might be coming in a future iOS 15 replace.

October 1, 2021: iOS 15.0.1 is launched with a bug repair for Apple Watch unlocking when utilizing an iPhone 13.

October 25, 2021: iOS 15.1 is launched and provides the much-anticipated SharePlay performance and the Live Text characteristic to the Camera app. It additionally added bug fixes and enhancements round points with the Photos app.

November 17, 2021: iOS 15.1.1 mounted a problem the place calls would drop randomly on iPhone 12 and that iPhone 13 fashions.

December 13, 2021: Apple releases iOS 15.2 and provides myriad new options, together with App Privacy Report, Apple Music Voice Plan, help for Legacy Contacts in iCloud, Find My Battery Reserve, Hide My Email in iCloud+, Communication Safety options for teenagers and youngsters in iMessage and a Macro Mode Toggle for supported iPhone 13 units.

January 26, 2022: iOS 15.3 brings safety patches to stop a zero day energetic vulnerability in Safari/WebKit.

February 10, 2022: iOS 15.3.1 mounted a problem that will trigger exterior Braille shows to cease responding, mounted a problem the place PDF scrolling in Safari was uneven, and glued further Security scripting vulnerabilities.

Week of March 14, 2022: Apple hasn’t given a particular launch date for iOS 15.4 apart from “next week.” When this date is confirmed, we’ll replace this text.  iOS 15.4 added an Apple Card widget for the Home Screen, the power to settle for contactless funds utilizing the NFC chip on the machine in supported apps, new emoji help and the power to unlock your machine with a masks (supported on iPhone 12 and that iPhone 13).


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