The last major update to Apple’s iOS software for iPhone users, iOS 14, saw the smartphone’s home screen interface given a fresh update with new widgets and shortcuts for users to customise their main screen, as well as privacy measures to improve transparency over third-party apps’ ad-tracking.
iOS 15 is expected to arrive in autumn 2021 with a further set of new features to keep users glued to their screens.
Among the much-tipped new tech features in the next update is SharePlay, an update to Apple’s video call software FaceTime which will allow iPhone users to share music, films and multimedia content while video calling pals.
Here’s everything you need to know about iOS 15, including its expected release date, new features, compatible devices and how to preview it in beta mode.
What are the new iOS 15 features?
While SharePlay and the new features created for FaceTime are perhaps the most anticipated iOS 15 features, there are many more changes coming in the update to manage notifications, streamline Safari usage and organise music and photos.
Introducing ‘Live Text’ in photos, iOS 15 will let users identify text such as phone numbers, email addresses and useful information in images, as well as let users find out more about landmarks, pets, books or art contained in photos on their device and on Safari with its new ‘Visual Look Up’ tool.
On Safari, users will finally be able to organise searches and windows through a new group tab function.
Tab bars will also be moved to the bottom of the screen to provide users with more space to view webpages on mobile devices.
To help users feel less overloaded with notifications, iOS 15 will also change their appearance on iPhone lock screens to present a notification summary – placing the highest priority notifications at the top.
Apple is also introducing ‘Focus’ to allow iPhone users to have more control over the notifications they see while working or away from their phone.
You can view the new iOS features in full at: https://www.apple.com/uk/ios/ios-15-preview/.
When will iOS 15 be released?
While the release date for iOS 15 is still yet to be officially announced, many are expecting the next iPhone software to arrive early this autumn.
Apple’s September 2021 Keynote event on 14 September could see the release date of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 announced, as well as when we can expect the next iPhone model, iPhone 13, to hit shelves.
Previous iOS updates have been rolled out mere days after the tech giants’ September event, with iOS 14 debuting the day after Apple’s September 2020 Keynote held on 15 September last year.
Likewise, iOS 13, released in 2019, came out nine days after Apple’s September Keynote that year.
What Apple devices are compatible with iOS 15?
According to Apple, these are the iPhone and iPod Touch models supporting iOS 15:
- 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 (1st generation)
- iPhone SE (2nd generation)
- iPod touch (7th generation)
iPad models supporting iPadOS 15:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch
- iPad (8th generation)
- iPad (7th generation)
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (4th generation)
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
How can I download iOS 15 beta?
To experience the next major Apple software update coming to iPhones and the 7th generation iPod touch this autumn, iPhone users can sign up to the tech company’s Beta Software Programme using their Apple ID.
Apple Beta Software Programme is designed to help Apple developers iron out any bugs or technical issues ahead of the update’s full release/
iPhone users can access iOS 15 in beta by opening Safari and visiting beta.apple.com/profile.
This interface will then allow users to sign into their Apple account using their Apple ID, download and install the profile.
However, downloading this and any Apple software in beta mode comes with a warning that it could bring irreversible changes to your devices – with users strongly encouraged to make comprehensive back-ups of your data and device information before becoming involved in the programme.
Involvement in the programme will also see certain types of non-personally identifiable data about your device and diagnostic or usage data collected when using iOS 15 in beta mode in order to allow developers to make any necessary changes or improvements to the software ahead of its release.
Visit the Apple Beta Software Programme website to find out more.