the iOS launch 15 should be a major event for mobile operating systems. And yet this year, there is no groundbreaking feature or overarching theme that makes this version stand out. Apple has focused on quality of life updates, as well as new features for its own applications.
The result is a solid update that will not be controversial. Some people will take advantage of the new Focus feature. They will spend a lot of time personalizing their phone to make it as personal as possible. Other people will simply miss or discard the new features.
This year’s update is also a bit different because you don’t have to update to iOS 15. If you agree to iOS 14, Apple will not force you to make the jump to iOS 15. You will continue to receive security patches. . Some people will just ditch iOS 15 entirely.
It seems like a small change, but it actually says a lot about the current state of iOS. Apple regards iOS as a mature platform. Just like you don’t have to update your Mac to the latest version of macOS if you don’t want to, you can now update at your own pace.
iOS should also be considered a mature platform for app developers. The adoption of iOS 15 will be slower than usual as people won’t necessarily upgrade to iOS 15 right away. Apps should potentially work on older versions of iOS for a longer time.
Of course, users will ‘upgrade’ to a new version of iOS when they buy a new iPhone and replace their old iPhone. But Apple has AND the people who pre-ordered the iPhone 13 you will get iOS 15.
Focusing on you instead of your phone
One of the biggest changes in iOS 15 is the ability to change your focus from the Control Center. It is a surprisingly powerful feature with many options and settings. I’d say it doesn’t feel like an Apple feature.
But it is definitely one of the coolest features of iOS 15. Most likely, you spend a lot of time with your phone and your device requires a lot of attention from you. With this new feature, you reverse the balance and put you back in charge.
‘Do not disturb’ users are already quite familiar with the idea that you can silence notifications when you don’t want them. If you want to keep using ‘moon mode’ with iOS 15, you don’t have to change anything.
But now you can create additional Focuses. By default, Apple suggests a few Approaches: Work, Sleep, Driving, Fitness, Games, Mindfulness, Personal, and Reading. Each Focus can be customized to your needs and you can create new Focus from scratch.
When you turn on a specific Focus, it basically blocks notifications by default. Then you can add people and apps so that notifications from those people and apps are still received. Application developers can also mark a notification as time sensitive so that it is always processed. I hope they don’t abuse that feature.
There are three more settings you can activate. First, you can optionally share that your notifications are currently muted in Messages and supported third-party apps. Second, you can hide the home screen pages entirely. Third, you can hide lock screen notifications and hide home screen badges.
Approach becomes particularly interesting when you realize that you can couple specific approaches with automation features. For example, you can automatically turn on “Sleep” at night or you can automatically turn on “Work” when you get to work.
Advanced users will also have a lot of fun setting up a Focus and pairing it with a shortcut. For example, you can use Shortcuts to open the Clock app when you put it to sleep. You get it, this new feature has a lot of depth and beta users have just started to scratch the surface.
Update all apps
With iOS 15, Apple has improved almost all the default apps. Some additions are definitely good improvements. Others have been a bit more controversial.
Let’s start with the controversial, SafariThe layout of the. But what he saw at WWDC in June is nothing like what ships today. Essentially, Apple has listened to feedback and changed the user interface of its web browser over the summer.
By default, the address bar is now at the bottom of the screen, just above the row of buttons that allow you to open bookmarks, share the current page, or go to the previous page. I think it works better. But if you really don’t want the address bar to be at the bottom, you can move it back to the top of the screen.
Other than that, the Safari changes are all nice improvements. For example, the browser now supports traditional web extensions. It will be interesting to see if popular Google Chrome extensions eventually make it to Safari. Another nice new feature is the ability to create tab groups and find your tab groups from your other devices.
Facetime it has become a versatile video conferencing service. Now you can create links, share them with friends, and add them to calendar invitations. For the first time, people without an Apple device will be able to join FaceTime calls from a web browser. There is also a new Zoom view … I mean, Grid view.
Unfortunately, the great new FaceTime feature isn’t ready for prime time yet. SharePlay, the feature that lets you sync video and audio playback with your friends, will launch later this fall.
the Climate The application has also been redesigned. It now contains much more information, such as precipitation maps, next hour precipitation notifications, and a new UV index. It has become a solid alternative to third-party weather apps. I still use Snowflake but the differences are getting smaller and smaller.
Posts it is now better integrated with other Apple applications. Whenever someone sends you an article, a photo album, a podcast or a song, you will see those recommendations in the other Apple applications: Apple News, Photos, Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, etc. Again, this is a nice addition to my testing, but it’s not going to change the way you use your phone.
Apple Maps it’s getting better and better, especially if you live in San Francisco. If you haven’t used it in a few years, I encourage you to try again. It is now a solid alternative to Google Maps.
Some cities, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London, are getting new detailed maps with 3D buildings, bus lanes, sidewalks, and more. It feels like navigating a video game given how detailed it is. The app has also been redesigned with new location cards, a new driving user interface, and in-app settings.
Photos it’s also getting a ton of improvements. Each year, the company perfects Memories. I’m not sure a lot of people are using this feature, but it’s better than before. Now there is more information if you also swipe a photo, such as the shutter speed and the lens that was used.
But the biggest change in your photo library is that you can now search for text in your photo. iOS is scanning your photos for text and saving it for Spotlight searches.
Similarly, you can now point your camera at the text and select text from there. It is incredibly convenient if you are looking for the restaurant address on the menu and want to share it with a friend or if you are traveling and want to translate some text.
Tips and tricks
There are a ton of little changes that make iOS 15 better than iOS 14. Let me list a few of them:
- If you have a compatible home key, hotel key, office key, or ID card, you can now add them all to the Wallet app.
- You can share some health information with someone else. It can be helpful if you live far from loved ones or want to upgrade your healthcare team.
- If you pay for iCloud, you are now an iCloud + user. Besides storage, you get additional features. iCloud Private Relay, which is available as a beta feature, allows you to browse the web with greater privacy. Hide My Email allows you to create randomly generated email addresses to create new accounts on the web.
- Similarly, if your family uses iCloud for their email addresses, you can now set up a personal domain name and set it up in iCloud.
- iOS uses speech recognition on the device, which means it can dictate text much faster.
- But that’s not all, iOS processes some Siri requests on your device directly, which means you can start a timer, set an alarm, or change music instantly. The way I use Siri has changed.
- You can add an account recovery contact in case your iCloud account is locked. This is important to convince more people to use two-factor authentication.
- Speaking of two-factor authentication, Apple’s built-in password manager called ‘Passwords’ can now save 2FA details and auto-fill 2FA fields. It works very similar to 2FA in 1Password.
- You can set up a legacy persona for your Apple ID. I encourage you to take a closer look at that feature. I have spoken to several people who were unable to get the photos of their loved ones after they passed away because Apple was unable to simply deliver the photos.
- Apple has added tags to reminders and notes. You can also @ -mention people in Notes.
As you can see, the list of changes in iOS 15 is quite long. But it’s up to you to decide if you want to upgrade to iOS 15. When Apple added cut, copy and paste with iPhone OS 3, it was an obvious decision. Personally, I like the new features and they were worth updating. And I hope this review can help you decide whether to upgrade or not.