What’s new in iOS 15: New Features, Apps & Compatible devices

Apple has announced the latest iOS version called iOS 15, with many features, privacy updates, and usability improvements. It adds a slew of new features and improvements to your iPhone, including a simplified Safari interface, preconfigured settings for rapidly changing your home screen layout, and significant improvements to FaceTime.

We’ll guide you through each of the new features, taking into account what’s new in iOS 15.1, and show you how to get it.

Photo by Rob Hampson on Unsplash

1. FaceTime

  • SharePlay
    Now FaceTime allows users to watch videos, listen to music, and share screens during FaceTime call.
  • Spatial audio
    FaceTime will show the voices of each participant more visually as the flow of voice direction when they talk.
  • Grid View
    Shows participants on your FaceTime call in similar size grids. So helps to have a better conversation with groups. Speaker is automatically highlighted when they speak.
  • Mic Modes
    Now FaceTime allows you to have different mic modes called Voice isolation & Wide spectrum.
  • Voice isolation — reduces background noise and makes your voice more clear
  • Wide spectrum — equalize background noise and your voice
  • Invite anyone to FaceTime
    Now FaceTime allows users from any platform. We can schedule FaceTime calls and share with anyone. Devices other than iOS can connect FaceTime calls via invite links from their browsers.
  • Portrait mode in FaceTime camera
    FaceTime camera now allows us to switch between normal and portrait modes of our video during calls.

2. iMessages

  • Shared with you
    Links, Photos, and other contents shared from iMessages will be shown in Shared with you, an existing tab in applications like Photos, Safari, Apple news.
  • Photo Collage
    Multiple photos will be combined as a collage.
  • Select to view them all as a grid or add a quick Tapback. Easily store these photos in your library with download options.
  • New Memoji are added for extra fun!

3. Focus

  • Choose Focus mode. It helps you concentrate on your work and avoid distracting notifications. You can create your own Focus mode to have better control over your work
  • Show up your status
  • When you’re using Focus, your status will be automatically shown in iMessages
  • For emergencies, there’s also a way to notify Focus’ people.

4. Notifications

  • In this new redesigned layout, notifications will now have a new look with larger app icons and contact photos.
  • You will also have an option to view the summary of notifications.

5. Maps

  • Navigate easily with the new city experience like maps with detailed buildings, trees, roads, and neighborhoods. And, the fun part is you can now view landmarks in 3D.
  • Enhanced and updated driving experience.
  • Now maps give incredible road details, current incidents, and traffic info at a glance.

6. Live Text

  • Live Text in photos that intelligently retrieves useful information from images.
  • Now we can make calls, send emails, look for directions from highlighted text from a photo
  • Live Text Translation
  • You can now translate text into 7 languages (English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish) from the highlighted text in a photo.

7. Safari

  • The Newly redesigned bottom tab bar with address bar controls.
  • Swipe left or right to switch between tabs or swipe up to see all tabs.
  • Tab groups Save and organize tabs. Easy to reorganize & sync across devices.
  • You can use extensions in an iPhone just like using it in Mac
  • Voice search Safari adds an option to search using handsfree. Tap on the microphone and speak

8. Spotlight

  • The new iOS 15 provides rich results and photos search, where you can get a variety of information from spotlight search.
  • You can also search photos using spotlight even search based on text in your photos using Live text

9. Photos

  • Interactive memories with a new look that give user an immersive experiences. It is made possible with a new interface along with a new memory mix that makes your story much better.
  • We can now select a song from Apple music or a list of recommendations to add for a memory. Isn’t that just perfect?

10. Health

  • The health app in iOS 15 enables a better way of data sharing provides with your family by assessing trend analysis and risk of falling detection, which help to understand health conditions.

11. Privacy

  • App Privacy Report
    We can now see a privacy report containing how apps are using permission which we granted them, third-party domains they contact, and how recently they did.
  • Mail privacy protection
    It helps to hide your IP address. So that senders can’t link to other online activities and determine location. It also prevents senders from checking if and when you opened their emails.
  • Siri audio request never goes out of the device. Siri added with on-device capability, which can process many Siri requests within the device without an internet connection.

Supported devices for iOS 15

With these new exciting and bettered features, you might be wondering if the update is capable of the device I have right now?

Following is a list of iOS 15 compatible devices, including iOS 13 and iOS 14. iOS 15 works with iPhones with the following firmware versions: ios 13 and ios 14. So, here’s a quick list of compatible devices that can upgrade to iOS 15.

  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • 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)

It is worth noting that older iPhones will not support iOS 15. So if you have an iPhone 6S (2015) or newer, it will need to be updated. But do note that features like Portrait mode on FaceTime, Live Text, Spatial audio and augmented reality on Maps do support iOS 15 only for devices with A12 bionic chip.

Blog Authored by: Balaji Ramakrishnan

Your Digital Transformation partner. We are here to share knowledge on varied technologies, updates; and to stay in touch with the tech-space.