iOS 15 brings new ways to stay connected and powerful features that help users focus, explore, and do more with on-device intelligence

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CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced iOS 15, a major update with powerful features that enhance the iPhone experience. iOS 15 makes FaceTime calls more natural, introduces SharePlay for shared experiences, helps users focus and be in the moment with new ways to manage notifications, and brings more intelligence to photos and search to quickly access information.

Apple Maps unveils beautiful new ways to explore the world, Weather is redesigned with full-screen maps and more graphical displays of data, Wallet adds support for home keys and ID cards, and browsing the internet with Safari is even simpler with a new tab bar design and Tab Groups.

iOS 15 also includes new privacy controls in Siri, Mail, and more places across the system to further protect user information.

What’s the latest version of iOS 15?

The new iPhone operating system for 2021 is iOS 15. It initially arrived on 20 September 2021.

However, that isn’t the latest version. On 1 October Apple issued it’s first update to iOS 15: The iOS 15.0.1 update addressed an Apple Watch iPhone unlocking issue and a problem with the system showing the wrong amount of storage available, both are discussed below.

These point updates will enable Apple to add some of the previously announced features that didn’t make it into the final versions of iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and tvOS 15. For a few examples, read Eight iOS 15 features that will be missing at launch.

What’s the latest beta version of iOS 15?

The first developer beta of iOS 15 was launched straight after the WWDC keynote in June 2021 and the Pubic Beta a few weeks later.

There have been multiple versions of each beta since, and even though iOS 15 has now launched the beta versions will continue to be issued as problems and bugs are fixed.

If you’re an app developer you can join Apple’s beta program and give it a try. The public beta program allows eager Apple fans to trial the software and help report any bugs before general release. Here’s how to join the beta testing programme. We also run though how to install the iOS beta on your iPhone.

iOS 15 Overview

Notifications have been redesigned in iOS 15, adding contact photos for people and larger icons for apps. To reduce distraction, a notification summary collects notifications together for delivery at an appropriate time and arranges notifications by priority.

Focus is a new feature that can filter notifications and apps based on what a user wishes to focus on at a certain time.

When a user’s Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status will be displayed to others in Messages. iOS will suggest a Focus for different occasions, such as work hours or winding down for bed, using on-device intelligence, but users can also create a custom Focus.

When a Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to other Apple devices.

iOS 15 brings voice isolation and Spatial Audio to FaceTime calls so that voices sound as if they are coming from where the person is located on the screen. FaceTime also supports Portrait mode and offers a new grid view to see more faces at the same time.

SharePlay is a new feature that allows users to share media together in sync during a FaceTime call. Users can also generate shareable links to a scheduled FaceTime call, which can also be opened on Android and Windows devices.

Notifications Redesign

iOS 15 introduces completely redesigned notifications. Notifications will now display contact photos for people and larger icons for apps to make them easier to identify.

There is an all-new personalized notification summary that collects non-urgent notifications together to be delivered at a more appropriate time, such as in the morning or evening.

Notifications in the summary are arranged by priority using on-device intelligence that analyzes the user’s interactions with apps, with the most important and relevant notifications rising to the top.

Urgent messages and time-sensitive notifications will still be delivered immediately.

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