Make Forbes your destination for all-things iOS. Stay ahead of the curve with Anthony Karcz when each version hits public beta. Read full details of what’s in the release from me the moment it lands. Kate O’Flaherty looks at the security considerations of each new release. And then read Gordon Kelly’s analysis of whether you ought to install or wait.
We knew there were some issues with iOS 15 which needed fixing. But while we knew Apple was on the case with iOS 15.1—public betas are now live— today’s update is a surprise and promises to fix one of the most annoying issues iOS 15 delivered for the iPhone 13 series phones. To be fair to Apple, this fix comes exactly a week after the new iPhones went on sale. Speedy.
Oh, and intriguingly, the update comes to iOS 15 but no change was needed for the Apple Watch which remains on watchOS 8.0.
Which iPhones can run iOS 15.0.1?
If you have a device that runs iOS 14, you’re in luck. Remarkably, Apple has ensured that every iOS 14-capable iPhone runs iOS 15, too. That’s a pretty stellar achievement, stretching back across every device released in the last six years.
It’s now available to download on compatible iPhones, with iPadOS 15 for suitable iPads. Compatibility for the phones reaches back as far as iPhone 6s, including iPhone SE first and current editions, plus the seventh-generation iPod touch. The complete list is: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, Phone 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 (second generation) iPhone SE (first generation) and iPod seventh generation.
For iPads, you’re good if you have any iPad Pro, any iPad Air from iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 or newer and iPad from the fifth generation onwards.
How to get it
Go to the Settings app on the device and then choose General, then Software Update. Once you’ve clicked on Download and Install, it’ll work its magic. This is a small update with issue fixes in mind, so it shouldn’t take long.
What’s in the release
This is a very specific update, designed to fix the highly annoying thing that iOS 15 broke. If you’ve ever used your Face ID iPhone with a mask on, you’ll know it’s a pain to pull down your mask for the phone to recognize it’s you.
Unlock with Apple Watch meant that if you had an Apple Watch on your wrist, the iPhone would talk to the Watch to confirm it’s you. It was a fast, seamless and effective system.
But iOS 15 broke it for many iPhone 13 users (me included). And since every iPhone 13 came with iOS 15 installed, there was no way to avoid this. This new update puts it right.
Additionally, a Settings app issue where an alert that storage was full was incorrectly displayed, has now been fixed, it seems.
And Audio Meditations could start a workout on Apple Watch, apparently, though I never saw this. That’s been sorted now, hopefully.
The full Apple changelog follows at the end of this post.
Released on Monday, September 20, the first version of iOS 15 was full of innovation and upgrade. FaceTime updates are among the most extensive, and in some ways the app is changing out of all recognition.
Apple’s Messages has always been a powerful app, but it’s now redesigned to allow you to share stuff more easily. Share a favorite music track in Messages and it’ll show up in Apple Music in a special Shared with You section. This new section will also be in Safari, Apple News, Podcasts, Apple TV and Photos.
iCloud+ is an addition to the services you get through iCloud but better and these premium services, iCloud+ Private Relay, Hide My Email and better HomeKit Secure Video come at no extra cost over your current iCloud subscription. Note that this means you have to be paying for iCloud, it’s not included in the free 5GB level, only 50GB for 99c a month and above.
iCloud+ Private Relay is one of the keenest privacy features, though right now it’s only in beta. It’s an internet privacy service which means you can connect to most networks in a more secure way, Apple says.
Hide My Email is along the same lines, meaning that you don’t have to reveal your true email address in a form on the web, for instance. Apple creates a random email address which it forwards to your inbox.
HomeKit Secure Video Recording in iCloud+ lets you connect up to an unlimited number of security cameras, and none of the video footage counts towards your iCloud storage.
Custom email domain is the other feature in iCloud+ and means that if you have a domain that you control, once you’ve configured iCloud as the email provider for your domain, you can set up up to three personal aliases for your iCloud email address using your domain.
Focus takes do not disturb to the next level, letting you choose times, locations and more for specific ways notifications come through.
That’s not all when it comes to Notifications. These have been redesigned, too, so it can group them together, offer a summary of relevant stuff and mute notifications as you wish.
New features for Memoji include body language with everything from high fives to yoga poses, now that upper body depictions are included, as well as new clothing headwear and glasses. Oh, and if you want your Memoji to have eyes where each is a different color, you can do that, too.
Weather has been upgraded. Apple bought the brilliant Dark Sky app a while back and some of the granular detail that that has is now on the Weather app. The app itself has been updated with significantly more realistic backgrounds and details of next-hour precipitation—a Dark Sky specialty.
Maps now looks stunning, in selected cities at least, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and London. Well, where else do you need? Joking. But it’s a good start with gorgeous-looking improvements and additions. I’ll be honest, I don’t like the new Maps app icon, but there we are.
Safari is one of the big ones, thanks to the controversial redesign that put the address bar at the bottom instead of the top. There was a lot of pushback against this and Apple did what it did when it introduced natural scrolling on the Mac: it made it optional. If you like the simplicity of a tab bar at the bottom where you can scroll back and forth just with your thumb, then the new design is for you. If not, the classic version is still there.
Live Text is another biggie. If there’s text in the camera view, you can tap on it to, for example, dial a phone number or copy text. And it can translate text into English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Siri is certainly a capable voice assistant but now it’s more private. With iOS 15, it can process speech on the device.
More features are coming in the next weeks and months such as Universal Control to iPadOS 15 which will let you control an iPad and Mac from the same mouse and SharePlay which lets you share your screen while you’re enjoying a song or video, for instance, with someone else. Stay tuned for these additions as they arrive.
Here’s Apple’s full Changelog for iOS 15.0.1.
This update includes bug fixes for your iPhone.
• Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch may not work on iPhone 13 models
• Settings app may incorrectly display an alert that storage is full
• Audio meditations could unexpectedly start a workout on Apple Watch for some Fitness+ subscribers
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: support.apple.com/kb/HT201222