iOS 15 is shaping to be a huge update, much bigger than its predecessor that had us all gushing with a ton of customization and a series of security and privacy enhancements. Gone are the times when Apple would take a relatively defensive approach towards updating iOS. With popular features like home screen widgets and App Library receiving high praise from experts and fans alike, we’re looking forward to what Apple has in store for us with iOS 15.
iOS 15: Everything We Know So Far
iOS 15 will likely put the emphasis on expanding the features that iOS 14 brought to Apple’s mobile OS. Apart from giving you more freedom to customize the home screen, we believe the next iteration of iOS will address some of the biggest pain points that have existed for years. Besides, you can always bet on Apple to include some carefully constructed measures to crack down on the security and privacy loopholes in iOS 15.
Without any further ado, here’s everything you need to know about iOS 15 ahead of its official launch. It includes the iOS 15 release date, supported iPhone models, rumored upcoming features, and more. You can expand the table below to jump to a section of your choice right away.
iOS 15 Release Date
Let’s start off by answering the biggest question, when is iOS 15 coming out? Apple is scheduled to launch iOS 15 at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2021, which will take place from June 7 to June 11. The Cupertino giant will hold a keynote event on June 7 to unveil iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12, and tvOS 15.
Like last year, WWDC 2021 will be an all-virtual event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from the much-anticipated keynote, the conference will also include the State of the Union events and sessions showcasing new features and 1-on-1 labs for developers. Moreover, the WWDC 2021 event will also provide opportunities for developers to interact with Apple designers and engineers.
iOS 15: Complete Timeline
- When is iOS 15 coming out? Apple will show off and detail new features in iOS 15 during the keynote at WWDC 2021.
- Release Date of iOS 15 Developer Beta: Apple will release the iOS 15 developer beta on June 7, 2021.
- Release Date of iOS 15 Public Beta: Apple will roll out the iOS 15 public beta by the end of June or in the first week of July.
- Stable release of iOS 15: Apple will most likely roll out iOS 15 to the public in September or in the first/ second week of October, in line with iOS rollouts for the past few years.
Once iOS 15 has been rolled out publicly, Apple will keep on refining the latest iteration of iOS with frequent updates until iOS 16 is released to the public next year. We will update this article to keep you abreast with new features in iOS 15.
iOS 15 Supported iPhones
Wondering whether the iPhone 6s or iPhone SE will get the iOS 15 update? Well, Apple is yet to officially reveal which iPhone models will receive the iOS 15 update. But the rumors suggest that only iPhone 7 and above models will support iOS 15. That means Apple could drop support for the original iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus.
As for supported devices, here is the complete list of the iPhones that will run iOS 15:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2020)
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPod touch (7th generation)
And it should be obvious that the iPhone 13 series will arrive with iOS 15 out-of-the-box in September later this year. So yeah, iOS 15 will be supported by more than 20 devices.
iOS 15: New Features (Rumored)
Even though Apple has managed to keep a number of iOS 15 features under the wraps, some of the most exciting ones have leaked online. So here are the new features you can expect to see in the upcoming iOS 15 update:
Always-on Display Mode
Noted tipster Max Weinbach has revealed that the iPhone 13 series will include an always-on display (AOD) as part of iOS 15. The always-on display will always show battery and clock icons. Interestingly, notifications will appear “using a bar and icons” while still lighting up only certain portions of the screen temporarily. Rumors suggest that AOD will be exclusive to the iPhone 13 series. Though we won’t be surprised if Apple decides to roll it out on iPhone 12 models, considering they are equipped with OLED displays as well.
Upgraded Control Center
Last year, when Apple introduced an iOS-style Control Center in macOS Big Sur, I praised it for making the task of accessing essential features like AirDrop, brightness, and dark mode super convenient. One of the things that sort of charmed me was the pretty intuitive drag and drop gesture. So, I am glad to know that Apple plans to revamp the control center in iOS 15 with similar features. It will support a more compact aesthetic and a drag and drop gesture for quick customization, as per reports.
Expanded Choice of Default Apps
There is no secret that Apple wants to have absolute control over iOS, forcing you to use its stock apps – whether you want them or not. Well, the good news is Apple is slowly but steadily opening up to the idea of letting users choose their default apps. And as per reports, iOS 15 will likely offer an expanded choice of default apps.
As you might already know, iOS 14 allows you to choose the default email app, set Chrome as the default browser, and even a default third-party music-streaming app like Spotify. However, the choice of default apps is limited, especially when it comes to messaging and mapping services. You still can’t set a third-party messaging app like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal as the default option over iMessage. And we all know how below-par Apple Maps has always been as compared to Google Maps. Still, Apple forces us to use its navigation app as the default choice. But, all of that could change with the iOS 15 launch next month.
Dual Biometric Authentication
While I’m satisfied with Face ID and what it brings to the table in terms of security and privacy, it became probably the biggest pain point for iPhone users in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The facial unlock technology failed to recognize faces with a mask, thereby making the lack of the trusty Touch ID palpable.
To mitigate this inconvenience, Apple introduced a new feature called “Unlock with Apple Watch” that allows Apple Watch users to unlock their iPhone using the smartwatch when wearing a face mask. However, it’s not an ideal solution for everyone. At least not for folks who don’t own Apple Watch. Thus, iOS 15 is expected to introduce a new dual biometric authentication feature, which will bolster security and require you to authenticate Face ID as well as Touch ID during purchases, etc.
That means we might see the return of Touch ID on the flagship iPhone 13 series. As to what could be the new form of Touch ID on the iPhone 13 series, the rumor mill seems to be divided on it. While some reports suggest that the Touch ID will be embedded right into the screen, others say it will be present in the side button like the iPad Air 4. We will update you when we learn more information about the iPhone 13 series.
Set Notification Preferences
The Notification Center will also receive a major upgrade in iOS 15, allowing users to set different preferences based on their current status. As per Bloomberg, the users will be able to choose from among driving, working, sleeping, or other categories of their liking. This mode will determine whether your iPhone notifications will play sounds or not, making it an upgrade over Do Not Disturb and Sleep Mode. Apple will also allow you to set automatic replies for each preference in iOS 15.
Home screen widgets have made iOS 14 elegant in terms of customization. However, they still have a long way to go to realize the full potential. One of the areas where they can do better is user interaction. Things such as controlling music playback, taking notes, and toggling other features from the home screen will make the widgets more useful and eliminate the need to open the app. As per a PhoneArena report, Apple will introduce interactive home widgets with much-improved controls in iOS 15.
Revamped Settings Menu
Though iOS 14 was undoubtedly a huge update, it featured the same settings menu design that has existed for many years. With the ever-expanding feature set, the Settings app looks a bit cluttered. No wonder quite a few iPhone owners find it in a complete mess. However, that is likely to change with iOS 15. Reports suggest that the new settings menu is going to be intuitive, making navigation faster. It could take a few design cues from macOS BigSur. You might be able to locate the option to turn off bedtime reminders or disable auto-playing videos in Safari with ease, finally!
iOS 15: What We Would Like to See
Apple will pack a plethora of new features in iOS 15. We listed some of these rumored (read almost confirmed) features above. But since nothing is confirmed yet, we have also compiled a quick wishlist consisting of all the features we would love to see in iOS 15. So let’s dive right in and take a look at some of them.
Set Custom Ringtone with Ease
If you can download any song on your iPhone for offline listening, why can’t Apple let you set it as your ringtone? Unlike Android, iOS still doesn’t offer a simple way to use your favorite song as a ringtone. While there are some workarounds, the tedious process seems to turn off most users. So, we would like to see Apple add an easy option to set custom ringtones.
Reports suggest that iMessage will also get some love in iOS 15 to make it a more worthy competitor to WhatsApp. It will include new features to deliver a social network-like experience. As for the features, we expect to see disappearing messages, undo sent messages for enhanced privacy, and chat wallpapers make their way to iMessage. We could also see new privacy-centric features that enable iMessage to take on other secure messaging apps like Telegram and Signal.
Change App Icons on Home Screen
Despite all the talk of full-on home screen customization, changing app icons in iOS 14 remains a pain point. Of course, you can get it done using the Shortcuts app by following a tedious workaround and third-party apps. But it’s not intuitive, and iPhone users will be glad to have a native option built into the Settings to change app icons to their heart’s liking.
Additional App Library Customizations
Do not get me wrong! The app Library in iOS 14 is probably my most favorite feature, thanks to its ability to keep apps organized. Though I don’t have any complaints about how it functions, I would be glad to have some control over it in iOS 15. App Library hardly offers any customization in terms of tweaking the app folders or changing their names. So, we have no option but to go with how Apple categorizes the apps.
That’s not all, though. There are many other features like a native sleep timer in Apple Music, Siri upgrades, etc., we would like to see in iOS 15. You can check out our complete features wishlist for iOS 15 from the attached link and comment what all features you want Apple to add in the upcoming iOS version.
iOS 15: All You Need to Know About the Next Version of iOS
As WWDC is around the corner, all the well-kept secrets about iOS 15 will soon be revealed by Apple. To keep you in the loop about iOS 15 features, compatibility, and leaks, we will update this comprehensive post regularly.