Apple iOS 15 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know

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Get details astir the caller features of iOS 15, find retired if it volition enactment with your devices, and larn however to instal Apple's latest mobile operating system.


iOS 15

Image: Apple

The latest mentation of Apple's operating strategy for mobile devices, iOS 15, was announced connected June 7, 2021 astatine the company's Worldwide Developer Conference. The beta mentation of iOS 15 was released connected June 7, 2021 to developers, and the nationalist beta was released connected June 30, 2021. Apple released iOS 15 to the nationalist connected Sept. 20, 2021.

This caller mentation of iOS includes galore caller features applicable to consumers and developers alike, including: an accent connected connection changes, the quality to absorption connected circumstantial aspects of your life, on-device quality and exploring the world.

SEE: Hiring kit: iOS developer (TechRepublic Premium)

What is iOS 15?

iOS 15 is Apple's latest mobile operating strategy that supports iPhones and iPod interaction devices. It was announced astatine Apple's 2021 WWDC and includes galore caller features and services that volition beryllium disposable for iOS devices (see the conception beneath to find retired if your instrumentality is supported).

This caller mentation of iOS includes galore caller features that are applicable to consumers, developers and endeavor customers. These features see additions to communication, improvements for users to beryllium capable to absorption connected circumstantial tasks and contacts astatine manus and world-interaction features.

Will iOS 15 enactment connected my device? 

Most hardware that supported iOS 14 volition besides enactment iOS 15, including the pursuing Apple devices that are disposable astatine the clip of this writing: 

  • iPhone 13 lineup
  • 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 (first generation)
  • iPhone SE (second generation)
  • iPod interaction (seventh generation)

SEE: How to migrate to a caller iPad, iPhone, oregon Mac (TechRepublic Premium)

What are the cardinal iOS 15 features?



FaceTime is receiving a important update with iOS 15, to marque video chatting much natural, comfy and lifelike. This starts with the FaceTime app supporting Spatial Audio that Apple pioneered with AirPods Pro. This means that audio volition dependable arsenic though it's coming from the instrumentality erstwhile wearing Spatial Audio-compatible AirPods. 

FaceTime volition besides person an update that lets you artifact retired ambient sound done a diagnostic called Voice Isolation. Machine learning volition powerfulness this diagnostic that isolates your dependable and blocks each different noise.

In iOS 14, Apple unveiled a caller presumption for multi-person video calling that supported unrecorded tiles that summation successful size based connected who is speaking. While galore users liked this feature, galore did not. Apple is making a alteration that lets you prime betwixt the unrecorded tiles presumption and a grid presumption that volition amusement each video participants successful the aforesaid size grids truthful you tin easy spot each participants astatine the aforesaid time. 

The biggest announcements for FaceTime revolve astir 2 caller features: FaceTime Links and Share Play. 

SEE: WWDC 2021: The 5 champion iOS 15 features for concern pros (TechRepublic)

FaceTime links volition let you to docket a FaceTime gathering successful advance, past nonstop the nexus retired to participants via email, iMessage, oregon a calendar invite. When a idiosyncratic clicks the link, it volition automatically unfastened FaceTime if their instrumentality supports it, and if the subordinate is connected Windows, Android oregon different instrumentality incapable of utilizing FaceTime, a web browser volition unfastened that lets them securely articulation the telephone without the FaceTime app. 

Share Play is different notable FaceTime diagnostic that unlocks 3 caller features for users: Listening to euphony together, watching videos unneurotic and screen-sharing together. 

Listening to euphony and watching videos unneurotic volition synchronize the audio truthful that each viewers are watching astatine the nonstop aforesaid infinitesimal portion besides being capable to video chat astatine the aforesaid time. Utilize Picture successful Picture to execute different tasks portion this is going on, oregon AirPlay to an Apple TV oregon different AirPlay compatible show to get a divided presumption wherever the video appears connected the larger surface and video chat occurs connected the instrumentality screen. 

In addition, Share Play besides supports the quality to stock your surface with different FaceTime participants to springiness assistance to idiosyncratic oregon to demo thing connected your screen. 


Messages present a fewer caller niceties that volition let for amended searching, amended app integration and photograph management. 

The archetypal caller diagnostic is erstwhile your instrumentality is successful Do Not Disturb mode, Messages volition show that presumption to anyone attempting to interaction you. They volition beryllium alerted that you're successful Do Not Disturb mode earlier sending the message. They tin inactive take to interrupt you for important messages, however, and you volition beryllium notified of them contempt being successful Do Not Disturb mode.

SEE: Apple's recognition paper gets a household program with caller Apple Card Family program (TechRepublic)

If you stock a batch of photos with the Messages app, past you cognize that sending a batch of photos involves spamming the chat with each photograph connected its ain chat line. With Photo Stacks, Messages volition resoluteness this by combining aggregate sent photos into a azygous carousel presumption that tin beryllium flipped betwixt oregon tapped to get a grid presumption of each the photos. 

The Photos app tin besides propulsion successful photos that see those sent successful Messages by others. You volition nary longer request to manually propulsion retired photos individually from the Messages app. 

The past large diagnostic to Messages is the quality to pin items successful a chat, which tin beryllium much easy recovered erstwhile searching successful Messages. This is large for coming backmost to a video, nexus oregon photograph aboriginal connected erstwhile you person time.



Notification Summary lets you specify a clip to get non-urgent notifications delivered arsenic a digest truthful you tin drawback up connected what you missed passim the day.

Image: Apple

Apple is wanting users to much easy absorption connected the task astatine manus with iOS 15 by introducing 2 caller features: Notification Schedules and Summary, and Focus mode.

Notification Schedules and Summary

Notifications person been redesigned to see larger icons, idiosyncratic illustration photos for Messages and larger photos to marque them easier to separate betwixt 1 another. In addition, you tin present acceptable circumstantial apps arsenic non-priority truthful that you don't spot them passim the time and alternatively get a Notification Summary astatine your chosen clip to beryllium capable to drawback up connected non-priority notifications astatine your convenience. Important connection notifications volition ever travel through, but being capable to acceptable which notifications you request volition spell a agelong mode to improving absorption erstwhile moving oregon connected household time. 

SEE: One Apple level successful 2021: The twelvemonth iPad and Mac statesman to converge (TechRepublic)

Focus mode

Focus mode lets you make a abstraction to absorption connected (for work, for personal, workouts, etc.). Creating a Focus mode lets you specify which apps, Home Screens and contacts you volition person entree to portion successful that mode. When swapping betwixt modes, immoderate irrelevant apps oregon contacts volition beryllium ignored. 


Live Text allows you to usage the camera to drawback substance retired of real-world environments. Want to dial a telephone fig connected a concern card? Use the camera, past pat the telephone fig to dial it.

Image: Apple

Focuses created connected 1 instrumentality volition beryllium synced done iCloud to further devices truthful you tin easy stock focuses from iPhone with iPad and Mac. Learn much successful this TechRepublic tutorial: iOS 15: How to amended your work-life equilibrium with Focus modes.

On-device Intelligence 

Apple is continuing to amended the on-device instrumentality learning and information processing done their caller iOS 15 on-device quality features below. 

Live Text

This diagnostic allows users to easy preview a photograph (or usage the camera pointed astatine text) and prime substance straight from the photograph oregon adjacent dial telephone numbers without typing the fig straight into your iPhone. Text from photos is automatically OCRed and tin beryllium pasted into emails, chats oregon immoderate different apps that enactment pasting plain text. At launch, this diagnostic volition enactment the pursuing languages automatically: English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish. 



Spotlight's caller affluent information views volition fto you bash a batch of interaction searching oregon basal web searches without ever leaving your Home Screen.

Image: Apple

Spotlight is getting further upgrades that travel successful 2 areas: Photo hunt is present possible, acknowledgment to the Live Text feature, to hunt done photos containing circumstantial people, scenes oregon substance successful the photo. In addition, affluent results are present returned for contacts you hunt and see the quality to initiate a telephone with the context, substance them oregon spot appointments, notes and files that notation them. 

Photo Memories

Photos is an app that consistently sees improvements acknowledgment to on-device instrumentality learning. In iOS 15, Photo Memories has received a important improvement. This diagnostic volition stitch unneurotic applicable photos and videos to make a video with a opus selected from Apple Music that matches the juncture and bushed of the opus to the enactment successful the video. You tin edit the benignant of the video and caller euphony volition automatically beryllium selected to lucifer the styling. 

Exploring the world


Apple is making a large propulsion to marque the integer wallet adjacent amended by allowing you to ditch your driver's licence if your authorities supports it.

Image: Apple


Apple introduced Car Keys successful Wallet arsenic a portion of iOS 14; nevertheless this diagnostic is overmuch improved and expanded successful iOS 15. Car Keys, edifice keys and passes tin present beryllium added into the Wallet app. Continuing connected Apple's extremity to digitize the full carnal wallet, it is besides partnering with circumstantial states to let you to scan your driver's licence into the Wallet app and usage the integer licence for everything. The TSA is adjacent connected committee and volition beryllium the archetypal to enactment successful this program. 


Apple purchased Dark Sky a small implicit a twelvemonth ago, and it is bringing galore of those upwind features implicit into the default Weather app successful iOS 15. A caller plan volition diagnostic a layout that changes based connected existent extracurricular conditions, and caller upwind information that is definite to marque immoderate upwind nerd happy. 

iOS 15 weather

Image: Apple


Apple is greatly improving the Maps app successful iOS 15 by adding caller "City Experiences" into maps. For prime cities, important landmarks volition beryllium included arsenic digitized 3D models, and caller information volition connection accusation astir commercialized districts, roadworthy colors and labels. In addition, a caller nighttime clip mode volition let exploring cities successful a moonlit environment. 

iOS 15 maps

Image: Apple

There are caller driving directions that adhd and amended roadworthy details, and volition present see accusation connected the roadworthy you're traveling, specified arsenic motorcycle lane information, taxi lanes and more. This volition let drivers to much safely question with the assistance of GPS. 

Transit riders tin present pin their favourite lines and get notification connected watchOS erstwhile it's clip to disembark erstwhile approaching the destination. 

Lastly, Maps adds a caller augmented world presumption to prime cities. Use the camera to scan buildings and get walking directions overlaid successful a camera presumption successful supported cities. At launch, this volition beryllium disposable successful London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Diego, and much volition beryllium added aboriginal this year. 



Privacy Reports successful iOS 15 volition let you to support a cheque connected apps and what they're doing with your data.

Image: Apple

Apple continued its stance connected making iOS the astir unafraid mobile operating strategy successful the satellite with iOS 15 changes based astir privacy. These caller features see Privacy reports, Mail and Siri. 

In Mail, Apple is enabling the idiosyncratic to artifact pixel tracking and volition obfuscate the IP code truthful that senders cannot way your email reading. 

For Siri, Apple volition statesman doing the code designation for Siri connected instrumentality by default, which means that your dependable volition not beryllium sent to Apple's servers astatine each successful bid to beryllium transcribed for Siri. This is besides a velocity payment due to the fact that it means that requests tin often beryllium processed quicker. 

Apple is introducing a caller Privacy Report diagnostic for apps that tin beryllium accessed to spot however good definite apps are behaving erstwhile it comes to your privacy. The study volition item the permissions you've granted them, which third-party domains they contact, and however precocious they made contact.

SEE: iOS 15: How to alteration Mail Privacy Protection (TechRepublic)

Other notable iOS 15 features

  • Memoji features caller clothing, glasses, headwear and oculus colour customizations that users tin prime from.
  • Maps volition diagnostic editorial-curated guides for cities and places to sojourn erstwhile traveling.
  • Safari has been wholly redesigned with tabs that are swipeable, a caller astute hunt field, and the quality to instal third-party web extensions conscionable similar connected macOS.
  • Wallet present supports bureau keys for firm badges and the quality to archive passes that are not successful existent use.
  • Photos includes a caller Info sheet that displays accusation specified arsenic the camera, lens and shutter speed, the record size, oregon who sent a Shared with You photograph successful Messages. You tin besides edit the day taken oregon location, adhd a caption, and larn astir items detected by Visual Look Up.
  • Health app lets you easy stock your information with others, spot Lab accusation from wellness providers, and presumption wellness trends.
  • Secure paste means that apps won't spot what you've copied until you specifically springiness them access.
  • Siri present has offline enactment for galore tasks, including Timers & Alarms, Phone, Messaging, Sharing, App Launch, Control Audio Playback and Settings.
  • Apple ID tin present enactment successful Apple's Digital Legacy programme to let household members oregon loved ones the quality to entree your information aft you die. In addition, if you get locked retired of your Apple ID, you tin specify trusted contacts who tin proviso you a codification to instantly get entree backmost to your locked retired account. 
  • VoiceOver present supports the quality to research images and get details astir people, objects, substance and tables wrong images.
  • The App Library diagnostic present lets you easy reorder Home Screens.
  • Apple Pay has redesigned the outgo travel surface to let users the quality to participate things similar coupon codes oregon further accusation that the merchant allows.
  • Camera includes a caller panorama mode that has improved geometric distortion and amended captures moving subjects portion besides reducing representation sound and banding.
  • CarPlay tin present denote messages and notifications.
  • FindMy tin beryllium utilized to find supported models of AirPods successful the aforesaid mode that users tin find AirTag devices.
  • Apple has brought backmost the magnifying loupe for substance introduction erstwhile pressing and holding connected the cursor
  • Software update volition present let you to enactment connected the erstwhile large mentation and inactive person information updates, oregon determination to the latest for diagnostic and information updates.
  • Temporary iCloud retention allows you to usage iCloud to transportation to a caller instrumentality adjacent if you don't person capable escaped abstraction successful iCloud. Apple volition assistance you escaped retention for this process. 
  • Additional strategy widgets including ones for Mail, App Store, slumber data, Game Center, Find My and Contacts. 

SEE: Getting started with iOS improvement (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What's the merchandise past of iOS 15?

June 7, 2021: Apple unveils iOS 15 to developers astatine WWDC and releases a beta for developers to download and statesman creating apps. 

June 30, 2021: Apple starts the nationalist beta of iOS and iPadOS 15.

Sept. 20, 2021: Apple makes iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 disposable for download.

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