As previously announced, Apple today released iOS 15 for iPhone, iPadOS 15 for iPad, watchOS 8 for Apple Watch, and tvOS 15 for Apple TV.
Apple has also announced a major annual update for the Mac operating system called macOS Monterey, but it’s not one of today’s releases.
The major new feature of iOS 15 is Extra Focus, allowing the user to set profiles such as “Work,” “Sleep,” or “Home” that display different apps and notifications based on the user’s work. It redesigns notifications and adds many new features to Messages and FaceTime, among other things.
iPadOS 15 includes the same features, and it also brings iOS 14’s application library view and go-anywhere widget to the tablet.
watchOS 8 and tvOS 15 are comparatively small updates. Apple puts some emphasis on two-in-one photos for the Watch, adding a photo-related watch face option and adding new ways to share photos through the Watch. It also supports the aforementioned focus mode and improves the messaging experience.
tvOS introduces spatial audio capabilities with improved HomePod Mini integration, a slightly updated TV app, and supported headphones.
All these updates are already available globally on supported devices. Apple usually releases its major version number OS with new hardware launches, and this was no exception. Two new iPads and four new iPhones will start shipping next week. However, the new Apple Watch still doesn’t have a release date.
See Apple’s release notes for iOS 15 below.
- Spatial audio makes people’s voices sound as if they are coming from the direction in which they are located on the screen on a group FaceTime call (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later).
- Voice isolation blocks background noise to make your voice clearer (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
- Wide Spectrum brings out all the background noise in your calls (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
- Portrait Mode blurs out your background and focuses on you (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
- Grid view displays up to six people at once in tiles of the same size in a group FaceTime call and highlights the current speaker
- FaceTime Links allow you to invite your friends to FaceTime calls, even friends on Android or Windows devices can join from their browser
Messages and Memoji
- A photo shared with you shows content sent to you by friends in Messages conversations in a new section in the Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, or Apple TV app
- Pinned content elevates the shared content you choose and makes it more prominent in the details view of what you share, message search, and conversations with
- Multiple photos sent in messages are displayed as a viewable collage or swipeable stack
- Over 40 Memoji costume options and up to three different colors to customize the clothing and headwear of your Memoji stickers
- Focus lets you automatically filter notifications based on what you’re currently doing, such as fitness, sleep, gaming, reading, driving, work or personal time
- Uses on-device intelligence during Focus set up to suggest apps and people you want to allow notifications for in Focus
- Home screen pages can be customized to match a specific focus to your apps and widgets
- Contextual suggestions intelligently suggest focus based on your context using cues like location or time of day
- Status appears to your contacts in Message conversations, indicating that your notifications are turned off with focus
- A facelift displays contact photos for people and larger icons for apps
- Notification Summary provides a useful collection of your notifications on a daily basis based on the schedule you set
- Notifications can be muted for the next hour or day from any app or messaging thread
- Detailed city maps display elevation, trees, buildings, landmarks, crosswalks and turn lanes, and 3D views to navigate complex interchanges, and more cities to come in the future in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and London With (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
- New driving features include a new map that highlights details like traffic and incidents, and a route planner that lets you view your upcoming trip by choosing a future departure or arrival time.
- Immersive walking instructions show step-by-step instructions in augmented reality (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later).
- The updated transit experience provides one-tap access to departures near you, makes it easier to view and interact with your route with one hand, and notifies you when you arrive at your stop
- Interactive 3D globe shows advanced details for mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, and more (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later).
- Redesigned place cards make it easier to learn about and interact with places, and a new Home for Guides editorially curates the best recommendations for places you’ll love
- The lower tab bar is easy to access and helps you move between tabs by swiping left or right
- Tab groups help you save and organize your tabs and access them easily across devices
- Tab overview Grid view displays your open tabs
- The start page can be customized with background image and new sections like Privacy Report, Siri Suggestions, and Share with You
- Web extensions on iOS help you personalize your browsing and can be downloaded through the App Store
- Voice search lets you search the web using your voice
- Home keys let you tap to unlock supported home or apartment door locks (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later).
- Hotel keys let you tap to unlock your room at participating hotels
- Office keys allow you to tap to open your office doors for participating corporate offices
- Car Keys with Ultra Wideband help you unlock, lock and start your supported car without taking your iPhone out of your bag or pocket (iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models)
- Remote keyless entry functions on your car keys allow you to lock, unlock, sound the horn, preheat your car, or open your trunk on your supported vehicle.
- Live Text makes the text in your photos interactive so you can take photos, screenshots, Quick Look, copy and paste in Safari, and live preview with the camera (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later).
- Data Detector for Live Text recognizes phone numbers, emails, dates, street addresses and more in photos so you can act on them
- Live Text is available from the keyboard so you can insert text into any text field directly from the camera viewfinder
- Rich results bring together all the information you’re looking for about your contacts, actors, musicians, movies and TV shows
- Photos can be searched from your photo library by places, people, scenes, text in photos, or other things in photos like dogs or cars
- Web image search allows you to find images of people, animals, monuments, etc.
- New look for memories with a new interactive interface, animated cards with smart, adaptive titles, new animation and transition styles, and multiple image collages
- Apple Music can be added to your memories for Apple Music customers, and personalized song suggestions combine expert recommendations with your musical taste and what’s in your photos and videos
- Memory Mix lets you choose from different songs to set the mood and match the Memory look
- New types of memory include additional international holidays, memories focused on children, trends over time, and better pet memories.
- The Info pane now displays rich information about the photo such as which camera and lens, shutter speed, file size, and more
- Visual Look Up recognizes art in your photos, landmarks from around the world, plants and flowers, books and dog and cat breeds so you can learn more about them
- Sharing lets you choose health data, alerts, and trends to share with people important to you or your caregivers, including your healthcare provider.
- Trends lets you see how a health metric is progressing over time and notify you when a new trend is detected
- Walking Stability is a new metric that can assess your risk of falls and notify you if you have poor walking stability (iPhone 8 and later)
- Verifiable Health Records enables you to download and store verifiable versions of COVID-19 vaccines and laboratory results
- Lab results can now be pinned for quick access and include highlights that show how your labs have changed over time
- A new design shows the most important weather information for that location and includes new map modules
- Weather maps are viewable in full-screen and show precipitation, temperature and air quality in supported countries
- Next hour rain notifications alert you when it starts or stops rain or snow in Ireland, UK and US
- The new animated background more accurately represents the position of the sun, clouds and precipitation (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later).
- On-device processing means that the audio of your requests doesn’t leave your device by default, and this means that Siri is able to process multiple requests when offline (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS). Later)
- Sharing items with Siri lets you send items like photos, web pages, and map locations on the screen to any of your contacts
- Onscreen context can be used by Siri to message or call contacts on screen
- On-device personalization allows Siri to improve speech recognition and understanding in private (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
- Mail Privacy Protection protects your privacy by preventing email senders from knowing about your mail activity, your IP address, or whether you’ve opened their email
- Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention now also prevents known trackers from profiling you using your IP address
- iCloud+ is a cloud subscription…