The next major release of the operating system for iPhones, iOS 15, will arrive on September 20, Apple announced in its product program on Tuesday. iPadOS 15 will hit compatible tablets the same day, and watchOS 8 will be available for Apple Watch as well.
iOS and iPadOS 15 bring many new features and design changes to the iPhone and iPad. iPadOS 15 lets widgets stay on the home screen instead of running on their own dedicated screen. The new multitasking controls also make it easier to launch and control multiple concurrent apps. Notifications has been redesigned, and a new Notification Summary view attempts to show the notifications that are most relevant at a given time.
It is closely tied to Focus, which gives you the ability to create profiles for work, family time, gaming or any other category. You’ll see different apps and notifications in each focus view, and your currently selected focus is synced across devices.
iOS and iPadOS 15 feature several redesigned, Apple-made apps like Safari and Weather. There are also several new or improved AI-related features throughout the OS, such as the ability to type in semantic search terms and be shown pictures that contain anything you type. The AI-powered “human following” digital pan and zoom, called Center Stage and previously limited to the iPad Pro, now also comes to the iPad Mini.
watchOS 8 brings new watch faces and ways to view and share photos with the Apple Watch, as well as improved text editing, support for new smart home features, and new ways to use Wallet, among other features. The update adds fall detection for cycling and better support for eBikes, along with better tracking of how much work is done by humans and eBikes, for more accurate calorie burning calculations.
iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 supported devices will have free updates upon release.