Apple plans to release software updates for its iPhone, iPad and smartwatch on Monday, which will add new features for compatible devices.
Announced at the company’s developer conference in June, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and WatchOS 8 bring new ways to manage notifications, tools to separate work and life, the ability to make FaceTime video calls with non-Apple users and more.
Here’s what you need to know about updates.
When can I get it?
Downloads for iOS, iPadOS, and WatchOS updates typically begin around 6 p.m. UK time (1 p.m. New York; 3 a.m. Sydney). Unlike other manufacturers, all eligible Apple devices will be able to download and install the update as soon as it is released rather than in a phased manner.
What devices can get it?
All Apple smartphones from iPhone 6S from 2015 or newer, including the first generation iPhone SE, can install iOS 15. All Apple tablets from iPad Air 2 from 2014, iPad mini 4 from 2015 , iPad 5th generation of 2017 or newer version can install iPadOS 15. All Apple watches series 3 or newer of 2017 can install WatchOS 8.
How can I get it?
Open the Settings app on an iPhone or iPad, then go to General> Software Update. Tap install if available for download, verify, then reboot to install. You can also install the update through a Mac or iTunes on a Windows computer.
WatchOS 8 requires an iPhone 6s or later to run iOS 15 first. Then open the Watch app and go to General> Software Update to begin the installation. You will need to put the smartwatch on its charger to complete the update.
How much will it cost?
The update is free from Apple. If you are asked to pay for an update, it is probably a scam.
Notifications et focus
Notifications have been redesigned to be more clear, now with app logos and contact photos. Less important notifications can also be grouped together in summary form and delivered daily at a time of your choice.
The biggest change is a feature called Focus. You can create profiles, such as work, home, and personal, and define which contacts and apps are allowed to notify you based on the profile so that personal messages don’t interrupt work and vice versa.
Each profile can also have a custom home screen so that activating Work Focus mode only displays a pane of work-related applications, for example. People who contact you in Messages will be notified that you’ve turned off notifications and can choose to notify you anyway if it’s urgent. Third-party messaging apps can also be updated to support the feature.
Safari’s controls, address and tab bar have been moved to the bottom of the screen. Tabs can be grouped and saved while you can swipe left and right to switch between them. The old “one-tab” interface with the address bar at the top of the screen is still available as an option.
You can perform a voice search directly from the address bar and install Safari-like extensions on the desktop. The browser will now prevent known trackers from profiling you using your IP address and automatically switch to encrypted web traffic when available.
FaceTime with non-Apple users
Apple’s FaceTime video calling service can now be used on Android and Windows PCs. Apple users can share a link to join a call from a browser without an account. Calls are always end-to-end encrypted.
FaceTime now has grid view for up to six people, background blur, background noise reduction – and now it will look like someone is talking on the same side of the screen as their video when playing. group calls.
Live text and visual search
You can now perform live text and handwriting recognition on photos and the Camera app, or point the camera at different objects to recognize them and get more information, including pets, nature, art, books and monuments.
Spotlight search can now browse your photos and find text in images. It can also search the web for images and present richer results for music, movies, and TV shows, like a Google search or Spotlight on a Mac.
Apple’s Health app can now share data with friends, family and caregivers, allowing users to share specific information such as activity and heart rate. Health can alert those who watch loved ones when significant changes occur, such as a sudden decrease in activity, or when an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia is detected.
There is also a “gait stability” measure that can warn of the risk of a fall if your balance changes.
Faster Siri and privacy upgrades
Similar to Google Assistant, Siri can now process voice requests locally on the iPhone rather than sending the audio to a server for interpretation. It improves privacy, is significantly faster, and works offline for many features like setting timers.
Apple Mail can block email tracking while the new app privacy report shows how often apps accessed certain features like location, photos, camera, and contacts, and when applications have contacted third-party domains such as trackers.
The way you place two apps side by side for multitasking just got a lot easier. Tap the new three-dot menu at the top of the screen to put the current app in full screen, split view, or slide-over, then select a second app from the home screen. You can also organize apps by dragging them on top of each other from the app switcher menu.
IOS 14’s app library has been added to the dock on iPadOS, while widgets can be placed directly on the home screen, reducing the number of icons you can have on the screen by compared to the previous layout of the Today View widget.
Safari on iPad has been updated with tab groups, new privacy protections, extensions, and a redesigned sidebar. But unlike the iPhone, the address bar is always at the top of the screen with resigned tabs below whose color matches the site you are browsing.
Swipe up from the lower right corner of the screen to view a quick Post-it style note. It will automatically add links from the site or app you are using, including text or images in Safari. You can then type or handwrite with the stylus.
The use of an external keyboard with an iPad has been significantly improved. The toolbar at the bottom of the screen is more compact, and you can navigate apps by jumping through text fields and buttons with the tab key, just like you would on a computer. There are many new keyboard shortcuts, such as multitasking view access, app switcher, control center, and notifications.