Apple officially releases iOS 15

The latest iteration of Apple's mobile device operating system is ready to debut alongside the iPhone 13 family of smartphones.

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Following a big week where the world got its first official look at the new iPhone 13 family of smartphones, Apple is ready to unleash its newest software out into the wild. As the new iPhones begin shipping out to the earliest buyers, iOS 15 is now officially available for download for existing iPhone users.

The biggest new feature for end-users will be the notification system overhaul. Notifications will now get app icons as well as contact photos. Additionally, notifications can now be grouped together and users can decide when certain apps are granted permission to push notifications via the new Focus feature.

iOS 15 also brings along some significant changes to the Safari web browser (the default option on iPhones and iPads). The browser navigation controls have been relocated to the bottom of the screen for ease of access with one-handed use. Also, tabs can now be grouped, voice search is possible from the address bar, and new privacy features have been deployed. 

All iPhone users on the iPhone 6s or newer, including the first-generation iPhone SE are eligible to upgrade to iOS 15. Owners of the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, and fifth-generation iPad are eligible for the upgrade, which brings a host of new multitasking options to the popular tablets. On the wearables side of things, Apple Watch Series 3 and newer will also be eligible for the iOS 15 upgrade.

To get iOS 15 on your device, simply navigate to the Settings app, then General > Software Update. The update may also be installed via Mac or iTunes on PC.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 20, 2021 11:20 AM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Apple officially releases iOS 15

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 10:20 AM

      iOS 15 is out!

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 10:22 AM

        Let's see who gets bricked!

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 10:39 AM

        Thanks for the heads up

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 10:42 AM

        updating iOS should be a personal choice imho tbqh

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 10:47 AM

          Do we even know what the side effects of this rushed update are?????

          I’m tired of the government telling me to update my phone

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 2:32 PM

          This but seriously

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 10:46 AM

        I just checked on my 12 and it is not out?

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 11:01 AM

          Well of course not, you have to do 13 and 14 first. Sheesh, look at Mr. Countsalot everybody!

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 11:02 AM

        been running it on my ipad and it is nice

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 11:18 AM

        37 minutes to download. servers must be getting slammed

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 11:25 AM

        Been running it since Public Beta 3 and it's great. The new Focus options and notification summary are my favorite improvements to be honest.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 11:27 AM

        that is a monster list

        https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-15/features/

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 11:32 AM

          this is really really good for us

          5G preferred over Wi-Fi

          iPhone 12 models and later now automatically prioritize 5G when Wi‑Fi connectivity on networks you visit occasionally is slow, or when you are connected to captive or insecure networks, so you can enjoy faster, safer connections.

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 11:47 AM

            What does captive mean here?
            I don't like this as a default behavior, data plans exist.

            • reply
              September 20, 2021 11:54 AM

              hotels, airports, hospitals, lounges, etc. people expect speed on wifi, and often not only don't get speed but are on an insecure setup... where 5G would be incredibly preferable overall.

              I totally agree about data plans, but for my corporate masters, this is a VERY welcome change. their iphone 12/pro/max will do FAR better on verizon 5G than on shit wifi and they should stop fucking around assuming someone else's wifi is worth a shit.

            • reply
              September 21, 2021 2:29 AM

              Ever been to a hotel for the second time, head to checkin and your phone has picked up the WiFi but the hotels app now won’t connect to show your reservation QR code because the wifi is behind a captive portal and won’t let you connect to the internet yet?

              This fixes that. Same with trains/offices/anywhere with public wifi that does a shit job of recognising you on future visits.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 12:34 PM

          Man, wish they'd give Carplay more love.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 3:25 PM

          Reading the changelist blows my mind that these apps are getting updates with OS updates, why not get them via App Store like what Google does on Android!

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 3:41 PM

            I’ve thought about this and the only thing I came up with is it’s easier to support/make stable when bundled together.

            Plus with how fast Android drops OS updates on older devices, they pretty much have no choice but to de-couple them.

            • reply
              September 20, 2021 3:45 PM

              ..or it makes the OS updates more appealing for the masses as they wouldn't understand the underlying OS technical changes, optimizations and imorovements but app updates like these can make better headlines

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 11:28 AM

        Installed it yesterday. Temporarily broke MS Edge. But all is good now.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 12:11 PM

        Something I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere is that you can change accessibility options on a per-app basis now.

        So I can have my font size set small system wide and then change Evening Reading to be a bump or two higher so it’s easier to read!

        Awesome!

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 1:57 PM

          That is really significant!

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 11:55 AM

      holy crap - I had forgotten all about this. What are the big changes?

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 12:31 PM

      Safari extensions are great so far.

      1Password works just like on a desktop now

      I downloaded an app form the creator of Apollo called Amplosion that auto redirects all AMP pages to the source URL.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 12:39 PM

      The URL bar at the bottom of Safari street s giving me vertigo.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 12:40 PM

      Kind of wild a 6S gets this. Apple supports their phones longer than any android by like years and years

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 12:48 PM

        I'm actually still using my 6S. It can text and call and browse the chatty so I haven't had a need to upgrade yet!

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 2:12 PM

        Still using an SE here, which if I recall is similar/same internals as a 6S. If it weren't for the fact that my battery is absolutely worthless now, I don't think I'd feel a strong need to upgrade. I've thought about just swapping the battery but considering I paid $200 for it over 4 years ago it doesn't seem worth it.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 2:14 PM

          To me I use my iPhone more the any other device in my life so I always get the new one. Eg: when I wake up? It's to the alarm from my iphone. I check news / email / shack on iphone before breakfast . My iphone plays podcasts in my car. I listen to Spotify off my iphone at work. I also airdrop stuff into the the TV's home after work. It's how I communicate with absolutely everyone.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 2:17 PM

          You could probably do it yourself, it's not too hard. And it's not that expensive to have someone else do it.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 8:16 PM

          Totally worth it, instead of buying a new model that won’t have a battery that last a shitload longer.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 8:35 PM

        I am not a fan of apple. Used to be because of features/price, but at this point it is only because their product are so overpriced.

        This support is INCREDIBLE. Good on them. They understand how to keep market share and grow. Android manufacturers and google are clueless. Where do they think that old phones go? The bin? No. They are handed down to kids, or sold to other people, who are maybe just making the journey into a smart phone world. Those folks that start with an IOS will most likely upgrade to another iPhone eventually. Good for Apple for figuring that out.

      • reply
        September 21, 2021 2:31 AM

        We just bought a load of new SE’s after assuming the old SE and 6s wouldn’t get this. Could have sweated them another year, whoops.

        Though the users will be getting a better experience, so it’s all good.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 12:44 PM

      Live Text is cool af

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 2:13 PM

      Blocking mail stuff is pretty interesting

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 2:17 PM

        The email address alias stuff is pretty cool is you have iCloud+.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 2:41 PM

          I haven’t even seen what that is?

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 2:45 PM

            If you have iCloud , only 99 cents per month, you can use random email addresses as aliases in places where you don’t want to use your real one and email from that will get forwarded to your real account.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 2:35 PM

      All my airtags are no longer paired wtf

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 3:22 PM

        Happened to other people too.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 6:53 PM

        how do you like the airtags?

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 2:48 PM

      Did they replace the weather app with a web page, or do I need to set something up?

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 2:50 PM

        Not for iPad I think.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 2:55 PM

          Was this the case on ios 14 and I never noticed? Won’t update my work phone for a few days.

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 3:36 PM

            iPad never had an official weather app—only a widget. Same with calculator.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 2:59 PM

        They bought dark sky and ripped some of its features out. Weather app is still built in?

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 3:19 PM

        Weather on iPhone is great. Weather on iPad is just a link to weather.com and it sucks.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 3:21 PM

          I guess I can’t complain if this is the first time I noticed.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 6:10 PM

          Yeah why don’t they fix this. Hate it

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 6:10 PM

            I assume they’re working on it in like a 15.2 update

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 7:52 PM

          Really? That’s bizarre!

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 7:52 PM

            Yeah it’s jarring how shitty it is

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 3:13 PM

      You’re welcome:
      https://i.imgur.com/427YTCq.jpg

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 3:23 PM

        I turned off tinting on the iPad, hated it.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 4:23 PM

          What is it? I googled but couldn't find it.

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 11:46 PM

            It allows the UI to be tinted by the website

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 3:52 PM

        Give bottom web bar safari a shot first.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 3:53 PM

          I’d sooner recognize Missouri as a state than try this malarkey.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 3:55 PM

        I really like the bar on the bottom. Why should a web browser on a mobile device stick to the desktop design?

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 7:24 PM

          Yep, address bar should have been on the bottom a long time ago. It’s far more efficient for your fingers to get to.

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 7:33 PM

            I wish edge would do this (ffs WP did it 11 years ago)

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 3:59 PM

        key app controls in the hardest to reach portion of the phone are an especially dumb UX holdover from mouse driven desktop UI

      • reply
        September 21, 2021 2:33 AM

        The top bar is now fairly broken. The url bar will go missing.

        The bottom bar takes a bit of getting used to, especially the placement of the new tab button, but it seems to be pushing you to leaving tabs open and just to swipe between them and pull down to refresh, which feels okay after a few days.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 3:45 PM

      Ads seem snappier

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 4:15 PM

      I’m strongly considering disabling the functionality to hide my IP address from websites.

      I suspect there are several that have built security feature expecting that, generally, my IP address is the same, and will prompt me to MFA more often.

      Related, it makes reviewing your list of logged in sessions a lot more difficult. Was that me, or a hacker?

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 4:23 PM

        Apple’s privacy campaign continues to try to message that all tracking is bad always (unless it’s Apple’s tracking or tracking on behalf of a government). But as you note, it’s actually quite useful sometimes.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 6:14 PM

          Apple's privacy campaign message is informed consent.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 6:13 PM

        Not likely. Your IP changes all the time. It’s cookies and other fingerprinting that’s used for MFA. Use this option if you’re concerned:
        https://i.imgur.com/4hlnudE.jpg

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 6:14 PM

          My home IP address hasn’t changed in two years. But, that seems like a good compromise.

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 6:58 PM

            Your mobile IP probably changes all the time though

            • reply
              September 20, 2021 7:06 PM

              More than that. Since iOS/iPadOS 14 unless you turn the feature off, iPhones and iPads alter their MAC address for each new network they connect to in order to prevent trackable IDs on a network.

              It can be disabled though, but it is on by default.

              • reply
                September 20, 2021 7:08 PM

                That’s very different though; I like that feature, but disable it for my home network.

                • reply
                  September 20, 2021 7:12 PM

                  Very true. And of course the option is there to turn both features off. I get your use case for it though.

                  Personally I’ll take the hit in having to authenticate on more sites more often with the functionality on. But, I don’t use my personal phone for work purposes.

              • reply
                September 20, 2021 7:09 PM

                Settings-wifi-hit i on the wifi network you are connected to - private address.

                Every wifi address you connect to your iPhone’s MAC address is unique. Forget a wifi network and it generates a new one the next time it connects.

                It’s why if you check your connected devices on your router you might sometimes see multiple instances of the same phone connecting on the network.

            • reply
              September 20, 2021 7:10 PM

              Probably, but I suspect they handle this slightly differently for app vs pure browser auth.

              That said I just saw this feature is off by default and labeled beta, which implies my concerns are real. Not going to worry about it until they change it.

              • reply
                September 20, 2021 7:17 PM

                My understanding is it’s for website traffic only not apps for the very reasons you cite. With the idea being you are choosing to load an app while websites you can get tricked to going to.

                But you are right some sites may not be equipped to handle it, thus beta.

                To be exact there are two different options fyi:

                1) in settings under safari to mask IP

                2) iCloud private relay which masks website IP traffic but also encrypts your packets.

                So, keep in mind you’ll want to turn both off if you want to disable it.

                • reply
                  September 20, 2021 7:21 PM

                  The safari specific one is only for sites that Apple deems to be trackers afaik. If I go to one of those “what is my ip” sites it shows my real address.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 7:20 PM

      My personal favorite little known feature is under settings-passwords, iOS 15 now has its own built in Authenticator so you don’t have to rely of google Authenticator or similar third party apps if you don’t want to.

      And since Authenticator data is synced via iCloud Keychain(one of the few data sets along with health data that actually is encrypted on iCloud with a second layer of protection on it) it’s rather convenient.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 7:28 PM

        Where is the authenticator? I only see the standard password saving manager stuff.

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 7:30 PM

          Oh got it. Each gets associated with the password saved. Interesting approach. Would have been nice if they let me mass import the keys from existing apps like my google authenticator.

          • reply
            September 20, 2021 7:40 PM

            Annnnd whatever method google uses for exporting to it's own app doesn't work with this system. ugh so much for doing it at least one by one.

            • reply
              September 20, 2021 7:49 PM

              the export has never worked for me anyhow

              • reply
                September 20, 2021 8:13 PM

                Works great for me going from Google Authenticator to other google auth.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 7:30 PM

      I’m not imagining this right? Sort of weird how they centered all the settings which results in dead space on both sides of screen https://i.imgur.com/v7CTEow.jpg

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 7:44 PM

      So a bunch of apps disappeared all of a sudden (including the App Store) even from search. Reboot fixed it but wtf.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 8:37 PM

        Also Photos keeps wanting me to share photos with… myself.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 7:50 PM

      Any opinions on the iPad of choice? The iPad mini refresh looks appealing though I wish it came in silver. I’m looking for something for media consumption in a relatively compact form and a bit of family videoconferencing. The mini seems better spec’d than the Air. What’s the prevailing wisdom on these devices?

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 7:54 PM

        Base model for $329 is a phenomenal value. And it just got a CPU update with this last refresh I think.

        With your use case, there’s little reason to get anything more than that.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 7:58 PM

        Benchmarks show the mini A15 is under clocked a little vs the iPhone 13. So, for real world use the mini and A14 air are realistically on par with each other save for the improved FaceTime camera.

        If you don’t need a pro level iPad(or want to spend that much) then both the air and mini are the way to go. Choose based on your preference for physical size but both will be pretty much equal.

        Pro models do get promotion display though(120hz VRR) and the 12.9 has mini led(which is really good, I own one).

        • reply
          September 20, 2021 8:48 PM

          Cool, thanks for the advice. I think I will go with the mini. Honestly, I want something that will sit on a window sill while I do dishes and work as a bedside gizmo for podcasts and streaming radio. Definitely nothing of any huge substance that requires higher specifications.

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 8:09 PM

      The FaceTime screen share thing, the button isn’t there for me. Does this happen to anyone else?

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 8:22 PM

        It got pushed back and is coming in a point update later this year.

      • reply
        September 20, 2021 8:47 PM

        will be ready to ship just when the pandemic ends

    • reply
      September 20, 2021 9:24 PM

      Does Focus mode allow you to have the same app on multiple homescreen pages? Kinda useless if not.

    • reply
      September 21, 2021 1:15 AM

      Looks like the weather app needs some patches still. The transparency of the clouds is fucked up. https://i.imgur.com/AeCyJ27.jpg

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