iOS 15 and iPadOS 15: 7 new features you should know


Apple’s second-generation iPhone SE.

Jason Cipriani / ZDNet

Apple just released iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 for its iPhone and iPad lineup, bringing a long list of new features to both devices. You can install the update right now, but be sure to take a few minutes and prepare your device first.

Some of the new features you’ll gain access to include a new focus mode that replaces Do Not Disturb, a new live text feature that supercharges your camera app and photos, and Find My has been improved to help you recover a lost device.

Below, I’ve rounded up several of the best new features and walked you through how to use them. Even though I have used iOS 15 throughout the beta cycle, I still find new features all the time. I will continue to update this post as I find more.

Do not disturb now helps you stay focused

I’ve been using iOS 15 since Apple released the first developer beta in June, and admittedly it took me far too long to figure out how to use one of its flagship features: Focus.

Focus replaces Do Not Disturb, which silences your phone or tablet to help limit interruptions during meetings or while you sleep.

Focus takes a similar approach, but instead of relying on a set schedule or reminding yourself to activate it, you can create different Focus modes that are automatically activated based on different actions. Oh, and it syncs across all of your Apple devices running the latest software. So if you activate a Focus on your iPhone, it will automatically sync with your Mac, Apple Watch, and iPad.

Not only are the Focus modes automated, but you can also dictate which contacts or apps you always want to be alerted to.

For example, right now I have a Reading Focus mode that activates whenever I open the Kindle app on any of my Apple devices. I also have a Driving Focus that turns on once my iPhone connects to my car’s bluetooth. Both allow my wife and kids to continue to iMessage me, but all other alerts are disabled until the focus is turned off.

To select To concentrate in the Applying settings to start with some basic examples. If you find a Focus that helps you stay on track, share it in the comments below. I really need to learn how to use this feature better.

Live Text is magic but also late

One of my favorite additions in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is Live Text. This new feature can extract text from a photo and make it actionable. It works on new photos, old photos in the Photos app, or even when using the camera viewfinder without taking a photo.

This means you can tap a phone number to make a call, copy a tracking number from a receipt to monitor a shipment, or open a business website from a flyer posted at your restaurant. local.

To use Live Text in the Photos app, select an image that contains text. In the lower right corner of the photo, you will see the Live Text icon (this is a small square with brackets in each corner and lines in the middle. Tap the icon to see which areas of the photo are available. You can then interact with the text as if it were live. This means you can highlight it, copy it, tap a phone number, email address or URL to make a call , start a message or open the site It is incredibly useful and useful.


Account Recovery Contacts are an easy way to make sure that you can get back to your iCloud account.

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / ZDNet

Account recovery helps you get back to your iCloud account

Forgetting your password for Apple’s iCloud service is something you never want to happen. You will lose access to your purchases, storage, devices, and personal information if your account is blocked.

After updating to iOS 15, open the Settings app, then tap your name at the top of the screen. Then select Password and security > Account recovery > + Add a recovery contact. Follow the prompts to select a trusted contact.


The notification summary is a big help in clearing the clutter, but keeps you up to date.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / ZDNet

Take more control over app notifications

Notification Summary is a new feature in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that I never tire of. Instead of having each app and its push alerts cluttering up my lock screen and notification bar, I can now decide which apps – like my smart sprinkler system – are shown to me only a few times a day in a condensed format. .

There are several ways to configure a notification summary. The fastest way to add multiple apps to the summary is to open the Applying settings and go to Notifications > Scheduled summary. There you can schedule when you want to see your summary (I have mine set to arrive twice a day, but you can change the frequency and specific time to your liking), and add any apps you still want. see alerts, but don’t necessarily need to be interrupted for.

You can add an app directly to your summary from the lock screen by swiping left on an alert. Faucet Options > Send to summary.

FaceTime with anyone, even Android or Windows users

Remember when Steve Jobs said FaceTime was going to be an open-source standard? Yes me too. That didn’t happen, but you can now FaceTime with Android and PC users. Even though it took until iOS 15 for FaceTime to work on multiple platforms, I’ll take it.

Apple hasn’t released a FaceTime app for Windows or Android, but instead, you can send your friend or family member a link that opens a FaceTime call in their browser.

To use the new FaceTime feature, open the FaceTime app and select Create a link. You will see the iOS share sheet, where you can then send it as you want. If the app or service you want to send it to doesn’t appear in the share sheet, tap Copy then paste it into any text field.


Your phone can be found up to 24 hours after it is turned off.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / ZDNet

Find My works even if your iPhone or iPad is reset

With the release of AirTag, Apple has proven just how powerful and useful its Find My network is. By tracking down the location of small tags and Apple devices, it’s easier than ever to find a lost or stolen gadget. Until now, however, finding a misplaced iPhone has required it to stay on.

But after installing iOS 15, Find My will continue to work even after you turn off your iPhone. In fact, it will even continue to work if a factory of potential villains resets your iPhone.

Your phone will broadcast a signal to nearby Apple devices to relay its location for up to 24 hours after it is turned off.

You don’t have to do anything for the new feature to work. You can, however, temporarily turn it off when you turn off your phone – just tap the link under the slider to turn your phone off.

iCloud Back Now Gives You Free Additional Storage

Not everyone pays for additional iCloud storage every month, whether it’s to back up your photo library or your Apple devices. The latter situation can cause headaches when it comes time to upgrade your iPhone, and you don’t have a current iCloud backup to transfer and ease the process of setting up your new device.

Apple will now give you as much storage space as you need to create a backup of your current iPhone, which can then be used to restore your new phone. You will need to complete the process within three weeks of your purchase.

For added peace of mind, in case you want to return or exchange your shiny new phone, Apple will back it up for seven days after you set it up. Once the one week period is over, you’ll need to sign up for an iCloud + storage plan if you want to continue using Apple’s backup service (assuming you’ve gone over the 5GB free limit).

Do you have a favorite feature in iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 that isn’t listed here? Let us know in the comments below.


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