Monday, September 20, 2021

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Apple (iOS release notes, iPadOS release notes, Hacker News):

iOS 15 is packed with new features that help you connect with others, be more present and in the moment, explore the world, and use powerful intelligence to do more with iPhone than ever before.

Federico Viticci (extras):

Surprisingly, iOS 15 doesn’t introduce any notable improvements to what made its predecessor wildly popular last year. In fact, as I’ll explore in this review, iOS 15 doesn’t have that single, all-encompassing feature that commands everyone’s attention such as widgets in iOS 14 or dark mode in iOS 13.

As we’ll see later in the story, new functionalities such as Focus and Live Text in the Camera are the additions that will likely push people to update their iPhones this year. And even then, I don’t think either of them sports the same intrinsic appeal as widgets, custom Home Screens, or the App Library in iOS 14.


But after three months of running iPadOS 15 on my M1 iPad Pro, I can’t help but feel like power users will still be left wishing for more. Yes, iPadOS 15 brings extensive keyboard integration for multitasking with a plethora of new keyboard shortcuts and yes, the new multitasking menu and improvements to the app switcher benefit everyone, including power users, but iPadOS 15 is a foundational update that focuses on fixing the basics rather than letting the iPad soar to new heights.

Dan Moren:

So it is with iOS 15, a release that appears with at least one of its most touted features, SharePlay, delayed until later this year, and another impressive piece of functionality—Universal Control—demoed but never even present in the betas. What’s left is a hodgepodge of interesting ideas and occasionally misguided attempts to prescribe how people should use their mobile devices. It’s an update that’s got a lot to recommend it, but that’s simultaneously tough to recommend, if only because it’s difficult to point to a single big feature that will make a huge difference in the life of the average user.


The reason that Time Sensitive notifications are significant is twofold. Firstly, they’re a class of notification that you can allow to break through your Focus, even if you haven’t specifically allowed notifications from that app. Secondly, they work with the second new major notification feature, Scheduled Summary.

Jason Snell:

In iPadOS 14, holding down the Command key would display a simple list of app-specific features and key equivalents. In iPadOS 15, Apple has expanded this feature to make it more like the iPad equivalent of the Mac menu bar. Not only does it list keyboard shortcuts, but it can list every command in the app (with suspiciously familiar labels like File and Edit). You can click or tap any of them to execute them. iPad apps that build out the Mac menu bar for their Catalyst version can pick this feature up for free. It’s another way that the Mac and iPad are increasingly complementing one another.

Then there’s the Globe key. Initially intended for supporting multiple languages, in iPadOS 15, the Globe key has become something much bigger: it’s a symbol for global keyboard shortcuts. (The Globe key appears on most modern Apple keyboards. If your keyboard doesn’t have a Globe key, don’t worry—you can use the Hardware Keyboard settings area to map a less-used modifier key such as Caps Lock to the Globe key.)

Hold down the Globe key in any app in iPadOS 15, and instead of seeing app-specific commands, you’ll see a list of functions that are available everywhere on the iPad.

Juli Clover:

A new Focus mode cuts down on distractions by limiting what’s accessible and who can contact you, and notifications can now be grouped up in daily summaries. There’s an option for a new Safari design that moves the tab bar to the bottom of the interface, and Tab Groups keep all of your tabs organized.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple recently updated its iOS 15 features page to indicate that Find My network support for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max has been delayed until “later this fall,” implying that the feature will not be available with the initial release of iOS 15.

Joe Rossignol:

According to the iOS 15 features page on Apple’s website, the following features require an iPhone with an A12 Bionic chip or newer, which means the features listed below aren’t available on the iPhone X or any older models.

It does still run on devices all the way back to the iPhone 6s, though.


Update (2021-10-20): Chaim Gartenberg:

It’s the most incremental and iterative iOS release in years, a grab bag of new features that, while nice to have, don’t really move the needle or change your iPhone experience much.

Juli Clover:

iOS 15 is absolutely packed with new features, and it can be overwhelming sorting through everything that’s new. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth upgrading and what new features might be worth getting access to right away, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best new additions in the iOS 15 update that you might not be aware of.

Ryan Burnett (via John Gruber):

What’s new in iOS 15. Includes before and after comparisons documenting the design evolution from iOS 14 to iOS 15. Settings, Photos, Safari, Calendar, Maps, and FaceTime are covered in 52 screenshots.

Peter Steinberger:

Heads up if you call isLowPowerModeEnabled anywhere - this now easily deadlocks on iOS 15.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

There’s been a change between iOS 14 and iOS 15 that now evicts apps from Now Playing on the lockscreen if they’ve been stopped for more than five seconds, which then lets the Music app forcibly claim the play/resume button. Anybody run into this? Is there a new API I’m missing?

Sami Fathi:

Adding to the list of issues facing iOS 15 and iPhone 13 users, a new, seemingly widespread bug is causing CarPlay to suddenly crash whenever a user attempts to play music, such as through Apple Music or third-party providers like Spotify.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I commented that I wasn't sure why Apple was allowing users to continue using iOS 14, but now after the CSAM on-device spying announcements I'm glad that I can avoid iOS 15+.

In FaceTime you can pinch zoom when the camera is flipped, yay!

Leave a Comment