Apple's next version of its operating system - iOS 15 - is now out in the open, but when is the official release date?
iOS 15 was first revealed at WWDC 2021 (Worldwide Developers Conference 2021). The update brings various new features to Apple devices, and may even launch next month.
So, how can you get your hands on the next iOS update?
iOS 15 Release Date
iOS 15 is scheduled for a Fall 2021 release date. Apple has yet to disclose the specific date, but the launch is expected to line up with the iPhone 13 release date and AirPods 3 release that may happen in September.
In the past, Apple has launched the latest version of iOS around a week after the iPhone announcement. However, with iOS 14 this waiting period was just a day, meaning the iOS 15 launch could come pretty soon after.
If you can't wait until later this year, then the public beta for iOS 15 is currently available. First releasing on June 30, you can join the iOS15 beta test via the Apple Beta Software Program.
As with any beta test, the iOS 15 beta is not the final product. Bugs, performance issues, and broken features are common in the early rounds of testing. On the Beta Software Program website, Apple issues the following warning:
Please note that since the public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software. Be sure to back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and your Mac using Time Machine before installing beta software.
After this initial beta release, Apple has now released several other public betas for iOS 15. The most recent beta is Public Beta 7.
What Devices Support iOS 15?
According to Apple's official iOS 15 Preview site, all iPhone devices from iPhone 6s upwards are compatible with iOS 15. This includes every iPhone released since 2015.
It is also expected that any new iPhone's released later this year - most likely the iPhone 13 - will also support iOS 15.
The 7th generation iPod touch - first released in May 2019 - also supports iOS 15.
iOS 15 Features
iOS 15 will see a Notifications overhaul as Apple attempts to further streamline the amount and type of alerts users receive.
Using machine learning, iOS 15 will find patterns in your phone usage to deliver only the most vital notifications in the new Notification Summary feature.
Apple Maps will also receive an update in iOS 15, giving users further details about buildings, roads, and scenery. It also introduces 3D landmarks to Maps, and new driving features that give further details about lanes, traffic conditions, and more.
If you use Maps for walking, you can now also use Augmented Reality to guide you where to go.
Safari will receive a design overhaul that sees the tab bar moved to the bottom of the screen, while Safari Extensions are now available on iPhone devices, too.
However, this URL bar shift was controversial among users. As such, Apple has introduced a toggle that allows users to switch the URL bar back to the top of the page (via MacRumors).
As reported by 9to5Mac, the latest iOS 15 beta includes a new camera tool that will remove any lens flare from your images.
Apple has also added a SharePlay feature that allows users to share their screens with other users over FaceTime.
However, while this feature was a flagship of Apple's WWDC iOS 15 announcement, Apple recently disabled the feature for the developer beta 6 version of iOS 15.
Finally, the latest version of the iOS 15 beta now asks users for consent before showing them personalised ads (via 9to5mac). Previous versions would automatically enable this feature, using your App Store purchases, for example, to display personalised adverts.
iPadOS 15 Release Date
Announced alongside iOS 15 at WWDC 2021, iPadOS 15 will also launch in fall 2021.
As with previous iOS and iPadOS launches, both iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 will release simultaneously, most likely in September. This may even coincide with the new iPad 2021 release date.
The public beta for iPadOS was first released on June 30 following a developer beta earlier that month.
iPadOS 15's supported devices are the same as those that support iPadOS 14, meaning if you run the latest iPadOS, you will be eligible for iPadOS 15.
Latest iOS Version
The most up-to-date version of iOS/iPadOS is 14.7.
iOS 14.7 first released on July 19, with the iPad OS version launching on July 21.
This update introduced fixes to battery draining issues and a new air quality feature for the Weather app. However, reports suggest that iOS 14.7 contains several bugs, which may put prospective updaters off ahead of the full iOS 15 release.
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