Apple iOS 15 release date, features and what we want to see

(Pocket-lint) – Apple introduces a major software update every year. The company typically previews the update and gives us some indication as to what features are coming at its developer conference in June, followed by the full release with the new iPhones later in the year.

For 2021, the software update is due to be iOS 15. Here is everything we want to see on the next major software release coupled with any rumours we’ve heard about it so far.

iOS 15 release date

  • Preview June 2021
  • September 2021

The iOS 15 update is expected to be released alongside the next iPhone – rumoured to be the iPhone 13. Previous to 2020, the iPhone was revealed in the first week of September – normally on a Tuesday – and made available that Friday, which is when the new software would also be available, sometimes the day before. 

If Apple returns to its usual pre-2020 pattern, it could be that the iPhone 13 models are revealed on 7 September, which would put the iOS 15 release date around the 9 or 10 September. 

Of course, nothing official is known yet, nor will it be for several months, but we do expect to learn more about some of the features coming to iOS 15 at Apple’s WWDC. The developer conference will take place between 7 and 11 June this year.

iOS 15 features

  • Redesigned Control Centre
  • Updated Lock Screen
  • Notiification changes
  • Privacy changes

Based on rumours, iOS 15 could bring a redesigned Control Centre. There’s also talk of updated privacy features, an updated Lock Screen and full support for AirTags with animations.

It’s been said the way users handle notifications could change for iOS 15 too. Apparently, Apple is planning to allow users to set different notification preferences defending on their status. It’s claimed there will be a menu that will allow users to select if they are driving, sleeping, working or select a custom category and there will also be an automatic reply option defending on the status.

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Meanwhile, it’s said iMessage could be updated to be more social, to compete with WhatsApp. We guess this could mean the option to add a status or something similar.

In terms of privacy, it’s said there will be a menu that shows apps that are silently collecting your data.

There’s also been a suggestion that iOS 15 will support dual authentication from Face ID and Touch ID, which would be important if the iPhone 13 models have an under-display fingerprint sensor.

iOS 15 what we want to see

Sometimes with software, you don’t know what you want or need until you get it and then you wonder how you ever lived without it. 

There are a few things that we would like to see on iOS 15:

  • Improvements to Siri
  • Ability to edit App Library categories
  • Choice to have App Library as default view
  • Enhancements to lock screen
  • Always on display 
  • Dark Sky integration 
  • Apple Watch to unlock iPhone without mask
  • Third party app stores
  • Better support for third party smartwatches (unlikely, we know)

iOS 15 compatibility: Which iPhones will be supported?

Based on rumours, iOS 15 will not be supported on the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus or the iPhone SE (2016). The list of iPhones expected to be supported by the new software are therefore as follows:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 
  • iPhone 12 Mini 
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7

iOS 15 rumours: What’s happened so far?

Here is everything we have heard so far about iOS 15.

22 April 2021: More notifications, privacy tools and update to iMessages

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that iOS 15 will bring an update to how users handle notifications, additional privacy protections and an updated Lock Screen. Gurman also mentioned a redesign of the iMessages app, though said his sources said this could come later.

19 April 2021: iOS 15 details revealed in leak

A report on iPhonesoft claimed iOS 15 could bring a redesigned Control Centre, along with animations and full support for AirTags. The report also mentioned dual authentication, which would allow both Face ID and Touch ID for unlocking an iPhone – something that would be needed if the iPhone 13 has an under display fingerprint sensor and Face ID. 

February 2021: iOS 15 might drop support for models older than iPhone 7

According to iPhonesoft, iOS 15 will require an A10 chip and newer to run. It’s said it will therefore not offer support for the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and the iPhone SE (2016). 

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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