September 20, 2021
iOS 15: Six underrated features arriving in Apple's new iPhone update
On Monday, iPhone users might feel like they have a brand new smartphone.
Apple will roll out iOS 15, the latest update to the operating system that powers its iPhone. Based on previous releases, the update should go live around 1 p.m. ET.
The arrival of iOS 15 precedes the launch of iPhone 13 on Sept. 24, available in standard, Mini, Pro and Pro Max models. Pre-orders for iPhone 13 launched last Friday.
The iPhone software update will introduce new features such as updates to FaceTime like a Portrait Mode and the ability to join calls on Android and Windows devices, a Focus mode to help users avoid distractions created through notifications and tweaks to the Weather and Maps apps.
If you have been keeping up with iOS 15, then you've likely heard about all these features. Here are six features that have flown under the radar but should make owning an iPhone a lot easier.
Shared With You in Messages
When someone shares a link, photo, song, podcast or other piece of content with you via Messages, it will automatically show up in the corresponding app. For example, your partner or spouse share a cute pic of your kids? You can just head to the Photos app and it's automatically available. If someone sends a link, it appears in a special "Shared For You" section on Safari's start page.
Tabs get better on Safari
Apple's mobile browser is getting a new look. There's now a bottom bar where users can search or manage their tabs. It's built to use one-handed if needed. You can swipe up to see all open tabs, or swipe left or right to cycle between them. You can also organize your tabs in groups. Another nice touch: you can pull down on the screen to refresh.
Finding iPhone even when turned off
If your smartphone has been turned off or even if it's been erased, the Find My app can still locate it. When turned off, you can locate it for up to 24 hours. On an erase, Apple says the Hello screen will show "your device is locked, locatable, and still yours." And if you're prone to losing your AirPods, there's new network support to help you find them if they're not in Bluetooth range.
Organize Notes, Reminders easily
Users of the Notes app can now add tags to make them easier to find. Just add a hashtag and category such as #work and notes with that tag will group together. There's also a tag browser and custom folders that organize notes by tags. You can also do the same thing with your tasks in the Reminders app.
Apple's own authenticator
The iPhone will get its own authenticator for use on accounts enabled with two-factor authentication. If a site with two-factor authentication requires codes, you can go to Passwords in Settings and have Apple's authenticator generate it without needing a third-party app.
Choose your software update
In Settings, you can choose which software update to apply: either the full upgrade to iOS 15, or stay on iOS 14 and continue to get important security updates.
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