iOS 15 revives Apple’s beloved wheel-style time picker (pro tip: tap it to pull up the number pad)

Apple has revived the popular iPhone time picker on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that lets you spin the wheel, but with a twist allowing you to switch back to iOS 14’s inline selector with a tap.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Apple’s wheel-style time picker is back thank to iOS and iPadOS 15.
  • Twist: Tap the picker to input digits with the number pad instead.
  • iOS 14 replaced the wheel-style time picker with a dull box.
  • The full-blown calendar picker has remained intact.

Tim Cook at the Apple Park headquarters sitting at the building entrance, smiling and showing his biceps

iOS 15: Say hello to the wheel-style dial picker

With iOS 14, Apple ditched iOS 13’s popular wheel-based picker for dull inline boxes.

While some people loved the inline time selector, for many others it was cumbersome and slower to use than the wheel-based approach. That’s why Apple with iOS and iPadOS 15 is bringing back the beloved wheel-based dial for adjusting the time in apps like Reminders.

iPhone screenshot showing the wheel-based time dial picker selector for Apple Reminders on iOS 15
iOS 15’s time dial

Aside from a refined design, iOS 15’s iPhone time picker also includes a secret feature—tapping the wheel brings up the hidden number pad for inputting digits, if that’s what you prefer.

Wheel-style picker vs. inline one

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 replaced Apple’s popular wheel-style selector with an inline version that displays a combo box for the time and a full-blown calendar picker for the date. If you’ve ever set up alarms in iOS 14’s Clock app on your iPhone, then you’re used to having to input specific hours and minutes into those boxes using the numeric pad that appears by default.

You could also scroll across the boxes vertically to set those values. That said, many people have found iOS 14’s inline selector more cumbersome to use than iOS 13’s wheel-style dials.

iPhone screenshot showing the date picker selector for Apple Calendar on iOS 15
iOS 15’s date picker

Whichever method you like better, Apple is trying to please both camps. Prefer the old wheel-based time picker? iOS and iPadOS 15 have you covered! But if you’re the type who likes to input digits, you can also tap the dial picker to instantly use the numeric pad.

How to set up time blocking on Apple Calendar

You can use this new picker to adjust alarms in the Clock app, edit event times in the stock Calendar and Reminders apps and so forth. As a matter of fact, the new wheel-based dial will automatically appear in any other apps that present the time picker to the user.

Clock Alarm Time Picker on iPhone
iOS 14’s inline time picker with the numeric pad on iPhone

When will iOS 15 release publicly?

Apple released the iOS 15 developer beta following the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021, with the first public beta launching for the Apple Beta Software Program participants in July.

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Apple hasn’t committed to a firm release date for iOS 15 beyond saying the update would launch publicly this fall. If history is anything to go by, iOS 15 will appear as an over-the-air update on users’ devices a few days before the next iPhone goes on sale in September.

The system requirements for iOS 15 reveal the update is compatible with all iPhones from the iPhone 6s onward, meaning the device compatibility list has remained unchanged from iOS 14.