Apple releases iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 with Focus, redesigned notifications, and more

Most years, Apple makes a big deal about when it’s going to launch the next version of its most popular platforms. Especially iOS. That wasn’t so much the case this year, with the company basically announcing that September 20 would be the launch date for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 in a minor way. But, today’s the day, and the next big deal for Apple’s mobile operating systems is here.

On Monday, Apple officially launched iOS 15 and iPadOS to the public. One interesting thing to note right out of the gate is that while iOS 15 adds a ton of new features to the mix, it’s actually missing a couple of important elements. First, Apple already confirmed that it would be delaying the new Expanded Protections for Children feature, which will eventually welcome a trio of new features to the mix to help combat child abuse and sexual exploitation.

Next on the list of things not in iOS 15 at launch: SharePlay. This feature will let customers share their screens to do a variety of things, including watching movies and TV shows together in the Apple TV app, share their screens while using FaceTime, create group playlists in Apple Music and more.

That’s not quite all, either. We also know that the more advanced Find My support for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max won’t be available at launch, either. And one more for good measure: support for identification cards and drivers licenses in the Wallet app has also been delayed.

To update, open Settings –> General –> Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions. If the user has Automatic Updates switched on, the device will handle the update process overnight while the device is charging.

Here’s what’s available at launch in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15


  • Spatial audio
  • Grid view
  • Mic modes
  • Invite anyone to a FaceTime call with a dedicated link

Messages and Memoji

  • Shared With You, including links, photos, and more
  • Shared With You works in Photos, News, Messages, Music, TV, and more
  • Photo collections
  • New Memoji to choose from, including more customization options


  • Automatically displays your status so people know when you are busy, or otherwise engaged
  • Choose customizable Focus options for various situations, including driving, gaming, mindfulness, reading, and more

Redesigned notifications

  • Notifications now have larger app icons and new contact photos
  • Delivered daily, new notification summaries are based on a schedule set by the user and round up a variety of app notifications

Apple Maps

  • All-new experiences for cities and major metros. Deeper, richer details for roads, parks, and landmarks
  • Street-level perspectives for complex interchanges, details for turn lanes, and much more
  • New transit features, including the ability to pin favorite routes, and immersive walking instructions


  • All-new tab experirence
  • A bottom navigation bar
  • New tab groups
  • Improved voice search with Siri
  • Safari extension support for iPhone and iPad

Apple Wallet

  • Expanded support for digital keys, for the home, hotels, garage, and more

Live Text

  • Capture text, including phone numbers and addresses, within any image.
  • Send an email, navigate to an address, or make a call based on captured text in an image
  • Built into the stock Camera app
  • Seven different languages supported in Live Text Translation: English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish

Visual Look Up

  • Quickly scan an image, or real-world item like a flower or tree or landmark, to tap into Siri knowledge on the item


  • Far more robust searches within Spotlight
  • Search your own photos, including from apps, within Spotlight


  • Brand new, redesigned and interactive Memories
  • Apple Music support to add songs to Memories


  • New ways to share data with loved ones and healthcare professionals


  • Mail Privacy Protection hides your IP address so senders can’t link to external online activity
  • New app privacy reports
  • Siri audio requests remain on device


  • Includes iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support
  • iCloud Private Relay is in beta, but will encrypt traffic leaving the device automatically. So you can browse from any network more securely
  • Hide My Email automatically generates random email addresses that forward to your personal email addresses’ inbox — without sharing your personal email address
  • Hide My Email is built into Safari, iCloud Settings, and Mail

iPadOS 15


  • iPadOS 15 adds new multitasking options, including a new multitasking menu that will let users quickly slide an app over to full screen, Split View, or Slide Over
  • Center window allows users to quickly bring an app to the forefront of the screen, above other apps running in the background
  • The new Shelf makes it easy to see all open windows for a running app
  • App Switcher now supports building Split View apps, so you can combine apps on the fly
  • A host of brand new keyboard shortcuts

Widgets and the Home Screen

  • Widgets can now be placed on the Home screen, mixed with app icons
  • Game Center, Find My, Mail, the App Store, and other apps have all new widgets
  • The App Library is now available on the iPad

Quick Notes and Notes

  • Quick Note supports adding images, links, handwritten texts, and even mentions and tags
  • Launch Quick Note via Control Center, swipe up from the corner with your finger or Apple Pencil, or with a keyboard shortcut
  • View Quick Notes within the Notes app

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are both available now to download and install for free on eligible devices.