How is iOS 15 treating you so far?

Back in September, Apple released the next major update to its most popular operating system. With iOS 15, the company didn’t attempt to change the wheel or make any other massive alterations. It refined the experience, improved some aspects of it, and added plenty of new features for good measure. But has it been a smooth experience for you?

Apple's marketing image showing a bunch of iPhone and iPod touch devices showcasing various iOS 15 features

By now, we know that the launch of iOS 15 didn’t go so smoothly. It wasn’t the worst launch of new software on Apple’s part, not by a long shot. But, still, for a lot of people there were some remarkably annoying issues. Even for the folks who bought new iPhone 13 models and were just trying to set up their new device(s), there were issues.

And we can’t forget how Apple seemingly broke one of the more fundamentally necessary features in today’s age, where the coronavirus pandemic continues. Many iOS 15 early adopters with a new iPhone 13 quickly found out that they could no longer unlock their smartphone with their Apple Watch, because there was a pairing issue following the software update. Luckily, as is par for the course when a pretty big issue arises that disrupts the user experience, Apple was relatively quick to fix it.

The interesting part of that whole situation was the fact it wasn’t consistent. In my own experience, when I had both an iPhone 13 Pro and an iPhone 13 Pro Max, I found that the Apple Watch unlock feature still worked on the Pro Max variant, while it did not work on the Pro model.

So, it was a bit of a bumpy ride. But now that iOS 15.1 is out there in the wild, and iOS 15.2 is currently being beta tested, the rough parts should be ironed out, right?

I think, for the most part, that that’s true. However, it’s iOS 15 itself and the way it’s supposed to work I find is annoying me more than anything else. It’s just a few quirks I’ve noticed with daily usage, especially as it relates to new features.

Our very own Sébastien Page has run into a recurring annoyance as I have:

It’s the “I know I’ve already confirmed” part that stuck out to me, because that has been my thought on more than one occasion as well. Now, to be fair, I do know that there have been some apps with this same notification that I’ve tapped “Leave On” and it has worked as it should (I assume). That means I tapped it and the app hasn’t notified me again. Which is great! However, there are some apps, especially the MLB app and the NHL app, and even Apple’s own TV app, that have just decided to ignore my wishes altogether.

Another sticking point for me has been Focus. It’s a small issue, but one I find more annoying because it’s a “universal” feature that can work from one device to another. Basically, if I have the Reading Focus switched on, which is meant to reduce notifications (or turn them all off altogether) while I have the Apple Books app open, then it will handle notifications the same way on my iPad and MacBook.

The trouble is that I don’t always want Focus to turn on when using Apple Books — like when I decide to read a few pages during the day when turning notifications off wouldn’t be ideal. The good news is that Focus will show a small banner at the top of the screen with a small “X” to turn it off, which is handy! The trouble comes in when I don’t activate Focus, but keep using Apple Books, and, at some point in time later, Focus will just reactivate. I’d absolutely understand if I switched off Apple Books and came back to it — that would make sense! But if I’m still in the same instance of using the app, my previous input should still matter.

Small things, but, piled up like this, can be just as annoying as any lingering bug. Maybe even more so because it’s the software apparently working the way it should.

So I’m curious, how has your experience with iOS 15 been so far? Silky smooth as one would hope? Are you running into any persistent bugs? Or, like in mine and others’ cases, is the software itself pushing all the right buttons to annoy you on a regular basis?