Exploring 50 Notable New Features and Changes in iOS 15

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this podcast, Thomas Domville gives us short looks at some of what's new and notable in iOS 15.

Topics covered include:

  • Live Text
  • Exploring images with VoiceOver
  • Voice image descriptions with markup
  • New navigation method for VoiceOver - Grouped
  • VoiceOver Quick Settings
  • Sound Actions for Switch Control
  • Background Sounds
  • Per-app settings
  • Audiograms
  • Standalone Magnifier app
  • Accessibility Memoji
  • New Voice Control languages
  • Siri on-device speech processing
  • Neural text-to-speech voice in more languages for Siri
  • Maintaining context with Siri
  • Refer to contacts onscreen with Siri
  • Siri Offline support
  • Sharing with Siri
  • Home screen page management
  • Focus modes
  • Add Recovery Account for iCloud
  • Legacy Contacts (coming in a later release)
  • iCloud Private Relay and Hide My Email
  • Redesigned start page for Safari
  • Safari tab bar
  • Safari tab groups
  • Support for extensions in Safari
  • New pull to refresh VoiceOver gesture
  • Secure browsing for Safari
  • Temporary iCloud storage
  • Notification summary
  • Notification options
  • New and improved Weather details
  • Rain and snow alerts
  • Live Locations
  • Find My separation alerts
  • Find My network
  • Request a refund for in-app purchases
  • Improvements to AirPrint
  • New widgets
  • Health sharing
  • Walking steadiness
  • Photo stacks, collages, and pinned content in Messages
  • 'Spatialize Stereo
  • built-in password authenticator
  • Skip gaps in Voice Memos
  • FaceTime links and Join FaceTime calls from the web on Android and Windows
  • Portrait mode for videos in FaceTime
  • Mute alerts in FaceTime
  • Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum modes in FaceTime



Submitted by Andy Lane on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hey, what a great podcast, a really nice summary of all the new features. It was really useful you demonstrated as I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to use the new group navigation mode. I’d reassigned my 2 finger swipe left and right to activate and escape which I really like but I may change them now. Just a quick clarification though, You kept saying the new features would be on iPhone 10 but its actually the 10 S that has the A12 processor. Just so nobody is confused why the new features aren’t working on their 10. Again great summary and thanks so much for clearing up my confusion over the new navigation style.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hi Thomas,

Thank you for all your work to keep us up to date on features that enhance the quality of our lives. smile

Submitted by Jo Billard on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

I've been itching to try Focus ever since I heard about it last June. I was also worried about Safari, but from what I could tell from the podcast, it doesn't exactly sound like a nightmare, so I think I'll be able to manage it.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by Andy Lane

Hi Andy,

Thank you and to others for the kind words. Glad that you and others have enjoyed the podcast and got something out of it. You are correct there was an error mentioned in the podcast. Nice catch! The minimum is indeed the iPhone 10r and the 10s models and not the iPhone 10 that I mentioned in the podcast.

Thanks for the heads-up! Also,
- AnonyMouse

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Thomas, thanks as always for this walkthrough of the new features in iOS 15. I probably won't be using all of them, but one in particular that I will make use of is the background sounds. I wonder how these are on the battery though. The updated weather app also sounds very good.

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Thursday, September 16, 2021

thanks for the heads up on the new gestures. I'm using almost all the new ones for something, ☺️. time to reset them and work out if the new functionality is worth losing what I had them mapped to. I knew that two-finger left and right thing was too good for them to leave for us to customise. I was using it for previous and next header.

Submitted by John Lipsey on Thursday, September 16, 2021

I'm not sure if I like this new group navigation thing, especially as I like my 2 finger swipes for next/previous header. What are the practical uses for this? And, can group navigation be disabled?


I'm happy to say, that Group Navigation does have a rotor action for toggling on/off at will, under VoiceOver Rotor settings.
As for its actual use case, it really depends on if you use a Mac with VoiceOver or not. Group navigation (to me at least), is more useful for iPad users more than iPhone users.

FYI: For those who use an external keyboard, VO+Shift+Down and VO+Shift+Up enters and exits a group of items, such as a toolbar or Table. Or should I say, interacts/non-interacts..

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Friday, September 17, 2021

I'm guessing that, if you leave your gestures as they are you can still use them. I'm only disabling mine since I haven't used the betas and have no idea how useful or otherwise it's going to be.

Hi Ekaj,

Thanks for the kind words and I am very glad that you enjoyed the podcast. To answer your question regarding using the Background Sounds. Yes, it will drain your battery a bit faster than if we had nothing. Although, it isn't significant but something to consider when using it.

The Weather app is pretty darn good and I love the layout quite a bit. The rain/snow alert is a very nice feature. In the end it found a place on my main Home Screen if that says anything. ;)

- AnonyMouse

Submitted by Macky on Sunday, September 19, 2021

Thanks again Thomas for another brilliant podcast.. I'm particularly looking forward to the flick up ocr for getting details within photos. My friends send lots of photos on our WhatsApp group and sharing them to seeing ai Constantly becomes tiresome. So many great new features to choose from though!

Submitted by Unregistered User (not verified) on Sunday, September 19, 2021

Keep the podcasts coming

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Friday, September 24, 2021

Hi, Thomas!

I've enjoyed your podcasts covering IOS 15 in all its glory. :-)

I do have a couple questions though.

First, will you be doing any more podcasts on IOS 15? I've loved the stuff you've done so far, such as quick settings, and sounds, etc. But, I'm wondering if you'll be doing more podcasts on some of the other features/changes in IOS 15, like the new multi-tasking stuff, and the widgets, and app library coming to Ipad. Especially because from what I've heard, these 2 work a little differently on the Ipad than they do on the Iphone.

I also have a question about that as well.

I know you did podcasts on widgets on homescreen, and app library when they came out for the phone in IOS 14. My question is, are those podcasts revelant for IOS 15 as well?

I'd be doing this on an Ipad, and, Ipads couldn't take advantage of these features last year. That's why I'm asking. Also, do these features require an A-12 chip to work? Because, I'm on an Ipad 7 Gen. so, I'm not sure if it will be able to work with these 2 features. I hope it can work with the widgets at least. Because, I have been looking forward to testing out the Weather Gods widgets on my homescreen.

Again, thanks for testing the software and putting up with bugs so don't we don't have to, as well as for you, and the rest of the AppleVis's team's coverage of IOS 15, and all past versions of Apple software.

I have to say. While I'm holding out mainly because of the bugs that AppleVis reported, as well as what others are saying about new bugs, and confirming reports. I'm becoming more and more temted to pull the trigger on updating. Here's to hoping they come out with a new installment of IOS 15 soon, that will hopefully have some bug fixes. But, for now, at least, I'm relieved to know that IOS 14 will get security fixes for a while, so, I won't have to sacrifice security for stability.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, September 24, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hey, thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, I no longer own an iPad. So the question will I be covering the new iPad OS 15 features for the iPad is a no for now. However, I am still planning on releasing more iOS 15 features on the iOS. :)


Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Saturday, September 25, 2021

In reply to by AnonyMouse

OK. You’re welcome! You guys deserve it! :-) I look forward to hearing more iOS 15 related stuff. :-)