Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

These 12 new iOS 15 features will make your iPhone so much better

Published Jun 22nd, 2021 8:48AM EDT
iPhone Tips
Image: Arik/Adobe

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Apple earlier this month officially unveiled iOS 15, the next-gen iteration of its mobile operating system for the iPhone. And if you happened to miss the keynote, or even if you simply got overwhelmed by a whirlwind event that saw Apple engineers run through a seemingly endless number of new features for two hours straight, we’ve got you covered.

Even though iOS 15 may lack a singular killer feature, I think it’s fair to say iOS 15 is nonetheless an exciting and compelling upgrade. And now that developers have had a chance to play around with iOS 15 for a bit, additional iOS 15 features that Apple didn’t get a chance to mention during its keynote address are emerging every single day. In light of that, we’ve put together a list highlighting 12 specific iOS 15 features that will make the iPhone user experience that much better.

SharePlay – SharePlay is an intriguing new feature that will let iOS users enjoy media content together. So, for example, you’ll be able to listen to music or watch TV shows and movies while on a FaceTime call with friends.

Share your screen – iOS 15 will finally allow iPhone users to share their screens. While this will have a myriad of uses, it will undoubtedly make tech support with relatives so much easier and far less frustrating.

Better text selection – At last! The magnification loupe for text selection on iOS worked perfectly for years before Apple decided to replace it. But thankfully, the magnification loupe will be making its grand return with iOS 15.

Find lost devices even when turned off – This is a clever one. Thanks to the ‘Find My network’, iPhone users will be able to locate missing or lost devices even when their device happens to be turned off. This should be incredibly beneficial, especially in instances when a thief powers off a device to prevent it from being tracked.

Focus – Apple’s new Focus feature gives users more granularity when deciding which notifications should be temporarily ignored. With Focus, users can set up different Focus modes. For example, you could have a Work mode that automatically ignores updates from Facebook or Twitter. Or you could have a Personal mode that ignores any incoming notifications from work colleagues. One of the cooler aspects of Focus is that you can set it up such that only pertinent applications are visible. So if you have Work mode enabled, for example, you won’t even see those tempting gaming or entertainment apps lurking on your home screen.

Easier access to Spotlight – With iOS 15, you can access Spotlight without having to unlock your phone first. You can now bring up Spotlight search directly from the lock screen or the Notification Center.

Increase iCloud storage temporarily when backing up your device – With iOS 15, iCloud Backup should be a lot more seamless. For the first time, new iPhone owners will be able to temporarily take advantage of as much iCloud storage as they need (for a temporary backup) when setting up their device. The unlimited iCloud storage is provided free of charge and will remain intact for three weeks.

Easier to find links and photos sent via Messages – The Messages app for iOS 15 now has a “Shared with You” section that essentially compiles any type of media file someone has sent you via text. For instance, if someone sent you a meme a few months ago but you can’t remember who, you can simply peruse the “Shared with You” section and find it with ease.

FaceTime Voice Isolation – Given how quickly Zoom rose to popularity during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that Apple with iOS 15 really solidified FaceTime’s feature set. One of the more exciting new FaceTime features is something Apple calls Voice Isolation, a technology that isolates a user’s voice (which it gets better at via machine learning) and simultaneously blocks out surrounding ambient noise.

Portrait mode for FaceTime calls – The bokeh effect from Portrait mode is finally coming to video.

Better 5G performance – Though not mentioned during the keynote, Apple writes that iOS 15 delivers enhanced 5G connectivity which will enable faster streaming, more efficient iCloud backups and restores, and more.

Use your iPhone as a key – iOS 15 will enable users to use their iPhone to unlock their home, their garage, or even their hotel rooms.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

More Tech