It's a few months before we'll see iOS 15 out in the wild or get confirmation of new features. Even so, we can take a pretty good guess on when it will be available and which devices will support it. Indeed, rumors and purported leaks are already starting to appear.
In this article, we'll keep you up to date on the latest news about iOS 15 and, more importantly, new features and improvements related to Siri.
We're also going to discuss what we'd like to see in the next update.
When will iOS 15 be announced?
Based on their track record, we can expect to see iOS 15 and iPad OS 15 first appear at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. That is when they usually reveal the latest version and release the beta to developers for testing.
A free public beta will arrive a few weeks later, allowing us to test out new features - if we want to take the risk of using incomplete software with unpredictable bugs.
To try out a beta version of iOS, you need to sign up for Apple's Beta Software Program. We strongly recommended not testing out a beta version on a primary device, though.
When will iOS 15 be released?
Apple usually launches their new iOS version alongside their latest iPhone. Historically, this happens in September. The pandemic is likely to cause some delays in 2021, as it did in 2020. So it may be October before we see the new operating system.
As soon as we know anything definite, we will be updating this article. So check back for further details.
The only believable leak right now is that the update will only be available for the iPhone 7 and later. Owners of the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and original iPhone SE will need to upgrade their handset if they want to use iOS 15.
It's not an entirely unexpected move. Apple is pretty good at supporting old devices for several years. Their usual pattern is to drop a generation of handsets each time they release a new operating system.
It might seem unfair to iPhone 6s users who are still happy with their fully functioning device. Still, the reality is the newer operating systems tend to need more up-to-date hardware to run at their best, such as more powerful processors, better cameras, changes to GPS, cellular connectivity, etc.
Which devices will iOS 15 support?
As we said, iOS 15 will likely support the iPhone 7 and above. iPad support is harder to predict. The complete list is:
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone SE 2020
- iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 models
What we'd like to see in iOS 15
Siri Shortcuts improvements
Apple has slightly improved the usability of the Shortcuts app since its launch. However, it can still be a somewhat impenetrable feature to the average user. Choosing the right actions can take a bit of trial and error, and some of the definitions within the actions can seem a little obscure.
To make Shortcuts an easily accessible app to everyone, it needs to be simplified. Of course, this shouldn't mean it loses any of its functionality for power users; just make the point of entry more user-friendly.
Add more iPhone Camera commands
When taking photos or shooting video, Siri doesn't offer much more than opening the Camera app. It can't take the picture, and the user is still required to press the capture button.
There are other shortcomings, such as the inability of Siri to trigger the flash, set a timer, zoom, and change video quality.
There are workarounds using other apps like Shortcuts, but they are unnecessary work to enable features that should exist by default.
Add more languages to Translate
The Translate app in iOS 14 was a huge step forward. However, Siri translate is still lacking compared to rivals when it comes to the number of languages offered. Google can translate using over 100 languages, whereas Siri still only provides 11.
Improve Siri knowledge
Siri knowledge has improved dramatically with each operating system update. However, there are still a few refinements that could be made.
For example, if you ask Siri a question on the HomePod or Apple Watch and Siri can't get the answer from Wolfram Alpha or other datasets, you are prompted to check out a list of web results that can be sent to your iPhone.
It's pretty inelegant and can be inconvenient if your iPhone is in another room. It would be more helpful if Siri could interpret web results and give you a 'best guess' answer first.
Even better would be less reliance on web results, to begin with.
Broaden the choice of default apps
iOS 14 gave users the ability to choose their own default third-party apps for email and web browsing.
We'd like to see this feature expanded further to include user options for music, calendars, and notes, to name a few.
The ability to delete dictated text with Siri
The question we are asked the most often is "How do you delete text using Siri dictation?".
The simple answer is, you can't. Not without enabling additional accessibility options on your iPhone.
Text deletion using Siri dictation is possible if Voice Control is activated. However, we feel this is a sledgehammer approach to something that should be supported as standard with Siri.
Enable FaceID for mask wearing
COVID-19 is likely to be around for a while yet, with social distancing measures and indoor mask-wearing in place for the foreseeable future.
There have been rumors of Apple coming up with a solution to FaceID not working when a mask is being worn, so we hope there is some update that allows this.
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