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iOS/iPadOS 15 Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 259
Article Title = iOS/iPadOS 15 Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 6th July 2021
Article Last Updated = 7th July 2021
Article URL =

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about Apple's iOS/iPadOS 15


  • Once you have installed/upgraded to iOS/iPadOS 15 you cannot go back. You cannot downgrade to an earlier version of iOS such as backing down to iOS 14. Be sure to read our FAQ and check compatibility of important software apps/hardware accessories before upgrading!
  • If your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch is critical to your life in some way, e.g. for work, it's probably best to check that the apps that are critical to you have been updated/are compatible with iOS/iPadOS 15 before you upgrade
  • iOS/iPadOS 15 no longer trusts TLS certificates signed with the SHA-1 hash algorithm
  • iOS/iPadOS 15 authenticates USB cables so if you are using a non-Apple cable it's best to use the original Apple cable for upgrading and syncing and don't have a third-party USB hub in-between your iOS/iPadOS device and the computer!
  • iOS/iPadOS 13 and later have an upgraded version of the Reminders app - when using Reminders - if you choose to upgrade to the new format, Reminders will only synchronise with iOS 13 or later | macOS 10.15 or later
  • iOS 10 and later has a newer Notes format - if you choose to upgrade to the new format, Notes will only synchronise with iOS 9 or later | OS X 10.10.5 or later
  • iOS/iPadOS 15 and later Notes have the option of tagging and mentions - if you use either of these new features, Notes including them will be hidden on devices not running iOS 14.5 or later | macOS 11.3 or later
  • To sync to a Mac computer or upgrade via a USB connection, iOS/iPadOS 15 requires one of the following:

Quick Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will iOS/iPadOS 15 be released?
A. iOS/iPadOS 15 was officially announced at Apple's WWDC online virtual event on 7th June 2021. The first Developer Preview was made available on 7th June 2021. The first Public Beta was made available on 30th June 2021. The consumer edition of iOS/iPadOS 15 will be available in the autumn of 2021 probably in September or October.
Q. How much does iOS/iPadOS 15 cost?
A. It will be free, as in, a free download via the internet at ~2.5GB to ~5GB in size depending on your model of iPhone/iPad/iPod and whether you upgrade via iTunes/macOS Finder or over-the-air (OTA).
Q. What do I need to run/upgrade to iOS 15?
A. The following iOS devices are compatible with iOS 15 : All other iPhones and iPod touches including the iPhone 5s, 6/6+ and the iPod touch 6th generation are not supported.
The following iOS devices originally came supplied with iOS 15.x:
Q. What new features does iOS 15 have?
A. See Apple's official iOS 15 preview web page. MacStrategy's recommended features to note are:
  • iOS Upgrade Delay - software update now offers a choice between two software update versions in the Settings app: You can update to the latest version of iOS 15 as soon as it's released for the latest features and most complete set of security updates or continue on iOS 14 and still get important security updates until you're ready to upgrade to the next major version. This is Apple officially admitting for the first time that they will continue to support an older iOS with security updates for a while after launching a new iOS version, and you can control the update!
  • Live Text from images - automatic text recognition with images + searchable via Spotlight.
  • Wallet expanded key support (home/hotel/office) + identity cards
  • System-wide translation
  • Health - share data and notifications securely with others e.g., family members.
  • Health - Walking Steadiness: first-of-its-kind health metric that can give you insight into your risk of falling.
  • Siri - offline (without an internet connection) support for many types of requests including Timers & Alarms, Phone, Messaging, Sharing, App Launch, Control Audio Playback, and Settings.
  • Apple ID - Account Recovery Contacts: Choose one or more people you trust to become an Account Recovery Contact to help you reset your password and regain access to your account.
  • Apple ID - Digital Legacy program: The Digital Legacy program allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your account and personal information in the event of your death.
  • Find My - Live locations for family and friends: See your family and friends' locations with continuous streaming updates. This provides an immediate sense of direction, speed, and progress when viewing people's locations.
  • Find My - Locate when powered off / erased
  • Find My - Separation alerts: Enable separation alerts, and if you leave a device, AirTag, or compatible third-party item behind, your iPhone will alert you with notifications and Find My will give you directions to your item.
  • Dictation - on-device dictation for new languages including Uk English, French, German, and Italian + continuous dictation (previously limited to 60 seconds).
  • Temporary iCloud storage to transfer your data - Now when you buy a new device you can use iCloud Backup to move your data to your new device, even if you’re low on storage. iCloud will grant you as much storage as you need to complete a temporary backup, free of charge, for up to three weeks. This allows you to get all your apps, data, and settings onto your device automatically.
  • FaceTime enhancements:
    • Spatial audio
    • Voice isolation mode
    • Wide spectrum mode
    • Group FaceTime grid view
    • Portrait mode (background blur)
    • FaceTime links - invite your friends into a FaceTime call using a web link you can share anywhere including calendar integration
    • Join FaceTime on the web - invite anyone to join you in a FaceTime call, even friends who don't have an Apple device via a web browser (Chrome or Edge), including Windows and Android users
    • Mute alerts - lets you know when you're talking while muted
    • SharePlay - share Music/Apple TV/screen across Apple devices (limited to certain Apple/3rd party apps but does finally allow sharing of iOS/iPadOS screens for remote support viewing)
  • Focus mode:
    • Focus for work/personal/sleep/custom setup + automatically sets across all compatible Apple devices
    • Focus setup suggestions + contextual suggestions
    • Special Home Screen pages with Focus
    • Allowed interruptions + urgent messages
    • Status messages + auto-reply
  • Messages - easily save photos via a new button right in the Messages conversation
  • iCloud+ including iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, HomeKit Secure Video, Custom email domain
  • Notes - new Tags and Mentions (iOS 14.5 or later | macOS 11.3 or later required to view Notes using either new feature)
  • Enhanced Accessibility - including Accessibility settings on a per app basis
  • Enhanced Maps - new City experience now available for London, United Kingdom + new Maps now available in United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy
  • Enhanced Notes
  • Enhanced Find My
  • Enhanced Photos
  • Enhanced Safari
  • Enhanced Health
  • Enhanced Siri
  • Enhanced Privacy
  • Enhanced Spotlight
  • Enhanced Weather
  • Enhanced Memoji
  • Enhanced Notifications
Q. What special new features are supported by which iPhone/iPod touch model?
A. See the table below:
Table 1:'s iOS 15 new feature hardware compatibility chart
Feature iPhone SE 1st Gen iPhone 6s/6s+ iPhone 7/7+ iPhone 8/8+ iPhone X iPhone Xʀ iPhone Xs (Max) iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro (Max) iPhone SE 2nd Gen iPhone 12 (mini) iPhone 12 Pro (Max) iPod touch 7th Gen
Spatial Audio / Portrait Mode ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
Live Text ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
Maps - new City experience ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
Wallet - Keys ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
Walking Steadiness ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
Siri - offline features ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
On-device dictation ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
Continuous dictation ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
AirPlay to Mac† ✖︎︎✖︎︎︎︎︎✔︎✔︎✖︎︎
† - Older iPhone models may share content at a lower resolution to supported Mac models when "Allow AirPlay for" is set to "Everyone" or "Anyone on the same network" in Sharing preferences.
Q. What do I need to run/upgrade to iPadOS 15?
A. The following iPads are compatible with iPadOS 15: All other iPads including the original iPad Air and iPad minis 2 + 3 are not supported.
The following iOS devices originally came supplied with iPadOS 15.x:
Q. What new additional features does iPadOS 15 have?
A. See Apple's official iPadOS 15 preview web page. Here is MacStrategy's recommended iPadOS unique features to note:
  • Enhanced Notes including Quick Notes
  • Translate
  • Multitasking:
    • Multitasking menu
    • Access to all apps
    • Open a window in the center
    • Shelf
    • Improved App Switcher
  • External Keyboard:
    • Redesigned keyboard shortcuts bar
    • All-new keyboard shortcuts view
    • More keyboard shortcuts
    • Full keyboard navigation
  • Widgets:
    • Place widgets on the Home Screen
    • Rotate widgets
    • Find My widget
    • Contacts widget
    • Game Center widgets
    • App Store widget
    • Mail widget
    • Default widgets
    • Intelligent widget suggestions
    • Reorder Smart Stacks
  • App Library:
    • The App Library is now on iPad
    • Dock access
    • Reorder Home Screen pages
    • Hide Home Screen pages
  • Universal Control:
    • Use your keyboard, mouse, and trackpad across Mac and iPad
    • No setup required
    • Optional continuous setup
    • Support for multiple devices - Universal Control works with up to three devices
    • Drag and drop content between devices
    NOTE: Universal Control compatible devices must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID using two-factor authentication. To use wirelessly, both devices must have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on and must be within 10 meters (30 feet) of each other. iPad and Mac must not be sharing a cellular and internet connection.
  • Translate app and features now on iPad
  • Quick Notes
NOTE: iPadOS 15 does not include the following new iOS 15 features:
  • Wallet / Keys / Identity Cards (as the Wallet app is not available in iPadOS)
  • Health / Sharing Data / Walking Steadiness (as the Health app is not available in iPadOS)
Q. What special new features are supported by which iPad model?
A. See the table below:
Table 2:'s iPadOS 15 new feature hardware compatibility chart
Feature iPad 5th Gen iPad 6th Gen iPad 7th Gen iPad 8th Gen iPad Air 2 iPad Air 3 iPad Air 4 iPad mini 4 iPad mini 5 iPad Pro iPad Pro 2nd Gen iPad Pro 3rd Gen iPad Pro 4th Gen iPad Pro 5th Gen
Spatial Audio / Portrait Mode ✖︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
Live Text ✖︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
Maps - new City experience ✖︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
Siri - offline features ✖︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
On-device dictation ✖︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
Continuous dictation ✖︎︎✖︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
Universal Control ✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✔︎︎
AirPlay to Mac ✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎✔︎︎︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎︎✖︎︎︎✔︎︎
† - Older iPad models may share content at a lower resolution to supported Mac models when "Allow AirPlay for" is set to "Everyone" or "Anyone on the same network" in Sharing preferences.
Q. How much does the iCloud+ features cost?
A. There is no additional charge for the iCloud+ features as long as you have a paid for iCloud account i.e., not the free 5GB service.
Q. How do I set "separation alerts" in the Find My app?
A. Go to Find My app > tap the "Devices" or "Items" button at the bottom > switch "Notify When Left Behind" to ON > set optional locations that are exempt from these notifications (tap "New Location" under NOTIFY ME, EXCEPT AT: for each location you want to exempt) > tap Done (top right). Obviously, you need to be carrying your iPhone for this to work - if you forget your iPhone you are out of luck.
Q. Can I set a "separation alert" on my Apple Watch to check whether I leave my iPhone behind?
A. No. (But hopefully Apple is working on this feature!)
Q. What are the standard Apple iOS/iPadOS apps?
A. Below is a list of standard Apple provided apps included with iOS/iPadOS 14 that can now be removed hidden (not all apps are installed on older devices):
  • App Store
  • Books
  • Calculator (not included with iPadOS)
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Clock
  • Compass (not included with iPadOS)
  • Contacts†
  • FaceTime
  • Files
  • Find My (iPhone/iPad/iPod/Mac/Friends/AirTags)
  • Health (not included with iPadOS)
  • Home
  • iTunes Store
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Measure
  • Messages
  • Music††
  • News
  • Notes
  • Phone (not included with iPadOS)
  • Photo Booth
  • Photos
  • Podcasts
  • Reminders
  • Safari
  • Settings
  • Shortcuts
  • Siri
  • Stocks
  • Tips
  • Translate
  • TV
  • Voice Memos
  • Wallet (not included with iPadOS)
  • Watch††† (not included with iPadOS)
  • Weather (not included with iPadOS)
NOTE: Apps can only be re-downloaded unhidden or "updated" via your iOS device - you cannot use iTunes. This is because apps are not actually deleted from your device (only user data and necessary hooks are removed). The signed, secure version of the app remains on your device, just hidden. "Re-downloading" an app doesn't actually involve a download and instead simply "unhides" the app on your device.
† - You can remove hide the Contacts app from an iPhone only. If you remove hide Contacts, you won't lose your contact information. You can still find all of that information in the Phone app.
†† - If you remove hide the Music app, it won’t be available to use with CarPlay.
††† - If you try to remove hide the Watch app from an iPhone that's paired with an Apple Watch, an alert asks you to unpair your Apple Watch before you can remove the app.
Q. How do I remove hide the standard Apple iOS/iPadOS apps?
A. Locate the icon for the app you want to remove. Tap and hold until it jiggles and an x appears in the top left. Tap the x. Confirm you want to remove the app.
Q. How do I get a standard Apple iOS/iPadOS app back that I have removed hidden?
A. Go to the App Store on the device where it has been removed hidden. Search for the app you want in the App Store. Locate it and tap the cloud icon to reinstall/unhide it (it is not actually downloaded, it is simply unhidden).
Q. What features are available in my country?
A. Based on Apple's feature vs country availability list the following features are available in the United Kingdom:
  • News [iOS 9.1 or later required]
  • Apple Music [iOS 8.4 or later required]
  • Beats Radio [iOS 8.4 or later required]
  • Apple Pay [iOS 8.1 or later required]
  • Maps [iOS 6 or later required]
  • Maps > Standard
  • Maps > Satellite
  • Maps > Directions
  • Maps > Turn-by-Turn Navigation
  • Maps > Speed Limits
  • Maps > Flyover
    • Belfast
    • Birmingham
    • Blackpool
    • Edinburgh
    • Glasgow
    • Kingston upon Hull
    • Leeds
    • Liverpool
    • London
    • Manchester
    • Middlesbrough
    • Newcastle upon Tyne
    • Nottingham
    • Stoke-on-Trent
    • Stonehenge
  • Maps > Public Transport Transit Routes
    • Birmingham
    • Bristol
    • Cardiff
    • Glasgow
    • Leeds-Bradford
    • Liverpool
    • London
    • Manchester
    • Newcastle
    • Sheffield
  • Maps > 3D Buildings in Navigation
    • Birmingham
    • London
    • Manchester
  • Maps > Traffic
  • Maps > Business Reviews and Photos
  • Maps > Transit - Great Britain
  • Maps > Nearby
  • Maps > Indoor maps including airports [iOS 11 or later required]
    • London LHR
  • Siri [iOS 6 or later required]
  • Siri > Sports
  • Siri > Twitter integration
  • Siri > Facebook integration
  • Siri > Restaurant Information
  • Siri > Restaurant Reviews
  • Siri > Movie Information
  • Siri > Movie Reviews
  • Siri > Movie Showtimes
  • Siri > Dictionary
  • Siri > Calculations and Conversions
  • QuickType [iOS 8.1 or later required]
  • QuickType Keyboard > Language Support - English UK
  • QuickType Keyboard > Predictive Input - English UK
  • QuickType Keyboard > Dictation - English UK
  • QuickType Keyboard > Multilingual Typing - English UK
  • QuickType Keyboard > Contextual Predictions - English UK
  • QuickType Keyboard > Emoji Predictions - English UK
  • Spotlight Suggestions [iOS 8.1 or later required]
  • Apple CarPlay [iOS 7.1 or later required]
  • iTunes Store > music, movies and TV)
  • App Store > apps and games
Features specifically not available in the United Kingdom:
  • Maps > Lane Guidance
  • Siri > Restaurant Reservations
Q. Which countries are/are not using the Apple/Google decentralised Exposure Notification API?
A. Each country needs to create an application that uses the Exposure Notification API. Here's a confirmed list of countries (we'll update this list as and when we get more information):

Using the API: NOT using the API:
  • France
  • United Kingdom - albeit on 18th June 2020 it was now being reported that they might go with the Apple/Google API after all!

Article Keywords: iPod iPad iPadair Air iPadmini mini iPadPro Pro iPhone Max iTunes v15iOS iOS15 iOS 15 v15iPadOS iPadOS15 iPadOS 15

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