With WWDC 2021 dates confirmed and iOS 15 rumors picking up, we can start to answer questions about the iOS 15 release for iPhone.
Apple’s still hard at work on iOS 14 as we push deeper into the spring. The company recently released an iOS 14.5.1 update and it’s also working on a new iOS 14.6 update which should be out before the end of the month.
Work on iOS 14 will eventually slow down and Apple will shift its attention to the next version of iOS, presumably called iOS 15.
We don’t have a ton of details yet, but rumors are starting to peel back the onion. With that in mind, we want to outline some of the basics for iPhone owners interested in the next version of iOS.
Our walkthrough will take you through what you need to know about the iOS 15 beta, the iOS 15 release date, devices that may or may not get iOS 15, and rumored iOS 15 features.
iOS 15 Launch Date
In early June, Apple will host WWDC 2021 where it will outline the changes it’s making to iOS.
This year’s event, like last year’s, will feature an online format due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. WWDC 2021 kicks off on June 7th and stretches until June 11th.
Apple will open the event with a keynote on June 7th and that’s where the company will outline iOS 15 and software updates for iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.
The company’s keynote presentation will start at 10AM Pacific.
iOS 15 Beta
Apple will likely confirm an iOS 15 beta during the keynote.
Apple’s beta programs will give developers, and anyone willing to try pre-release software, a chance to test out iOS 15’s new features ahead of the official release. The iOS 15 beta will also help the company weed out bugs and performance issues in advance.
We expect the iOS 15 beta to start sometime after the conclusion of the keynote on June 7th, probably around 1PM Pacific.
Those with a developer account should get access to the iOS 15 beta shortly after the keynote, but those enrolled in the company’s Beta Software Program might have to wait until late June or July for the software to arrive.
Trying the iOS 15 beta on your iPhone might be tempting, but if you depend on your device to get you through the day, you’ll probably want to avoid it.
iOS 15 Release Date
The iOS 15 beta should stretch over several months culminating with an official release sometime in the fall after another event.
Apple won’t confirm specific iOS 15 release date on stage during WWDC 2021, but odds are good it launches in the fall shortly before the company releases its flagship iPhone 13 models.
While the iPhone 12 launch was pushed into October due to the pandemic, we’re hearing the iPhone 13 launch will take place in September.
iOS 15 will likely make another appearance on stage during the iPhone 13 launch event, this time in official form, and Apple should provide the official release date.
iOS release dates typically fall between the launch event and the new iPhone’s release date. iPhone release dates almost always land on Friday.
New iPhones always run new iOS software out of the box which means the 2021 models will run iOS 15 when they arrive on doorsteps and shelves this fall.
Will My Device Get iOS 15?
Last year, Apple bumped all iOS 13-powered devices to iOS 14. That may not be the case with iOS 14 and iOS 15.
According to The Verifier, a site with a mixed track record, Apple won’t bring iOS 15 to the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus. A second report, from French site iPhoneSoft, backs up these claims.
Nothing is confirmed, and won’t be until Apple hosts WWDC 2021, but it’s something to keep an eye on if you own one of these devices.
It’s worth noting that Apple still releases new versions of iOS 12 with under-the-hood improvements. So while the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus don’t get new features, they do get occasional bug fixes and security patches.
If Apple does keep the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus on iOS 14, there’s a chance they get the same kind of support.
Assuming Apple decides to drop these devices, here are the devices that would get bumped up to iOS 15:
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone SE 2
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
We’ll let you know when we learn more.
iOS 15 Features
We haven’t heard a whole lot about iOS 15 yet, but one report has outlined some of the potential features coming to iPhone and iPad.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reliable source, Apple is working on a new home screen for iPad, new notification preferences, a new lock screen, and additional privacy protections.
We’ll continue to update this post with new information as it arrives. We expect to hear a lot more about Apple’s plans for iOS 15 in the weeks ahead.
Install iOS 14.5.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.5.1 right away.
iOS 14.5.1 has two security patches on board and you can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.5.1. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.5.1. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.5.1 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.5.1 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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