iOS 15 beta 2 features and changes: what’s new?

The news: Just over two weeks following the release of iOS 15 beta 1 at WWDC, Apple has issued the second beta update to developers for testing, alongside second betas for macOS, watchOS and tvOS, too.

Here’s what’s new!

  • Quick Note on iPadOS 15 now works by swiping your finger up from the bottom right hand corner of the display
  • Weather app welcome screen (via 9to5Mac)
  • Memoji outfits are now live
  • New Maps icon
  • SharePlay for FaceTime is now enabled
  • Thumbnail for specific Focus mode home screens

Download the official iOS and iPadOS 15 wallpapers here

The fun: Apple included two new beautiful wallpapers inside of iOS and iPadOS 15 that are now available for download.

  • On iPhone, there are light and dark mode images filled with colorful flobs (that I wish animated)
  • And on the iPad are the same wallpapers, but filled with rearranged content and optimized for the bigger displays

iOS 15 wallpapers

iPadOS 15 wallpapers

iOS 15 introduces major FaceTime, Messages and notification updates

Here’s what’s new:

  • FaceTime: Spatial audio, voice isolation and wide spectrum audio, video capture and Portrait Mode, plus the ability to schedule calls
    • SharePlay: Listen to Music, movies and tv shows, and share your screen
  • Messages: significant UI updates, pin Messages, new photo collages and stacks, and Shared For You iOS integration
  • Notifications: new summary view, updated UI design, & Focus, a new status updating feature that changes notifications
  • Photos: searchable text and new intelligent memories with memory mixes
  • Wallet: UWB with broader key support & ID cards
  • Weather: new design with more weather insights plus radar
  • Maps: new globe view, improved 3D views with more map detail, beautiful nighttime view and upgraded transit with favorite lines

iOS 15 Lock Screen redesign delayed, new status feature and more leaked

The rumor: Less than 2 days ahead of WWDC 2021, Mark Gurman (88.7% accurate, via Bloomberg) has shared a final report about what to expect at Apple’s June 7 event.

  • “One major new addition will be a control panel that provides in-depth detail on what data are being collected by each third-party app installed on a user’s device” Gurman says
  • You’ll now be able to set a status ranging form “driving, sleeping, working or don’t want to be disturbed” and notifications will be delivered differently depending on the setting
    • Incoming notification banners are also said to get a fresh design
  • On iPadOS, widgets will be movable and pinnable anywhere on the Home Screen and an improved multitasking interface is also coming
  • There was also supposed to be a redesigned Lock Screen this year, but some of those changes have been apparently been delayed

Our take: An amazingly scant report from Gurman, who has historically shared almost all the major details for new iOS updates ahead of their unveil at WWDC. With no redesigned Lock Screen, will we see any major iOS changes this year? I think we will: I have a feeling a ton of changes haven’t leaked…

iOS 15 may include ‘big’ updates to Safari, Health, Maps and iMessage

The rumor: Apple is planning big updates to a number of key apps on iOS, according to Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal (77.4% accurate).

Our take: Apple has been hinting extensively at upgrades to the Messages app, but we hadn’t previously heard about improvements coming to Safari or Maps. We’ll find out how big iOS 15 really is in just three days.

New iOS 15 rumor says upgraded dark mode, Messages improvements & food tracking coming

The rumor: Apple may be introducing an improved dark mode, an upgraded Messages app and more with iOS 15, according to an unverified source who shared the info with MakeUseOf’s Connor Jewiss.

Here is what’s reportedly coming:

  • UI tweaks for Dark Mode
  • Upgrade Messages app (no details here)
  • Food tracking alongside other additional features in the Health app
  • “New notification settings and look” on the Lock Screen (previously reported by Mark Gurman)

Our take: I’m always skeptical of unverified rumors like this…but all of this sounds super reasonable. Excited to see the UI tweaks shipping with iOS 15!

Apple may have given us our first look at iOS 15

The news: Included in the press release for some major accessibility updates are some never-before-seen iPhone UI tweaks (via 9to5Mac).

  • Settings cells no longer go edge-to-edge and are now inset, similar to their appearance on iPadOS
  • The navigation bar and background are also merged in the screenshots for a more unified UI

Our take: While none of this is certain, I’d say these UI changes are safe bet. I can’t wait to see more of iOS 15, and the fact that Apple announced all of this early suggests it will be a packed WWDC.

iOS 15: New Home Screen on iPad, revamped notifications, iMessage upgrades & more

The rumors: Apple is preparing a number of significant upgrades for iOS 15, according to Mark Gurman (88.7% accurate).

Here’s what will likely be included in the update, per the latest report from Bloomberg:

  • Upgraded notifications: Choose whether or not your device makes a sound on receipt using new categories like “driving, working, sleeping or custom categories.”
  • New Lock Screen: Little details are provided, but you’ll apparently be able to access the new notifications options here and in Control Center
  • Better automatic replies for messages: This option will be available everywhere now, rather than just while driving
  • iMessage may gain more social features, but these could be delayed
  • A new Home Screen on iPad: “The most significant update to the device’s Home Screen since first launching the product in 2010,” widgets will be placable anywhere, and you’ll even be able to replace the standard app grid with an all-widget look
  • More privacy features, too: See which apps are silently collecting data from you

Our take: Sounds like a smaller upgrade than iOS 14, but still some big changes coming. I’m so excited to see the new Lock Screen because I’ve gotten quite bored of the current design that was unveiled with iOS 7. The new Home Screen on iPad sounds great too…I just hope it’s enough to make it feel more like a serious computing device. Gurman also mentions Apple’s plans for iMessage to become more like a social network in the future: I’ve never thought about it this way, but it’s probably the app that I do use the most.

iOS 15 may included redesigned Control Center, support for dual authentication

The rumors: Apple is preparing to revamp Control Center and more in iOS 15, according to McGuire Wood (accuracy pending).

  • A redesigned Control Center may launch at some point later in the beta cycle, and it reportedly “takes inspirations” from macOS Big Sur
  • A dual-authentication API may also be in the works for developers…for a 2021 iPhone model that is rumored to support both Touch ID and Face ID

Our take: A Control Center design with design elements from macOS would be yet another suggestion that iOS 15 may be the most neumorphic design yet. We’ve also seen Apple tweak some developer icons on iOS to look a lot less flat. Yet Wood has not been formally tracked yet so we recommend taking this rumor with a grain of salt. The concept above from Aleksey Bondarev looks so good.

Apple references ‘iOS 15’ & ‘macOS 12’ in WebKit code

The leak: Apple has all but confirmed the naming for their major 2021 iOS and macOS software updates, according to 9to5Mac (77.2% accurate).

  • While Apple usually refers to upcoming software versions as “TBA,” an employee specifically referenced “iOS 15” and “macOS 12.00” in an open-source WebKit repository
  • Beta versions of the software updates will likely be released sometime this June at WWDC, if Apple follows what they have done historically

Our take: iOS 15! macOS 12! While Apple could call these something different when they’re released this Summer…I don’t think they will. This sounds right.

iOS 15 likely won’t support iPhone 6s, SE (2016) & 3 older iPads

The rumor: iOS 15 won’t support a number of Apple’s older devices, according to iPhone Soft (not yet rated).

  • On the chopping block for iPhone: iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE (2016)
  • And for the iPads not getting iOS 15: iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2 and iPad 5

Our take: While it was impressive that iOS 14 supported the same devices as iOS 13, there is only so much that Apple can do with old hardware. Most of these devices saw 5+ years of support, which is respectable.