Welcome to iOS 15: The Notable New and Hidden Features

Get the most out of the latest upgrade



To usher in a new era, introducing the iPhone 13, iPad mini 6 and the ninth-gen iPad just to start, Apple has unveiled its newest software update: iOS 15. Now available for download, Apple users are getting to unlock and experience the features that make this upgrade notable: from the standard bug fixes and improved security to add-ons that prioritize balance alongside productivity.


Some new additions are more prominent, easier to come across than others. With that, we’re rounding up the best that iOS 15 has to offer including hidden features that you might not yet know about. Scroll through for the handy features you’re likely to get the most out of.



One of the Stars of the Show: Focus

Consider this an acknowledgment of users being wired now more than ever, but experiencing health and wellness setbacks. Apple has put some measures in place to make sure people can draw boundaries for themselves, get some time back, strike a balance between life online and offline, and even get a good night’s rest.


Over on the Focus feature in your Settings, options like Do Not Disturb, Sleep, Personal and Work are available, and you can even add custom Focus modes (worth customizing: Reading Time, Meditation, and the like). Setting these up lets you silence notifications, allow only important people and apps to send you alerts during this period, and share your do not disturb status with other users.


Another thing on the horizon for Apple as it hopes to become a kind of resource amid this period of languishing: features that can detect depression and anxiety.


A More Dynamic iMessage

Knowing full well people have become more reliant on texts, calls and video chats, Apple has upped the ante with its flagship messaging app. Photo sharing is just one of the things made more enjoyable here, where sharing multiple photos now appears as a collage for easier, more accessible viewing. These, along with files, articles and even playlists, are then auto-saved in a separate “Shared with you” folder, so keeping your received media organized just got a lot easier, too.


Doing More with FaceTime 

Giving popular video conference apps like Zoom a run for their money, Apple has upgraded its video call app FaceTime in a big way. For one, it has improved audio, overall, so the voices of those on the call mimic their actual spatial orientation. Enhancing the video call experience, FaceTime also allows you to see all participants on the call via a grid view option. Scheduling calls is made possible, too. And finally, the biggest move yet: the once-Apple-exclusive app will soon be available to Android and Windows users as well.


For Safety, Set A Recovery Contact

For any number of emergencies like loss of your device or getting locked out of it at a crucial time, setting a recovery contact should come in handy. Having this backup contact allows you to still access your data via a recovery key your selected point person can generate for you, and setting it up is easy. Go to Settings, tap on your Apple ID, head to Password & Security, then select Account Recovery. Finally, add your desired recovery contact. To note, this comes with a few restrictions: said contact must be over 13 years of age and must also be using a device running on iOS 15.


Clean Up Your Notifications

Though not every ping, buzz or nudge is urgent, notifications continue on calling our attention even while winding down, in the middle of a work session, or in the middle of sleep. To further encourage healthy boundaries (and definitely a healthier relationship between us and our gadgets), Apple now comes with a notification summary to cut through the distraction and noise. You get to personalize when your notifications from a certain window of time can be collated and parked for your review at a glance later on. 


Need more content that’s good for your mental, emotional and physical health? This is not a trend, but a lifestyle shift. Here’s why you should follow Self-Space, the social space for self-care on Instagram.



Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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