On the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, a new feature is the ability to take macro photos. As noted by Input Mag's Raymond Wong, however, this new capability results in the device automatically switching from the Wide lens to the Ultra Wide lens when you place an object or a subject within 5.5 inches of the rear camera. (The viewfinder still shows "1x" framing, but the camera relies on the Ultra Wide lens for autofocus.)
The automatic camera switching is easily noticeable in the iPhone's viewfinder, as Wong demonstrated in the video below.
"The viewfinder keeps jittering as it tries to choose between a regular wide or wide-macro shot," he said. In his review, he expressed his opinion that "the framing should never change from what you compose and never automatically."
Apple initially told Wong that the automatic camera switching is intentional to help users better capture close-up details, according to his review, but the company has since issued a statement to Wong and others that says iPhone 13 Pro users will gain the option to turn off the switching in an iOS update that will be released later this fall.
"A new setting will be added in a software update this fall to turn off automatic camera switching when shooting at close distances for macro photography and video," said Apple.
Apple said the ability to turn off the automatic camera switching will apply to macro video recording as well, but as Wong noted, there is a "Lock Camera" option under Settings > Camera that appears to prevent the switching for video already.
All four iPhone 13 models will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday, September 24 in the U.S. and over 30 other countries and regions.
Now that a new family of iPhone models are launching this week, accessories for the previous generation devices are seeing notable discounts. On Amazon, you'll find Silicone, Leather, and Clear Cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 devices starting as low as $13.99.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
In total, we're tracking sales on cases for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The steepest discounts can be found on Clear Cases as well as select Silicone Cases for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 mini.
A few days before they start arriving at customers, Apple has provided select media outlets and reviewers with models of the new iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, giving us a closer look at this year's new iPhone update.
Compared to their predecessors, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini feature a smaller notch, improved cameras, longer battery life, and better performance. Here's a brief summary of some of the reviews for this year's new handset.
Thanks to the efficiency of the new A15 Bionic chip and physically larger batteries, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini featured improved battery life. The Verge's Dieter Bohn says that battery life this year is "excellent," pointing to his real-world tests.
On one day of my testing, the regular iPhone 13 made it from 7am to midnight before it tuckered out. That was with some camera testing, watching some video, the usual doomscrolling, emails, work, and some games. It was an intense set of work for the five hours of screentime that day, so that's impressive. On another day with lighter usage, I didn't see the battery warning until the following morning. But the iPhone 13's battery isn't magic. When we had a day of a lot more 4K video testing, I was looking for a charger by 7 or 8.
On the smaller iPhone 13 mini, Engadget says that while it is improved, it is "still shorter than the average smartphone." Generally speaking, CNET says that so far performance and battery life have been solid and that the iPhone 13 will be a reliable option for the majority of people.
In terms of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, it's been a good start but we have more in-depth testing to do with the batteries, durability and comparing its cameras against other phones. But right now, the iPhone 13 will be the reliable phone that most people will be more than happy to use for the next few years.
Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini feature the same camera setup, meaning performance on both devices will be the same. Both models feature a larger camera sensor allowing more light to pass through into photos, improving low-light performance. The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern says that while the improvements are welcomed, they alone are not sufficient enough to convince an iPhone 12 user to upgrade.
"Details are sharp and accurate, colors are rich without being oversaturated, focusing is fast and reliable, portrait mode is good enough to use day to day, and low light and night sight are both exceptional," says The Verge's Dieter Bohn.
Across the entire lineup of iPhone 13 models, Apple is introducing Cinematic Mode, or portrait mode for videos, and we'll have more to share on that in our upcoming hands-on videos. Results in early reviews are mixed, however, with The Verge noting that it's "nowhere near as good as Apple’s own commercials would have you believe" and particularly struggles in low-light situations.
Compared to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini feature very similar designs. Both handsets are thicker and slightly heavier to accommodate larger batteries, and they both have slightly larger camera bumps on the back. The Verge's Dieter Bohn writes, however, that the design is "still beautiful and modern," and the changes are unlikely to be noticeable in day-to-day use.
Alongside written reviews, there are a number of video hands-ons and reviews for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, which we shared in a separate article. Note that some reviews of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are conjoined with the larger iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday, September 24, and ahead of time, reviews of the devices have now been shared by several tech websites and YouTube channels.
Image Credit: The Verge
Key features across the iPhone 13 lineup include a faster A15 Bionic chip, camera improvements, longer battery life, and a smaller notch. The two Pro models also feature a ProMotion display with a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz, up to 1TB of storage, and additional camera features like Night mode portraits and ProRes video recording.
The only differences between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max relate to their respective 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes, battery life, and the weight of the devices, as the Pro and Pro Max have identical camera systems this year.
The Verge's Dieter Bohn said Apple did an "excellent job" with its implementation of a ProMotion display on iPhone 13 Pro models. While previous iPhones are limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, ProMotion enables iPhone 13 Pro models to have an adaptive refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on the type of content that is displayed on the screen, resulting in smoother appearing content while watching videos, gaming, and scrolling text.
When I scroll on the iPhone 13 Pro, the text stays readable instead of turning into a blur. Things moving on the screen are smoother. It feels more like a direct interaction with my finger because the iPhone can literally change its refresh rate to match my movement.
In my daily use, all four of the models lasted at least an hour longer than their predecessors. The Pro Max could easily go until the next day. If you want to stretch battery life further, you can turn off 5G. (Power savings aside, it's a fun experiment to see how little 5G really adds to the smartphone experience right now.)
Stern did recommend that customers consider replacing the battery in their current iPhone if they are experiencing shorter battery life, as that would certainly be a more economical option than upgrading to a brand new iPhone.
CNET's Patrick Holland was particularly impressed with the new Cinematic mode, which is available on all four iPhone 13 models.
All of the iPhones 13 get a new feature called Cinematic mode. It uses the rear cameras or the True Depth camera array to create a 1,080p video at 30fps. What makes the video compelling is that everything but your subject is out of focus. The iPhone can even execute a rack focus from one subject to another. The effect is dramatic and impressive.
Holland did note that Cinematic mode needs a good amount of light to work best. If conditions are too dark, users are notified to turn the iPhone's flash on.
As we saw in early benchmark results, the A15 Bionic chip in iPhone 13 models is around 10-15% faster compared to the A14 Bionic chip in the iPhone 12 lineup. CNET's Patrick Holland shared a chart with Geekbench 5 scores for comparison.
Apple's embargo on reviews of the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max has now lifted ahead of the devices launching on Friday, giving the first hands-on looks at the company's latest smartphones. In addition to our detailed review roundups, we have gathered together a number of unboxing videos and reviews of the new devices.
The key new features of the devices include a 20 percent smaller notch, brighter displays with ProMotion for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, longer battery life, and various camera hardware upgrades, as well as new camera software features such as Cinematic mode, Photographic Styles, and Smart HDR 4.
Scroll down for the first iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro unboxing and reviews videos from a range of prominent YouTubers.
Apple has been selling different refurbished iPhone models in the United States online since 2016. While Apple has long offered iPads and Macs in its Canadian refurbished store, this is the first time customers in the country have been able to benefit from the discounts that come with buying an Apple refurbished smartphone.
Previously, customers in Canada who wanted lower prices on iPhones had to wait for third-party deals or purchase refurbished/used devices from a third-party retailer, but with Apple's highly regarded refurbishment process now an option for iPhones too, this should come as a welcome development.
All of Apple's refurbished products, iPhone included, are tested, certified, cleaned, and guaranteed with a one-year warranty. iPhones also feature a brand new battery and a fresh outer shell, ensuring there are no scratches or other cosmetic damage.
Customers in Canada can currently choose from a variety of refurbished recent iPhone models in various finishes and capacities, including iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, with up to CAD$560 off the regular price currently on offer. With the iPhone 13 lineup about to drop into consumers' hands, expect iPhone 12 models to be included in Apple's refurbished listings soon.
Apple is reportedly researching ways to use the cameras inside of the iPhone to detect childhood autism, aiming to use data from the camera to observe a child's behavior that could be used for early diagnosis, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
According to the report, which echoes previously announced research efforts, Apple wants to be able to use the camera inside of the iPhone to track a child's face and observe different facial behaviors, such as how often they look away, as potential factors for detecting childhood autism. From the report:
Apple has a third brain-related research partnership with Duke University that it hasn't disclosed. It aims to create an algorithm to help detect childhood autism, according to the documents and people familiar with the work. The research looks at using the iPhone's camera to observe how young children focus, how often they sway back and forth, and other measures, according to the documents.
Biogen, an American biotechnology company, had previously announced it was partnering with Apple to study ways to use the iPhone and Apple Watch to notice a cognitive decline in users or potential signs of depression.
Including that and Apple's early work in childhood autism detection, the Journal says that these features may never become a user-end feature, but notes that Apple had invested in multiple heart-focused studies before releasing a host of related features on the Apple Watch.
The report notes that as part of Apple's privacy push, the company would ultimately aim to run any algorithms, including those for early detection of childhood autism, locally on a user's device, without needing to send any data collected to the cloud for processing. The report adds that research is still in the early stages, but Apple executives are enthusiastic about its potential.
The offer, only valid for new Apple Music subscribers, comes as part of a new bundle package for the AirPods and Beats line. With the purchase of either the first or second-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Beats Studio Buds, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, or Beats Solo Pro, new Apple Music customers will see a prompt in the Apple Music app for their six-month free offer.
For customers purchasing AirPods or Beats products starting today, they'll have 90 days from when they pair their new purchase to their device to take up the offer. Existing users of eligible AirPods or Beats products that are not Apple Music subscribers will have 90 days from when they update to the latest iOS and iPadOS version to redeem the offer.
Apple emphasizes that customers must be on the latest iOS and iPadOS versions to see the offer, which as of yesterday, is iOS and iPadOS 15. The new offer is a notable package from Apple, as it's not often the company has bundled the purchase of its AirPods or Beats products with its Apple Music service.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro pre-orders began last Friday at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and soon after, shipping estimates for select models began slipping to late September or early October for some models.
If you weren't prepared to get up at an early hour or you haven't got round to pre-ordering for another reason, there's still a chance to get an iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max in your hands when they launch on Friday.
In the United States and other countries that have Apple retail stores, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, many iPhone 13 models are still available for in-store pickup on Friday, September 24.
Even if a particular iPhone model isn't estimated to be delivered on launch day, it's still possible to reserve some versions for in-store pickup.
An iPhone 13 Pro in Silver with 128GB of storage, for example, is currently estimated to ship in 4-5 weeks on Apple's online store. However, the device is available for pickup on September 24 at multiple retail stores in several countries.
Once you proceed to the checkout and click the blue "Checkout" button, select "I'll pick it up," then choose a store location, pickup date, and an available 15-minute check-in window from the options.
If you will be picking up the iPhone personally, enter your phone number. If someone else will be arranging the pickup, enter his or her contact information. The person making the pickup must be carrying a valid photo ID.
Then, proceed with the checkout process as usual. Once payment has been made, wait until you receive a pickup notification email or text message by September 24 before picking up the iPhone. If you don't receive one, call the store.
Since the iPhone is paid for ahead of time, the store will hold the device in its back room until you arrive. Your order will be held for 14 days.
Of course, another option is to simply wait until Friday and walk into an Apple store, preferably right when they open. You may have to wait in line, but the queues have typically been shorter in recent years. Note that temperature checks and face masks may be required.
You can use the pickup tool on Apple's website on launch day to check if stores in your local area have stock, or call the store directly.
All in all, there are still a few days to ensure you get your new iPhone on launch day, even if you missed the pre-order rush. Just make sure to select which color, storage, and carrier combinations are still available for pick-up by September 24.
Starting with iOS 15, Apple Card owners can take advantage of a new Advanced Fraud Protection feature that is designed to keep Apple Card information more secure by changing the three-digit security code associated with the card on a regular basis.
When enabled, Advanced Fraud Protection will cause the three digit security code used for making purchases online to change every so often, which protects you if your card details are compromised by an online merchant. Apple says that the feature will not impact recurring purchases and subscriptions.
Advanced Fraud Protection is a way to keep your Apple Card information even more secure. After turning on Advanced Fraud Protection, your three-digit Apple Card security code will change periodically after it's been viewed in the Wallet app or after it's been auto-filled from Safari.
You should check your security code each time you want to make a purchase with Apple Card to be sure you're using the most up-to-date code. You can also use Advanced Fraud Protection without affecting your recurring purchases and subscriptions, such as streaming services or memberships, because these merchants use your security code to authorize payment just once when you first sign up.
Tap on the card number icon and then authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.
Scroll down to the Advanced Fraud Protection option and toggle it on.
Advanced Fraud Protection can also be turned on using an iPad by following the same steps, but through the Wallet & Apple Pay section of the Settings app. Turning it off can be done by following the first two steps and then toggling off the feature.
You can tell that the option for a rotating security toggle is turned on when the clock icon is displayed next to the three-digit security code. Those who enable the feature will need to make sure to check their security code for each online transaction to make sure the most current code is being used.
Today's iOS 15 update also makes it easier to find an Apple Card number by opening up the Wallet app and tapping on the card icon, plus there's a redesigned Apple Pay payment sheet that allows users to more easily add new cards and coupon codes.
While iOS 15 was in the beta testing phase, we here at MacRumors wrote up a series of in-depth feature guides to highlight everything that's new in the update, along with how tos to walk you through using those features.
This is a comprehensive guide with all of our coverage, and it's a great resource for casual users who haven't had a chance to test out iOS 15 prior to its launch. Everything is organized by app or feature to make it easy to find what you might be looking for.
iPhone users who have pre-ordered an iPhone 13 model are seeing a new prompt in the Settings app that walks through the steps of preparing for a new device.
Tapping on this prompt encourages users to make sure that iCloud syncing is enabled for all of their apps for a complete iCloud backup, offering up an option to turn on syncing for any app that doesn't have it on.
The feature also explains how to use an existing iPhone to set up a new iPhone for a quick sign in process, and it offers up details on finding out how much an existing iPhone is worth for trade-in purposes.
Apple is likely showing this information based on Apple ID, so many customers who pre-ordered an iPhone may be seeing the new popup. For those who want to get rid of it, just tapping through the prompts should be enough to get it to disappear.
With the release of iOS and iPadOS 15 today, the popular password management app 1Password has released an accompanying update that brings its desktop-class extension to the iPhone and iPad.
With iOS and iPadOS 15, Apple allows Safari extensions developers to release their previously exclusive Safari for Mac extensions to the iPhone and iPad, allowing users to use extensions on all of their devices. 1Password was one of the first to tease support earlier in June, and with its latest App Store update today, it's bringing it to all users.
With its Safari extension on iPhone and iPad, 1Password users now have immediate access to all their passwords and 1Password entries right inside of Safari, including in-page suggestions. 1Password for Safari uses on-device machine learning to automatically fill in the login process of complicated websites and even automatically fills in two-factor authentication codes.
On iPadOS 15, 1Password's extension is even more feature-rich, featuring a complete in-Safari user interface that "turbocharges any iPad." 1Password along with its Safari extension is introducing other app improvements and bug fixes. Users can learn more about 1Password's announcement over on its blog.
iOS 15 is absolutely packed with new features, and it can be overwhelming sorting through everything that's new. If you're wondering whether it's worth upgrading and what new features might be worth getting access to right away, we've rounded up 10 of the best new additions in the iOS 15 update that you might not be aware of.
1. Android and Web-Based FaceTime
For the first time, FaceTime is expanding to non-Apple device users, and those who are on Android and PCs can join in on a FaceTime call.
If you have an Apple device, you can open up the FaceTime app and select the "Create Link" option to make a FaceTime "room" that anyone can join from the web on an Android device, PC, or other compatible option. You can also create a link while you're already on a FaceTime call.
You can send the link to someone using a text message, email, or other means, and that person will be directed to enter their name before being allowed into the chat. The FaceTime creator will need to approve their access, so no one can join without express approval. All that's necessary to enter a FaceTime call is a web browser and a device with a camera and a microphone.
While Android and PC users can join FaceTime calls, an iPhone, iPad, or Mac is required to create the initial FaceTime link and to approve participants.
Depending on how many apps you have installed and your notification permissions, you could be receiving hundreds of notifications a day, many of which are not urgent.
With Notification Summary, you can set specific times for your unimportant notifications to be delivered, such as in the morning and the evening, preventing you from being interrupted all day long. Important, time sensitive notifications bypass Notification Summary, but things like Instagram likes, game pop ups, news alerts, and other similar notifications can be saved for a time that's best for you.
Notification Summary can be turned on and managed by going to the Notifications section of the Settings app. You can choose your summary times and which apps will be relegated to the summary.
3. Tab Groups
There's been a lot of discussion about Safari's new design, but Apple toned it down over the course of the beta testing period and even left an option to stick with the iOS 14 design.
Because the design has gotten so much attention, it's easy to forget that there are other great Safari features like Tab Groups. With Tab Groups, you can save all of your open tabs into a folder and open them back up later.
If you're planning for a trip, have a few websites you use often for work, or just want to do something like save the menus of your favorite restaurants, you can do that with Tab Groups.
Open up the new tiled tab view in Safari (icon on the far right corner) and then long press on the Tabs icon in the middle to save your open tabs into a Tab Group or to open one of your saved Tab Groups. Tab Groups sync across iOS and Mac so they're accessible on all of your Apple devices.
As a bonus feature, make sure to pull down on a website whenever you want to refresh it because that's a quick new way to refresh a site.
Most Siri requests are now processed on device instead of being kicked back to Apple's servers, which makes Siri faster and more secure.
Siri is also able to better understand commands over time as a device is used, getting used to the contacts that you interact with, the words you type, and the topics you prefer, with that data kept on device.
On-device Siri is enabled through the Neural Engine and is available on iPhones and iPads equipped with an A12 Bionic chip or later.
Because a lot of Siri commands are handled on device, many Siri requests now work offline. You can create and disable timers and and alarms, launch apps, control audio playback, and access Settings with no connectivity.
When you look at an image in Photos, preview a photo you're going to take with the Camera app, or view a photo on the web, if there's text in that photo, the iPhone and the iPad will now recognize the text. You will see a little box with three lines of text whenever text is recognized, and you can tap it to see all of the text in the image highlighted.
You can long press on the highlighted text in an image to select it, copy it, look it up, translate it, or share it. Live Text is system wide so you can use it wherever you see an image, and it's handy for copying notes, keeping track of receipts, and more.
The Photos app also has a bonus Visual Lookup feature that will identify plants, animals, landmarks, and more. Apple will tell you what it thinks you're seeing, and show similar web images.
Translate is now system wide, so any text that you select anywhere in iOS can be translated to or from another language. Supported languages include Arabic, Chinese, English (UK and US), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
7. Health App Trends
A new Trends section in the Health app lets you keep an eye on all of your health trends over time so you can see at a glance if you're exercising less, if your heart rate shifts, if your oxygen levels drop, and more.
You can view Trends in the Health app, and can opt to get notifications if there's a change in Trends. The Health app also has sharing features so you can send your health records to family members, and a Health Checklist if you want to make sure you're taking advantage of all the health features offered through the iPhone and Apple Watch.
8. Find Devices Erased and Powered Off
Using the Find My Network, the Find My app in iOS 15 can be used to locate devices that are turned off or that have been erased, which will make it easier to find lost devices and harder for thieves to hide stolen devices.
If a device that was stolen has been turned off or if it was low on battery and has died, it can still be tracked when it's close to another Apple device that's active.
Similarly, an iPhone that's been stolen and then erased is still going to show up in the Find My app and it will be trackable even after it's been wiped, which wasn't the case in earlier versions of iOS.
For these features to work, the Find My network feature must be enabled. It's on by default, but you can double check by going to your profile, tapping on Find My, selecting Find My iPhone, and then making sure "Find My network" is toggled on.
If you have a Safari link you want to share, for example, you can long press on it and drag it with a finger. Holding that finger on the display, you can swipe to exit Safari and open another app like Messages, where you can drop the link to send it to someone.
This works for all kinds of file types, and if you want to drag multiple files, you can drag a single item and then select additional items by tapping them with another finger to create a stack. The stack can be dragged into another app from there.
Cross-app drag and drop has been an iPad feature for some time now, but it's new to the iPhone in iOS 15.
In the Passwords section of the Settings app, you can now save two-factor verification codes right alongside your username and password, so you no longer need a secondary app like Google Authenticator for two-factor authentication.
Setup requires a QR code or a setup key, similar to any other authentication app. Once added, you can get a code from the Passwords section when logging into a website, but if you're logging in using Safari, it will autofill, which is super convenient.
Have a favorite feature in iOS 15 that we didn't mention here? Let us know in the comments below.
Apple today updated iMovie and Clips with support for several new features that are set to be introduced alongside the iPhone 13 models.
iMovie now supports Cinematic Mode and can be used to add, adjust, and delete focus points and modify the depth of field effect in Cinematic Mode video. Cinematic Mode is a feature that's available on all of the iPhone 13 models, but footage can be edited on the iPhone XS or later, iPad mini 5 or later iPad Air 3 or later, and all iPad Pro models.
The update also includes the option to add ProRAW images to movies and trailers, and options to import and edit ProRes video.
ProRes video is a feature coming to the iPhone 13 Pro models later this year, and it will allow the devices to record in the ProRes format. ProRes video can be captured with an iPhone 13 Pro when the feature launches and it will be able to be edited on the iPhone 13, iPad mini 6, and iPad Pro models.
As for Clips, Cinematic Mode video can now be imported and edited in the app. Filters, stickers, and emoji can be added to video recorded in Cinematic Mode, and ProRAW images can be added to videos. When ProRes video launches, it will also be able to be imported into Clips and edited directly in the app.
Today's update also adds the option to add photos or videos from the Photos library with a single tap, without having to record each one into a project.
Alongside the launch of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8, Apple has also pushed an update for its iCloud.com website, introducing a new look for iCloud Mail that's viewed on the web.
The new web-based iCloud Mail design looks similar to the Mail apps on devices running iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the beta version of macOS Monterey. It is a cleaner and more streamlined look than the prior iCloud Mail app for the web, but the functionality is largely the same.
Colors are lighter, the font has been updated, and there's a new smaller compose window for writing emails that takes up less space.
Apple introduced the new iCloud Mail design for the web during the iOS 15 beta testing process and it was previously limited to the beta.icloud.com site, but it has now been released for the main iCloud.com website.
Apple today also made the Hide My Email and Custom Email Domain features live on the main iCloud.com site. Hide My Email is designed to allow users to create throwaway emails that forward to a main email address. With this feature, users can create different email addresses for different websites and then disable them if spam emails ever start arriving.
Custom Email Domains are designed to allow customers to use their own custom email addresses with the iCloud Mail feature. Domain records need to be updated with Apple's settings, so access to the domain's registrar is required.
All of these new features can be accessed by logging into the iCloud.com website. The Custom Email Domain and Hide My Email features can be accessed by clicking on your name and choosing "Settings."
According to Apple's security support document for the updates, there was a Face ID vulnerability that could allow a Face ID iPhone to be unlocked and authenticated using a 3D model constructed to look like the iPhone's owner.
Apple says that this issue has been resolved through improvements to the Face ID feature, which is available on the iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS (all models), iPhone 11 (all models), iPhone 12 (all models), iPad Pro (11-inch), and iPad Pro (3rd generation).
There are a number of other security fixes included in the iOS 15 update, but none of the exploits were listed as being used in the wild. There was an issue with the Neural Engine that could allow an application to execute arbitrary code with system privileges on devices with a Neural Engine, and a CoreML bug could let attackers cause unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.
Apple also addressed issues with FontParser, Preferences, Siri, WebKit, and WiFi, all of which are outlined in Apple's full security document.
For those not particularly interested in the feature set that iOS 15 offers, it may still be a good idea to upgrade just to get the full suite of security fixes that Apple has deployed.
Apple today released the new iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates to all users, and there are dozens of new features to learn about. Some of these options must be toggled on or set up, so we've created a handy get started with iOS 15 guide that walks you through what you should do after installing the update.
If you're tired of getting endless notification alerts all day long, Notification Summary is a feature you're going to want to use. You can set your notifications to be delivered just a few times a day in bulk, which is ideal for cutting down on notification spam.
This is ideal for notifications that you don't necessarily need to see right away like new TV show alerts or Apple News, and you can set it up on a per-app basis. Don't worry about missing critical alerts that you need to see right away - Apple has a built-in "Time-Sensitive" feature that works for calendar notifications, ride alerts, messages, and more.
Notification Summary can be set up by going to the Notifications setting of the Settings app, tapping on "Notification Summary," and following the steps to set times and choose apps.
We have more on what's new with notifications in iOS 15 in our guide.
Set Up Alerts for When a Device is Left Behind
iOS 15 introduces a long-awaited feature that can let you know if you've left a device behind. If you're in a cafe with your MacBook and your iPhone, for example, and walk out without the MacBook, your iPhone can ping you to let you know your device isn't with you.
This setting can be enabled for all of your Apple devices, ranging from Macs to AirPods to iPhones, and it also works with AirTags and Find My-enabled accessories.
To set it up, go to the Find My app, tap on the device that you want to be notified about if you leave it behind, and then tap on the "Notify When Left Behind" option. From there, toggle it on.
You can set up exceptions so you won't get an alert if you leave your belongings at home or at work. Be aware that this setting works with most devices, but some older devices are unsupported.
iCloud Private Relay makes sure Safari traffic and other unencrypted traffic leaving an iPhone, iPad, or Mac is encrypted and uses two separate internet relays so that companies cannot use personal information like IP address, location, and browsing activity to create a detailed profile about you.
It obscures your IP address and your location to keep your web browsing more private, and most people will want to use this feature. To make sure it's turned on, open up the Settings app, tap on your profile picture, and select iCloud. From there, tap on "Private Relay" and toggle it on.
You can read more about how iCloud Private Relay works in our iOS 15 privacy guide, which is worth checking out because there are a few situations where iCloud Private Relay might not work.
If you often find yourself distracted by incoming notifications and unnecessary apps when trying to work or relax at home, Focus is a feature you're going to want to set up right away.
Focus Mode is basically a more customizable version of Do Not Disturb. You can create Focuses for activities like working, reading, exercising, or spending time with family, blocking out the apps and content that you don't want to see during those periods.
If you're at work, for example, you might want to make sure you're not getting social media notifications, or if you're at home, you might want to prevent yourself from seeing work notifications. You can set a Focus for any activity that you want, and set it up to allow notifications only from a select number of apps.
You can also hide apps from the Home screen when creating a Focus, which also makes it useful for putting distracting apps out of reach.
Focus can be accessed by opening up the Settings app and tapping on the "Focus" option. From there, walk through the setup steps to get started. We have more on creating, editing, and using Focuses in our iOS 15 Focus guide.
Losing access to your iCloud account can be devastating because they're so locked down that there are few methods for getting back into one once you've lost your password.
Starting with iOS 15, you can set a Recovery Contact, i.e. a trusted person that can help you reset your Apple ID password and recover your account if the need arises. This also works for a lost device passcode.
To set up Account Recovery, open up the Settings app and tap on your profile at the top. From there, tap on "Password & Security," and then tap on "Account Recovery."
Tap on "Add Recovery Contact" and then again at the screen that explains the feature. Authenticate with Face ID, and then select a person to serve as your contact.
Note that to use the Recovery Contact feature, all of your devices must be updated to the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. Devices linked to your account that are not running the latest software will prevent the feature from being turned on and Apple will tell you that they need to be updated.
Enable Mail Privacy Protection
Marketing emails, newsletters, and some email clients use an invisible tracking pixel in email messages to check to see whether you've opened up an email, and in iOS 15, Apple is putting a stop to that practice with Mail Privacy Protection.
Mail Privacy Protection prevents email senders from keeping track of whether you opened an email, how many times you viewed an email, and whether you forwarded the email. It also strips your IP address and specific location for further protection.
Mail Privacy Protection can be enabled by opening up the Settings app, tapping on "Mail," and selecting "Privacy Protection." Toggle on "Protect Mail Activity."
Note that "Protect Mail Activity" overrides the prior "Hide IP Address" and "Block All Remote Content" settings, but it arguably offers better functionality because it allows all content to be viewed while still protecting your identity and email usage behavior.
With iOS 15, Apple has added a "Health Checklist" feature that gives you an all-in-one place to manage your health-related settings. You can turn on features like hand washing detection and walking steadiness from here, and it's a great way to check to make sure you're taking advantage of all of the health features your devices offer.
To get to the Health Checklist, open up the Health app and then tap on your profile picture in the upper right corner. From there, tap on "Health Checklist."
In this view, you can see what's enabled and what's not, and access any of the settings by tapping on the entry in the list. You can manage heart rate notifications, medical ID information, headphone notifications, and more.
iOS 15 introduces quite a few new Health-related features including Sharing, which is another option you might want to set up. Details on all of the Health additions in iOS 15 can be found in our Health guide.
Choose Your Safari Layout
iOS 15 introduces a new Safari layout that moves the address bar and tabs to the bottom of the Safari interface, and which adds new transparency options.
You can choose to use this new look or turn it off for an iOS 14-style Safari experience. To change the look of Safari, open up the Settings app, tap on Safari, and scroll down to the "Tabs" interface.
Choosing "Tab Bar" will give you the bottom interface that's the new design, while choosing "Single Tab" will leave you with the standard iOS 14 Safari look. You can also turn website tinting on/or off, with this feature allowing the tab bar to blend in with the background color of a website.
You can also change the look of Safari right in Safari itself by tapping on the "Aa" button and choosing "Show Top Address Bar" or "Show Bottom Tab Bar."
Safari has a number of other changes like Tab Groups and a customizable start page that you might want to set up, and more detail on Safari can be found in our iOS 15 Safari guide.
Set Up a Custom Email Domain
With iOS 15, if you have a paid iCloud+ storage plan, you can personalize your iCloud email addresses with a custom domain name that you own.
If you have the website Appleseed.com, for example, and want to use firstname.lastname@example.org as your iCloud email address, that's possible. Apple is still testing this feature, but to use it, go to the icloud.com website.
From there, select "Account Settings" and then select "Manage" under "Custom Email Domain" to set it up. You will need to update your domain's records with Apple's settings, so access to your domain's registrar is required.
Add Your Two-Factor Authentication Codes to Passwords
Many websites use two-factor authentication as an additional security measure alongside a password, and typically, two-factor authentication that's not based on a phone number requires a third-party app like Authy or Google Authenticator.
That's no longer the case in iOS 15 because Apple has added a Verification Code option to the Password app, so you can create and access two-factor authentication codes right on the iPhone without the need for another service.
In the Passwords section of the Settings app, you can tap into any password and then select "Set Up Verification Code..." to get two-factor authentication working. The iPhone can use a setup key or scan a QR code, which is how most authentication apps work.
If you already use two-factor authentication on a number of websites, it's going to be a hassle to transfer everything over to iCloud Keychain, but it may be worth the trouble because codes will autofill when you're using an Apple device for more convenient logins.
Have questions, other recommendations of features that should be set up right away when upgrading to iOS 15, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.