iOS 15 Features: Our Top 10 Picks

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.

iOS 15 Top Features

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.

ios 15 facetime android pc
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.

facetime android
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.

pc android facetime
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.

2. Notification Summary

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.

ios 15 notification summary
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 2
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.

ios 15 safari tab groups
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.

4. On-Device and Offline Siri

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 glow
‌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.

5. Live Text

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.

photos
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.

photos visual lookup
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.

6. System-Wide Translation

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.

live text translation ios 15

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.

ios 15 health app trend info
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.

iphone power off find my
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.

9. Drag and Drop

‌iOS 15‌ supports cross-app drag and drop, so you can grab images, links, highlighted text excerpts, files, and more with a finger and then drag them from one app to another.


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.

10. Built-In Authenticator

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.

ios 15 passwords two factor
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.

Wrap Up

Have a favorite feature in ‌iOS 15‌ that we didn't mention here? Let us know in the comments below.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

iPrez Avatar
11 weeks ago

I was able to click on my cat's face and iOS 15 was able to identify the Cat's breed.
This girl is an American Shorthair

Attachment Image
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPrez Avatar
11 weeks ago
Best feature is Live Text I’ve been waiting for this for a long time
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
11 weeks ago

Drag and drop?! How many fingers did it take to do that move?
Six fingers and three hands.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsound1 Avatar
11 weeks ago
Drag and drop?! How many fingers did it take to do that move?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
11 weeks ago
Lots of good stuff. Articles like this help me remember what is actually included in this update and not coming in a later 15.x update.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antnythr Avatar
11 weeks ago
This Top-10 list is coincidentally also the only 10 new features that made it into the release today.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

safari copy links

iOS 15 Features, Tips, and Tricks You Probably Don't Know

Wednesday October 6, 2021 11:16 am PDT by
With the release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on September 20, Apple introduced millions of users to several of its new tentpole features for iPhone and iPad, such as Focus Mode, Notification Summary, a redesigned Safari, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. But beyond the headline features, Apple has also made numerous tweaks and changes to its mobile operating...
1 Save IMessage photos

macOS Monterey: 40 Tips, Tricks, and Features You Might Have Missed

Thursday December 2, 2021 10:39 am PST by
Apple released macOS Monterey to the public in the fall, and the new desktop OS brings a whole slew of useful new features and changes to apps like Safari, Maps, FaceTime, Notes, Photos, Messages, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Beyond the headline features, Apple has also made numerous tweaks and changes to macOS that aim to make the time you spend using ...
ios 15 notification summary

Just Install iOS 15? Here's Where to Start

Monday September 20, 2021 11:50 am PDT by
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. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Set Up Notification Summary If...
Ultimate iOS 15 Guide Feature

The Ultimate iOS 15 Walkthrough: Guides and How Tos for Every New Feature

Monday September 20, 2021 2:45 pm PDT by
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....
new safari design options ios 15

iOS 15 Safari Guide: Tabs, Extensions, Search Bar, and Other Changes

Friday September 3, 2021 2:10 pm PDT by
Apple's Safari app has undergone a number of changes during the iOS 15 beta testing process. Apple started out with a radical new design that moved the address bar from the top of the app's interface and introduced a floating tab bar, but after a multitude of complaints, there were several redesigns that culminated in an option to undo the iOS 15 design entirely. Subscribe to the MacRumors ...
erase content settings monterey

10 Great macOS Monterey Features Worth Upgrading For

Monday October 25, 2021 3:12 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey to the public after several months of beta testing, and it brings a whole slew of useful new features and changes to apps like Safari, Maps, FaceTime, Notes, Photos, Messages, and More, along with some great quality of life improvements. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite macOS Monterey features,...
iOS 15

iOS 15.1 Features: Everything New in iOS 15.1

Monday October 25, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.1, the first major update to the iOS 15 operating system that was released in September. iOS 15.1 introduces new features that were delayed from iOS 15 plus it adds camera improvements for iPhone 13 Pro users. This guide highlights everything that's been added in the iOS 15.1 update. SharePlay Integrated into the FaceTime app, SharePlay is a feature that's...
iOS 15

Everything New in iOS 15.2 Beta 2: Legacy Contacts, Hide My Email Improvements, and More

Tuesday November 9, 2021 3:17 pm PST by
Apple today released the second beta of an upcoming iOS 15.2 update to developers for testing purposes, and the software update adds quite a few new features. This guide highlights everything new that we've found in the second iOS 15.2 beta. Legacy Contacts With Legacy Contacts, you can set a trusted person to be able to access your Apple ID and your data (or "Digital Legacy") after you...

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:05 am PST by
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021. The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and Touch...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
apple view concept right corner

Apple Planning to Replace the iPhone With AR Headset in 10 Years

Wednesday December 1, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to replace the iPhone with an augmented reality (AR) headset in 10 years, a process that is apparently due to start as soon as next year with the launch of a head-mounted device, according to a recent report. Concept render of Apple's rumored AR headset by Antonio De Rosa In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, eminent analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained that "Apple's goal is...