The Best iOS 15 Features, Explained

The future of iOS has arrived with Live Text, Focus, and more.

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On Sept. 20, iOS 15 became available to iPhone users. The operating system boasts a range of new features that will change everything from the way you browse to how you get notifications. Read on for some highlights of the new iOS 15 features.

Live Text

iOS 15’s new Live Text feature allows you to scan text in photos or IRL, search the phrase, or translate it. What’s more, any time you scan a phone number, Live Text gives you the option to call the number directly. Think QR code menus, but for literally any text.

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New Ways of Exploring on Safari

Safari will also receive some small but crucial updates with iOS 15. You‘ll be able to group tabs together, add extensions to Safari, and pull down to refresh web pages. Safari browsing tools are now located at the bottom of your screen for quick access.

Notification Summary

Gone are the days of having your lock screen swarmed unnecessary pings. With iOS 15, your notifications will be streamlined into a short list, with the option to limit notifications from certain apps or schedule when you receive the digest.


Whatever you want to prioritize, iOS’s Focus feature allows you to filter out distractions. Going into work mode? Turn on your custom Focus to only receive notifications from Slack, email, Zoom, etc. You can also set an away message for contacts trying to reach you.

Shared with You

Ever had a friend ask you, “Did you ever get the chance to check out that song I sent you?” or, “What did you think of that article?” With iOS 15’s Shared With You feature, you can easily access photos, songs, podcasts and more sent to you by friends in iMessage.

FaceTime Web Links & SharePlay

You can now send a web link to calls so that non-iPhone friends can join in on the FaceTime fun. Plus, FaceTime will soon offer SharePlay, which allows users to watch movies and TV shows over FaceTime — no need to separately sync up Netflix.

FaceTime Portrait Mode

Make staring at yourself while you talk with a friend on FaceTime even more enjoyable by turning on Portrait Mode for FaceTime. It works just like the camera feature, but applies the lens in real time to your appearance on FaceTime.

Notify When Left Behind

“iPhone, Apple Watch, Macbook,” is the new, “phone, wallet, keys,” mental checklist. If you turn the “Notify When Left Behind” feature on, whatever Apple device you have on-hand will remind you if you step away from your other Apple devices.