Apple has only recently released iOS 14 to coincide with the arrival of the new iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro models, but you can be assured that work is already well underway for the next iteration of its mobile operating system. In this article we round up the rumours and news of what you should expect in iOS 15.

When will iOS 15 be released?

Apple has a quite steady release schedule when it comes to iOS. Usually, the mainline features are highlighted at WWDC in the summer (usually around June), then the software is released when the new iPhones arrive in September. The coronavirus pandemic made this a little different in 2020, with the iPhone event moved to October, but we fully expect this to return to the normal schedule in 2021.

If you can't wait that long, then you can always sign up to Apple's Beta software programme, which gives you access to the unfinished software builds ahead of time so you can help with bug-testing. But this comes with risks and shouldn't be used on your main phone as it can become unreliable or even stop working entirely.

Which iPhones will get iOS 15?

iOS 14 was impressive, in that all the iPhones that received the iOS 13 update also moved onto the newer platform. Well, rumours have already begun circulating that suggest Apple won't be able to pull off the same feat with iOS 15.

The oldest iPhones on the current supported list, in terms of technology, are the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and the original iPhone SE. All of these use the A9 processor, and it looks like iOS 14 will be the end of the line for that particular silicon. That still leaves a considerable list of devices that will get at least one more year, as outlined below:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

As the iPod Touch comes fitted with an A10 Fusion processor, it's very likely that this will also make the step up to iOS 15.

We run through the iPhones that will get iOS 15 in a separate article.

What new features can we expect in iOS 15?

With the full unveiling of iOS 15 still far off in the distance, there's little in the way of solid news regarding the new features that Apple will include when it updates the iPhone software. Unperturbed, we have scoured the internet, tapped our various sources, and taken a look at our own wish-list to see what may appear when WWDC rolls around in 2021.

Expanding choice of default apps

iOS 14 introduced a feature that Apple users have been requesting for years, with the ability to select their own default apps as opposed to the Apple variants. Sadly, this wasn't a complete overhaul, as the change only applied to email and browser apps.

We'd like to see Apple expand this to include at least calendars and messaging apps in iOS 15. So, if you prefer Fantastical to Apple's Calendar app or Signal to Messages then this would be a dream come true.

If you haven't yet played with the feature in iOS 14, here's a guide to changing your iPhone's default apps.

Bringing Presentation mode to FaceTime

2020 will be remembered as the year when we all become almost entirely reliant on video-conferencing apps. It also highlighted the limited scope of Apple's FaceTime platform. One feature that makes it a lesser option than say Zoom or Skype is the lack of a presentation mode. This means that if work colleagues want to share their screen in a meeting, then they're out of luck. Adding this to FaceTime would make it a much easier choice for Apple users who want to stick with the platform but still get some work done.

iOS 15 release date and new features: FaceTime

Of course, we hope that 2021 doesn't end up with us spending as much time at home, but it would be good for FaceTime to beef up its capabilities anyway.

Widgets on the Lock screen

Another innovation that arrived in iOS 14 was widgets. These has proved a favourite with iPhone users already, but one obvious omission is the ability to have them on the Lock screen. This would save people from having to unlock the device and navigate to the widget's location, while giving the Lock screen additional controls and information.

To see how the existing feature works, check out our guide on how to use widgets in iOS 14.

As you can see, there's not a lot known about iOS 15 as of yet. So, be sure to keep returning to this article, as we'll be updating it with more details as they become available. In the meantime, read our complete iOS 14 review to ensure that you're getting the most out of Apple's existing software.

For more information about what Apple will launch in 2021 read: New Apple products guide to what's coming out in 2021