Apple is expected to release iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and announce the iPhone 13 in the coming weeks. Several new features and enhancements for the iPhone and iPad are included in the future software updates, including a new Focus mode that replaces Do Not Disturb, FaceTime improvements, iMessage adjustments, and a redesigned Safari experience.
You can sign up for the public beta if you’re keen to get your hands on the software upgrade right away. However, the beta has several problems and drawbacks (such as sudden reboots and poor battery life), but it’s getting better as we approach closer to Apple’s September release.
Apple highlighted a slew of new capabilities in the update, but my favorite part about new software is discovering all of the features Apple didn’t disclose. The new Live Text tool, for example, isn’t just for dealing with photographs; it can also be used to scan documents or text into any text field. The following is the start of my continuous list of favorite iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 hidden features. As we come closer to the official release, which is expected in September, I’ll keep updating this list.
Scan any text with your iPhone’s camera.
Have you ever wished you could aim your iPhone’s camera at a sign or piece of paper and have it recognize and copy the text into an email or document for you? It’s doable and really cool with iOS 15.
Long-press inside a text field as if you’re going to utilize the copy and paste prompt to use the iPhone’s new scan text capability. The only difference is that you’ll now see a Scan Text button. A scan icon, which appears like a piece of paper with brackets around it, may alternatively appear as a button.
When you press the button, your iPhone camera’s viewfinder will take the place of your keyboard. Follow the steps on the screen after pointing your camera towards whatever you wish to scan. If you move the camera too quickly, for example, a “Slow Down” warning will appear on the screen.
You’ll see a live preview of the text your iPhone is identifying and ready to add in your document as you line up the camera and text just perfectly. When you’re ready, press the Insert button.
This is a simple and quick way to scan an email address from a business card, a phone number from a sign, or, as shown in the photos above, the back of a book and insert it as a single large block of text.
Return the address bar of Safari to the top of your screen.
Throughout the beta process, Apple made numerous improvements to Safari for iPhone and iPad. The address bar, along with all of its associated functions, has been shifted to the bottom of the screen, which is one of the major changes you’ll notice after updating your iPhone.
The idea is that by shifting the address bar to the bottom of the screen, it will be easier to navigate Safari and browse the web because all of the buttons will be closer to your thumb, but the move will not be ideal for everyone. And Apple gives you a choice by allowing you to return the address bar to the top of the screen.
The iPhone’s weather app can send you real-time precipitation alerts.
When Apple purchased the popular weather app Dark Sky, I instantly hoped that the official iPhone weather app would get the real-time rain and snow alerts that I had been accustomed to. Those alerts are new in iOS 15, and they typically arrive a few minutes before Dark Sky’s alerts, which I don’t mind.
If you have iOS 15, open the Weather app and tap the three-line icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen to enable the new precipitation alerts. Then, in the top-right corner of the screen, hit the three-dot circle icon, then Notifications.[irp]
Tap Done after swiping the switch next to My Location to the On position. You can also set on alerts for each city if you have more cities connected to the Weather app.
When rain or snow is approaching, your iPhone will send you a notification a few minutes before it begins. When the rain is almost over, you’ll get another notification.
The iPhone now supports drag-and-drop between apps.
The iPad has had the ability to drag and drop documents, text, and images across apps for a long time. Now it’s the turn of the iPhone. You can now drag-and-drop photos from the Photos app to the Messages app, for example, if you’re switching back and forth between Messages and Photos to share photos from a recent night out with pals.
Open the Photos app and look through your recent photos to try out the new functionality. Instead of tapping on a picture to make it full screen, place your finger on it and begin dragging it across the screen. When the thumbnail begins to float over the rest of the photographs, don’t lift your finger; instead, return to the messaging app.
On the thumbnail, you’ll notice a green circle with a + sign, indicating that you can raise your finger and the photo will be placed in the text field, ready to send.
Isn’t that simple? This method can also be used to attach a document from the Files app to an email.
More information about your images is accessible.
If you wanted to see any of the finer details recorded in the EXIF data about a photo you received or took yourself, you had to utilize a third-party software. When you’re viewing a photo in the Photos app, you can now slide up to see an information view that shows where the shot was saved from, as well as all of the EXIF data like shutter speed, location, and camera used.[irp]
Even if you don’t care about all of the finer details, the extra knowledge is a great addition. At the very least, knowing where you saved the photo (including who supplied it to you) is sufficient.
In some programs, you can change the font size.
You can currently modify the system-wide text size to suit your needs. However, with iOS 15, there’s a new tool that enables you modify the font size for each app individually. That means you can have one font size for the Mail app and a different font size for the Twitter app.
To access the new function, click to Settings, then Control Center, and scroll down until you discover the Text Size option by tapping on the green + sign.
Open Control Center (swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen on an iPhone with Face ID, or up from the bottom of the screen on an iPhone with Touch ID) and hit the Text Size button the next time you’re in an app and want to change the text size.
To signal that you only want your changes applied to the app you’re currently using, slide the button at the bottom of the screen to the left side of the toggle, and then modify the font size up or down.
There’s bound to be more in iOS 15, so I’ll keep pressing, swiping, and taking notes on whatever I uncover. In the meanwhile, here’s how to get iOS 15 up and running. Alternatively, if you’d want to see more of the notable features, we have an ongoing list of them as well.