Apple officially made iOS 15 available to everyone on Monday.
The latest software update was announced back in June at Apple's WWDC event, and was only available in beta until now. With the release of the iPhone 13, the fully formed iOS 15 can be downloaded by anyone with an iPhone 6S or newer.
To download it, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Here are a few of our favorite iOS 15 features.
Sharing your screen is about to get so much easier. SharePlay on FaceTime lets users, well, share whatever they're playing on their phones to others on the call. It works with Apple native apps, like Apple Music and Apple TV, and certain third-party partners, like TikTok, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, and Twitch. Netflix and YouTube are notably missing from the list of compatible apps —we hope they'll join the fun soon.
SharePlay is currently only available via iOS 15.1 beta, and is expected to arrive to all iPhones later this fall.
This is an accessibility feature that Apple rolled out in an effort to "mask unwanted environmental or external noise and help you focus, stay calm, or rest." Background Sounds lets you play soothing sounds that can continue playing while your phone is locked or while you're using other apps. It's pretty hidden in the iPhone's settings, so we recommend adding it to your Control Center if you plan on using it often.
Ever take a picture of a phone number that you swear you'll add to your contacts later? And then you don't do it because who wants to memorize a phone number? Live Text solves this issue, and any other situation that requires a good ol' copy and paste.
The new feature allows you to point your camera at printed or handwritten text and numbers, tap on the Live Text button, and then copy, select, look up, translate, or share it. You can do the same thing with photos you've already snapped.
FaceTime got a bevy of upgrades, but our favorite is the ability to create FaceTime links, which let you schedule calls ahead of time. Even more exciting: the link opens up FaceTime to non-Apple users. As long as they're using a Chrome or Edge browser, any Android or PC user can join a FaceTime call. This just might be the end of Zoom happy hours.
For those who need a little help staying off their phones while trying to work or study, Focus Mode is here to assist. Previously, silencing notifications required you to put your iPhone in Do Not Disturb mode, which blocked everything and everyone. Focus Mode lets you customize what notifications and people get through while it's on.
You can create separate modes for work, relaxing at home, and other scenarios. It's handily located in your Control Center.
UPDATE: Sept. 22, 2021, 9:26 a.m. ETThis story was updated to clarify that SharePlay is currently only available via iOS 15.1 beta.