Whether you’re getting Apple’s new iPhone 13 (available today, Friday, September 24) or holding strong on the 6-year-old iPhone 6S, Apple’s iOS 15 is ready to download. Having trouble updating to iOS 15? Click here. At a surface level, iOS 15 looks unimpressive considering the massive switch-up we saw with iOS 14, but there are many cool, subtle changes that you might not notice. Here are the top three features I love and that you need to look at:
Scan any real-world text to your phone.
No, seriously, scan anything: billboards, posters, pens—your opportunities here are endless. I took a whack at the ‘Scan Text’ feature with a few things at my desk including a text-heavy document. It not only picked up every single word but also the formatting of my page as well. That’s amazing, in my book, and while some Samsung users will brag about Samsung’s long-standing ability to scan text. I find iPhone’s to be much more intuitive and convenient. Unfortunately, this feature only works on iPhone Xs, iPhone XR, or later with iOS 15.
How do I scan text?
It is super easy once you get the hang of it! Scanning is built-in across the iPhone system. You can use it in almost any input field like notes, texts, or even safari’s search bar. For the sake of learning, we will use the Notes app!
What’s interesting about this feature is the ability to scan images for text, too. To do this, just open photos and find a photo with text. If you glance down in the bottom right-hand corner, you will see the Scan Text option in white. This allows you to copy-past right on the screen, which makes it super useful for college students taking a quick photo of notes or an event poster you have saved. Note: Good handwriting isn’t necessarily a requirement, but if you’re a messy writer like me some of the text may be misspelled or displaced! This feature works best on typed text.
Safari’s big move.
It was a bit of a surprise to open the browser to find my thumb right over the address bar, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. As any tech-savvy 25-year-old knows, holding your phone with one hand at 3 a.m. is already a task, but stretching your thumb up for that AM movie-suggestion search can be a little dangerous. It won’t take long to get used to, but for those that hate it, no need to fear! You can switch the search bar to the top with just a few taps:
Talk about a long time coming. When Apple first unveiled FaceTime, Steve Jobs had said the service would be open source and available to everyone. Well, that didn’t happen, but it has only been 11 years (yes, that’s sarcasm). With the newest iOS, you can finally invite everyone in the friend group for a FaceTime call.
Organizing my notes.
I love my Notes app. Seriously, with the ability to create different folders, share notes with fellow Apple users, and sync it up between my Mac, iPad, and iPhone, Notes is a hard application to beat. But now, the app is even better with iOS 15. Here’s what iOS 15 adds to enhance your Notes experience.
The honorable mention.
Though not available yet, one of the features I’m most excited about is the ability to add your state driver’s license ID to your Apple wallet. Yes, you should carry it with you everywhere, but there are times where you forget your wallet or your ID is in another bag, and it would just be nice to have a secondary backup. This is exactly why I’m stoked that Oklahoma is one of eight states that will be allowing their residents to securely add a digital driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app on their iPhone and Apple Watch. But get this, it’s also going to be TSA approved and won’t require you to pull out your physical license or hand over your device.
If you want to know the specifics and the security behind it all, visit Apple’s Newsroom for all the nitty-gritty. Personally, I’m excited to have a more convenient and safe way to carry my ID.
Every iOS update offers something for everyone. Some people really enjoy the new Focus feature while others aren’t all that impressed with this update at all. You won’t know how you feel until you try it out yourself!