If iOS 14 was a visual overhaul that gave you full control over how your iPhone looks, iOS 15 is a logistical one that gives you full control over how your iPhone behaves, which in turn will change how you use it.
I’ve been spending some time with the iOS 15 beta, which is now available for the public to install, and as a detail-oriented person who spends many hours of her day on her iPhone and would like to cut back, using new features like Focus and Notification Summary to customize every part of my phone experience definitely sparks joy. iOS 15 is not without its irritations (more on my Safari fury later), but it brings some welcome changes.
Let me back up: Many of us feel like our phones have way too much power over us, with their constant dings and buzzes and red badges that signify just how many alerts are beckoning our attention away from other, more important things happening in our actual lives. And Apple clearly recognizes that people are unhappy with the amount of time they spend on their iPhones, which is why iOS 15 is packed with features that allow you to more carefully curate your experience with this glass-and-metal safety blanket/albatross. These features put you in the driver’s seat—they won’t work for you unless you put them to work—but once you take the wheel, so to speak, you’ll have a much more balanced relationship with your phone. Or at least that’s the goal.
This preview isn’t meant to be a thorough evaluation of every single new feature—we’re still in beta, and some things will change before the official launch this fall. But this is a sneak peek of how it feels to use iOS 15 every day, and if you’re feeling brave and want to give it a try, now you can install it, too. The usual caveat applies: It’s best not to install beta software on a device you rely on, though I’ve found iOS 15 stable so far and have been using it with the iPhone 12 Pro I use daily.
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