iOS 15/iPad OS 15 first impressions

This year I held off until general availability. I skipped the betas, remembering the glitches of previous years.

First impressions after about two hours of usage:

  • iPad widgets were a pleasant surprise. VERY pleasant. I made very little use of widgets on my iPhone, just the photo widget, weather, and Siri suggestions. I thought I’d be equally indifferent to iPad widgets. But within five minutes of booting up my iPad, I saw the value, and instantly put up widgets for news, Reddit, the Kindle app, and more. Love widgets!
  • The new Safari proved to be anticlimactic. I was prepared to love it or hate it. Instead my reaction was “This is nice.”
  • Safari Extensions? I haven’t heard anything about that. What’s new here? Am I excited about this? Should I be?
  • I’m not going to be able to take advantage of Quick Notes, the new Reminders, and some other major features until I upgrade to Monterey. My employer will set the timetable for that. I expect it will be 6-9 months.
  • I share a lot of memes and retro photos to social media. Often, I’ll find the screenshot of a funny tweet on Reddit or Tumblr. When I share it on Twitter, I like to go find the original tweet and retweet that (rather than tweeting a screenshot of a tweet, which is weird). Text recognition in Photos has already proven great for that.
  • Focus modes are confusing. Maybe I’ll love them in a few months, but right now I just don’t want to work that hard to use my iPhone or iPad.
  • I like the new Weather app. I liked the old one fine, and I like the new one even more. It’s prettier.

If you use Do Not Disturb be aware it is now in Focus and any previous schedule, etc. you may have had set up is gone.

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Yeah. And until today I turn off DND manually in the morning, but this morning I could not figure out how to do it. I’ll do a little Googling when I get a chance, perhaps this evening.

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Seriously. I skipped the betas and thought the same thing about Focus. I’m not dissing the feature or even the granularity, just not in the mood to deal with it.

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I have googled focus mode and I am still confused.

How do I just get notifications? If anybody calls me, the call goes through. If anybody messages me, I get a notification. If an app sends a notification, I get it.

For now, that’s what I want — I want notifications and do not disturb to act just like they did before. I will deal with the subtleties of the new settings another day.

I have Googled “Safari Extensions.” That looks like a fantastic new feature. The Share Sheet is great, but it has become overwhelming.

Maybe this will help.

I do appreciate the suggestion but a 17-minute video is just too much!


I think the Tomsguide article above may refer to a beta, because it appears the procedure is slightly different on my iPhone XS.

  • Pull down from the top of the phone to get to the Control Center.
  • Find the Focus/DND button on the screen. It will be a rounded rectangle that either says “Focus,” or has the name of a Focus on it: “Personal,” “Work,” etc.
  • Tap that button.
  • Tap Do Not Disturb to turn DND on.
  • Repeat to turn DND off.

It confused me that I had to tap a button that says “Do Not Disturb” to turn DND off. Reminds me of the famous Windows feature, where you click the Start button to shut it down.

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How much time do you waste trying to figure it out? Also, nothing says you have to watch the whole thing in one sitting. Break it into chunks of how ever much you feel like watching in that sitting. It will be there when you come back.:smiley:

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It seems like if all you want is DND, you can just open control center and tap the moon icon to toggle like before, as opposed to tapping the text to open the list of focuses. It toggles on and off the last focus you’ve used, so you can just delete the other focuses to guarantee DND is always the last used focus.

DND is important and ubiquitously used enough that control center customization should let you add back a dedicated button for it, IMO.

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What I love:

Widgets! I have 4 shortcuts that I always use on my iPhone and I have on it my 1st homescreen. It also allow me to look at information at a glance on my iPad like Todoist, Fantastical, Carrot Weather and Spark email.

Focus: I’ve only set up sleep so far. I love that I can pick people that are allowed to get in (Families for emergencies), apps that I use before I sleep like Headspace, Endel and Autosleep. I’m planning to set one up for working out and meditating. For work, I won’t be touching it for now.

Safari Extension: I have Overamped that bypasses AMP pages. 1Password extension is well done and I love it.

Safari with the new design on iOS: Trying out the bar on the bottom. I kinda like it. I kept the Separate Tab on Safari for iPadOS though.

Quick Notes: Love that I can use it on some of the apps like Craft, Apollo and can copy/paste items.

Multitasking: better implementation.

I haven’t delve into improvements with my iCloud+ account. Love Hide My Email. Going to set up Custom Email Domain soon. Private Relay (beta) is not supported in my country :cry:

Shared With You: Seeing all the links shared to me on iMessage help reminds that I have to check some important stuff from family and friends.

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I wish we could correct Siri in the photos when it identifies things like dog breeds. I’ve for years have had Great Danes that are Blue (think grey/silver) and often it identifies them as Weimreiners or Cane Corso. Feel like this is mainly due to their coat color being more associated with those breeds than Great Danes.

Is there any improvements to Photos? The kids used my phone and take hundreds of photos of their homework to be submitted back to teachers in Google Classroom. I wish there’s a button to just filter them out using AI, so my Camera roll will only show photos of people. It would be great if it can also filter out photos of food, delivery items received, etc.

Any bugs or regressions? I want to install to get offline Siri but I also don’t want headaches that get solved with the 15.0.1 release (presumably).

Consensus seems to be that it’s a very stable .0 release.

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One reported bug is that some users have had their AirTags disappear from the Find My app after updating. I got bit by that.

I’d suggest anyone with AirTags check to make sure their tags are still listed, as that is not something you’d normally check until you need it.

I got them back by resetting one AirTag, and after doing that, it reappeared along with the other two.

Thanks for the heads up on this. I just checked and my AirTags still show up but I’m glad I confirmed.

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Yes, you can search your photos for people, food, plants and other categories. It doesn’t working perfeclty, but quite good.