A quick glance through Twitter shows a number of glowing reviews from on-the-ground iPhone users, exploring the myriad of tweaks, changes and features that have landed with the latest iOS update.
Alongside the kind of updates we press pundits tend to concern ourselves with – security features and the like – are a host of small, attentive changes that are already winning users over and reminding them why they fell in love with Apple's iOS platform in the first place.
One of the most prominent additions is the ability to play background sounds alongside music – with multiple users taking to Twitter to shout about the excellent vibes that come with mixing rain sounds with their saddest Apple Music artists.
So now you can play rain sounds while playing any song in the background? Nah this feature wins!! #iOS15 pic.twitter.com/f0FIBk6En8September 21, 2021
Other users are relieved at the return of the scroll wheel for selecting alarm times, which in iOS 14 had been replaced with a much-less-liked virtual keyboard. It's now back as default, as you can see below:
iOS 15 brought back the scroll wheel thank the lord pic.twitter.com/3XiQPjCRuwSeptember 21, 2021
Keyboard enthusiast @JonPorty isn't mourning the change, though, as he's too busy complimenting the ease of swiping between tabs and accessing the tweaked location of the address bar in Safari. (As others point out, there are now wallpapers to choose for Safari, too.)
I have to say, I love Safari’s changes in iOS 15. Swiping between tabs? An address bar that actually sits where my thumbs are? All great changes, if a little disorientating at first.September 21, 2021
Apple's built-in map app has also got a majorly 3D overhaul, with a full-bodied perspective that feels straight out of Pokémon Go.
Anyone else go exploring in the new Apple Maps yet? Or are you normal? #iOS15 pic.twitter.com/UJgiUrcOLbSeptember 21, 2021
Others are finding respite in the patter of rain in the Apple weather app, which now lands and bounces off sections of the UI, like the roof of a building or canopy – giving an additional sense of depth (we can't wait to see what it looks like with snow, either).
The rain bouncing on the top of the UI ❤️#iOS15 pic.twitter.com/W07tSAtYPUSeptember 21, 2021
Analysis: a refinement of the Apple formula
While these small and largely cosmetic features may not be enough to swing a smartphone purchase either way, they do add up – and the amount of love shown on social media could well help Apple push its new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Max models to a wider audience.
Daryl Baxter, TechRadar's Software & Downloads Writer, tells us that "This year Apple has focused on refining features rather than introducing revolutionary ones, such as Focus and LiveText.
"iOS 15 is a release that requires users to scratch beneath the surface to discover the refinements, but once they do, they’ll wonder how they managed without them, as I’m discovering with Focus and even the new Weather app."
If that's enough to entice you to update from an older iOS build, here's how to get iOS 15 on your phone now.
- Everything you need to know about iPhone 13 Pro
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.