Can your iPhone update to iOS 15?

iOS 15 overview of features
(Image credit: Apple)

The next big update coming to iPhones around the world is called iOS 15, and it'll bring new features focusing on productivity to your handset.

At the September event, Apple announced the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, alongside a new iPad mini (2021) and an Apple Watch 7. The release date was also confirmed for iOS 15 and its other software updates, except macOS 12 Monterey.

Every iPhone that was capable of downloading iOS 14 is also eligible to update to iOS 15. 

iOS 14.8 is the latest update that you can download right now, and it was made available on September 13. That was a day before the iPhone 13 was unveiled, but you can hold off from upgrading if you wish. 

Which iPhone models are compatible with iOS 15? We've taken a look at the biggest features so far to see if your iPhone is ready for the update.

The iPhones that can update to iOS 15

iOS 15 Supported Devices

(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you own the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus or original iPhone SE, you can upgrade to iOS 15. Anything earlier than these phones, such as an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 5S, you're out of luck.

The iOS 14 upgrade was available on these three devices, but that in itself wasn't expected as many had anticipated Apple would drop support for those devices in its 2020 upgrade.

At WWDC 2021, Apple confirmed that any device that can run iOS 14 can also run iOS 15. The following shows which iPhones can update to iOS 15 once it's available on September 20:

The following features require an A12 Bionic chip or later, which is the iPhone XR and above:

  • 3D landmarks in Maps
  • On-device Siri speech recognition
  • Spatial Audio for FaceTime
  • Portrait Mode for FaceTime

What's new in iOS 15?

Three iPhones running iOS 15

(Image credit: Apple)

At first glance, iOS 15 may look light on features. It's when you dig deeper into the release that you learn it's all about productivity.

While we've gone into detail about five features to take notice of, Apple has delayed SharePlay for a future release, which allows you to watch a movie or listen to music with someone else.

Apple Maps has also seen a refresh in its user interface, alongside better features for when you're driving, such as crossings and bike lanes, and street-level perspectives as you approach a complex interchange.

Privacy is also the highlight again in this update, with a weekly app report that shows which applications have used your location, photos and more. This should give you a better understanding of how your installed apps uses your content.

We're expecting a future release of iOS 15 to land very soon, which will feature SharePlay. When that happens, we'll be testing it out to see if it's any different from how it appeared in the public beta of iOS 15.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.