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iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 Slated for 20 September 2021

Apple chose not to mention release dates during its “California Streaming” event, perhaps because it couldn’t predict the exact dates when recording the presentation ahead of time. We now know that iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 will appear on 20 September 2021. Oddly, Apple buried these details on press release pages for the new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch Series 7. We expect Apple will release tvOS 15 that day as well, although there’s no guarantee.

I’ve been running the betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 for several months, and they have been remarkably stable. Much more so than macOS 12 Monterey, which I don’t anticipate seeing until November. That said, unless you’re an inveterate early adopter, we recommend waiting a couple of weeks or until Apple releases the X.1 updates, especially since the servers are often slammed on launch day. Make sure you have a backup before initiating the upgrade, too!

I would be remiss if I didn’t throw in a shameless plug for my book, Take Control of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, which documents all the new features in those operating systems, including major changes to Safari, the new Live Text feature, Focus (which is like Do Not Disturb on steroids), and more. I plan to refresh that book—a free update for existing owners, of course—soon to cover new iPhone 13 features and some other things, but it’s in decent shape now. (Feel free to ignore my warning about Apple’s CSAM detection, which has been delayed for now; see “Apple Delays CSAM Detection Launch,” 3 September 2021).

I’ve also drafted an update to Take Control of Notes to tackle new features like tags and @-mentions. Then I’ll turn my attention to an update to Take Control of Apple TV to address the minor changes in tvOS 15 and add overdue details about the second-generation Siri Remote. There’s no rest for the wicked… or anyone who writes about Apple.

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Comments About iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 Slated for 20 September 2021

Notable Replies

  1. Let’s do a few quick polls to see when people plan to update to the release versions of Apple’s upcoming operating systems.

    Before the pedants start their engines, if you’re running the beta, you still have to update to the release. And if you have a too-old device that can’t update, the decision has already been made for you. :wink:

    Vote in the poll.
  2. I plan to stick with Howard Oakley’s proven method. Wait until the update of the update. So probably when 15.1.1 come out.

  3. My current phone (an iPhone 6) can’t run anything newer than iOS 12. I do plan on upgrading my iPod Touch to 15 within a week or two. I expect my next phone (plan to buy a 13 mini as soon as Verizon starts taking orders) will come with 15 pre-loaded.

    I have to skip the other two polls. My iPad is truly ancient and I don’t have a Watch.

  4. I’m using iPadOS 15 beta, which is quite good.

    A compelling feature for me to upgrade all devices is Focus, although I need to see how good it works first. First feature I may set up is Legacy Contacts, given the ever present risk of dying.

  5. Did they add back Legacy Contacts? They removed it a few betas ago.

  6. I tried using it a while ago, but it stated that my other devices needed to be updated, so I left it alone.

    Yes, I notice now that it’s not in the latest couple of betas.

  7. Just a reminder for anyone with a machine too old to be officially supported for use with newer Mac OSes: Make a backup and give OpenCore Legacy Patcher a try. I have two mid-2012 MacBook Pros which can only officially go up to Catalina. Earlier this week I upgraded one of them to Big Sur and it’s been working perfectly so far.

  8. Generally I do this (ever since the debacle of iOS 11 iirc, confirmed with the release of iOS 13), but this year I’m planning to get a new phone and keep my X as a backup device, so I’ll have them both on 15, and I’m really interested in the new quick notes and multitasking features on iPadOS 15, so I’ll update pretty quickly.

  9. Every new OS release means something I am used to gets changed. I just wish they’d stop “improving” stuff. So many things have now become quite impossible to restore. Music is one of the worst offender. I’ve been using iTunes (renamed Music) for as long as it has existed. And each new
    release has forced me to restore MY WAY of organizing my music. Why does Apple feel it knows better?

  10. Oh boy. Talk to me about Music. I still use iTunes on an older Sierra machine, and it’s not even a fully updated iTunes. I assume a 13 Mini won’t even been seen by that (I’m coming from a 2016 SE on iOS 12).

    Maybe I should resign myself to the fact that I won’t be able to back up to a computer anymore.


  11. One word - iMazing. Try it- I think you’ll like it.

  12. Maybe wait and see before panicking in advance.

    People have been worrying about this with every new iOS device invented. And so far it hasn’t been an issue. New devices (and new iOS updates) often require downloading an updated driver for iTunes/Sync services, but that’s about it.

    And if all else fails, you can use a third-party backup solution (@TGarf suggested iMazing, which offers many other useful features as well).

  13. I’m going to check out imazing… right now.

    But I have already been “updated” off my original iTunes machine so it’s only a matter of time before I get kicked off this one too.


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