Get ready, everyone: Apple officially confirmed that WWDC 2021, its annual developer conference, will start on June 7th — which means we now know with almost absolute certainty that's when we'll get first look at what's coming in iOS 15.
WWDC is Apple's big software event, where it announces the major updates and new features that will roll out to iPhones, iPads, AirPods, Apple TVs and Macs when their next-generation operating systems go live in the fall. (Apple occasionally gives us new hardware, too; in the last few years, Apple has announced the HomePod, the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR all at WWDC.)
The last big software update to iPhone, iOS 14.5, gave us a bunch of new features, including more Siri voices, key upgrades to Maps, App Tracking transparency and the ability to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask with your Apple Watch. And the next big software update to iPhone is expected to be even bigger.
We've rounded up the latest rumors and expected release date of iOS 15, below.
An updated Lock Screen
It's expected that iOS 15 is going to deliver a significant update to your iPhone's Lock Screen. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, there will be a new menu screen accessible from the Lock Screen that's going to allow you to quickly adjust your notification preferences (like what sounds or vibrations your iPhone makes when you get an iMessage or Twitter alert). You'll also be able to access these features in the Control Center when your iPhone is unlocked.
Auto-Reply for iMessage
iOS 15 is expected to bring about some neat features to iMessage, including an improved auto-reply feature. Your iPhone currently has an auto-reply feature that you can set up via the Settings app and the Do Not Disturb tab, but it's only available when you're driving (or have the iPhone set to Driving mode). With iOS 15, Gurman suggests that you'll be able to set different statuses and the auto-reply will vary depending on that set status.
Which iPhones will be compatible with iOS 15?
It's expected that iOS 15 will be supported by every iPhone that's been released in the last six-ish years, or iPhone 7 or later. This means that if you have an older iPhone SE (2016), or iPhone 6s/6s Plus, there's a chance it won't support the new software update.
When will iOS 15 be available?
The announcement of iOS 15 will likely take place at WWDC 21 on June 7th. The beta version of the software will likely be available shortly after that, but the masses will have to wait several months — likely until early September — for iOS 15 to officially roll out to all supported iPhones.