iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 Now Available

Originally published at: iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 Now Available - TidBITS

Apple has released iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 with some nice new features, but we recommend that those who aren’t early adopters wait for a week or two.

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Also, as I just discovered, updates (15) for HomePod and HomePod Mini. I’ve installed 15 on my iPhone 12 Pro and my (last generation) iPad Mini. Waiting for my AW5 to reach 50% charge before installing WatchOS 8.

iPadOS 15 installation totally screws up the icon arrangement on the first page, adding without asking several large widgets and pushing icons back to the second page (and others too if subsequent pages were full). Then after removing the widgets and attempting to recreate my original arrangement, I found that they had changed the number of rows and columns allowed (at least on the iPad Air 2 I tested an install on). This is a likely very significant user UI annoyance. Be aware, for yourself, and those you support. Surprise!

Does iOS do this too?

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No, it’s very similar to 14. There are UI differences (as I just discovered opening Safari to answer this) but I don’t notice changes to the top level.

There are complaints about iPadOS15 here:

The report of the Home app problems is a concern for me. I think I’ll wait before upgrading.

Totally agree. One of the things I liked most about iPadOS 14.x was how the app icons stayed the same, page to page, regardless of whether you were in portrait or landscape mode. I put apps in places for easier viewing by my technophobic spouse. Now 15.x has taken it upon itself to %$*#! that up. Not happy. I should note that this is on a 2016-model 9.7-inch Pad Pro, so it may well be that things are not so screwed up on the newer, bigger screens of more recent models. Still, it would be nice if Apple had provided a way to add widgets to a new front page without changing the other pages. That would at least have mitigated some of the annoyances, although certainly not the change in number of icons per page nor the way they move around when you switch between portrait and landscape.

I don’t wish ill-will on first installers but I’ve learned not to touch any new iOS/OS from Apple until .1 or .2 of it.
(notes that I saw the Safari search bar is at the bottom, but can be changed back with the “aA” button, and then Show Top Address Bar or via Settings/Safari/Tabs set to single Tab.)

(The snippet is from the MacRumors excerpt that appeared in @mpainesyd’s post above.) I thought there was no downgrade mechanism for iPhones and iPads. Would someone point me to a step-by-step description of what I would before upgrading to have this capability and how I would execute the downgrade if I chose to do so?


Edit. The answer to my question is at Update to iPhone - #2 by Shamino. Thanks, @Shamino.

Downgrading isn’t the same. The procedure I described lets you upgrade to a specific signed image file.

If your phone’s current version is newer than the one you want to install, I don’t think it will work.

You can option-click the “Restore” button to downgrade to a signed image you have downloaded, but that will erase your device, resetting it to factory settings. You can’t restore from a backup, because doing so will upgrade you to the newest version.

Data stored on cloud servers (e.g. Notes, IMAP e-mail folders), will automatically sync, but you’ll need to manually reinstall apps (from the App Store) and re-sync documents and media from copies stored elsewhere, so make sure you aren’t keeping your only copy of any content on the phone!

If you are using a third party tool like iMazing, you might be able to restore data from a backup after downgrading iOS, but I’ve never done this so I don’t know how well it will work.

There is cautious advice here:
https://www.stellarinfo.com/article/how-to-downgrade-ios.php
“If you have decided to go back to the previous iOS , you can easily do it.But remember there’s the biggest risk is of losing your iPhone/ iPad data as the process completely wipes iPhone data… Backing up iPhone to iCloud or iTunes after upgrading to the latest iOS doesn’t help as this backup file won’t work once you have downgraded to the older iOS .”… " There’s only a limited time window for you to downgrade iOS as Apple needs to ‘sign’ the old version of iOS before you downgrade. And Apple usually stops signing the older iOS version within a few days of the new iOS release."
I think I will wait for xx.1 ! For iPhone & iPad.

However my ATV & Homepods are working well after upgrading to 15.

I wonder why Apple thinks it knows how to organise and arrange my iPad screens better than I do.
I also wonder why Apple keeps fiddling with these minor things.

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Beware of new bug already: iPhone Storage Almost Full notification may show up. And its mostly wrong as this was posted by someone with 50GB available.
Solution: ignore it until Apple pushes a fix out.

It’s not just that. For some it’s reporting more size available than the total capacity of their device. Not as annoying though as when the bug leads to the opposite and people get a bogus badge pushed into their face they can no longer get rid of.

Millions of beta test installs and something like this goes to market unnoticed? Wow.

If you are unable to use Apple Music on your new iPhone or iPad, Apple Music bug found. And Apple recommends patch.

After update to tvos15, the settings on my apple tv 4k indicates that i need to “Update apple id settings” but this doesn’t seem to be possible. Clicking on the notification has no effect, nor does signing out and back in to Store/iCloud/Game centre under Users and Accounts. In the meantime it seems to work ok……!

One thing that I have noticed with iOS 15 and watchOS 8 is that unlocking the watch with the iPhone is much more consistent. Since (I think…) 14.7 my watch would only unlock by unlocking the iPhone if I had at least one interaction with the locked watch on my wrist before the phone would be able to unlock the watch, and if the watch remained locked with the phone unlocked, I’d have to lock and unlock the phone again before the phone would unlock the watch. iOS 15 and watchOS 8 have fixed that for me.

An update on the ATV and Homepods… I have stereo Homepods as the default audio output for the ATV 4K. It is still working well after the 15 update. However, when playing music via the ATV, I have noticed that after several minutes the +/- “buttons” on the Homepods sometimes go out. If I tap the top of a Homepod it pauses the music. So I can no longer reliably change the volume via the top of the Homepods.
I hope that Apple is not neglecting the original (discontinued!) Homepods in its testing of software updates.

I have a stereo set of original HomePods in my living room and a HomePod Mini run my bedroom. For both sets, I either change volume from the source or via Siri. Samples of the various Siri commands (always prefaced by “Hey Siri”):

  1. “Louder” or “Raise the volume” or “Volume Up”
  2. “Softer” or “Lower the Volume’” or “Volume Down”
    For fine tuning:
  3. “What’s the Volume” and then “Set volume to ‘x’ percent”
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