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I upgraded to iOS 15: New features and installation guide

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Apple’s latest software upgrade for the iPhone, iOS 15, is out for the general public to download and install. The new update has been available since September 20 and right from day one, I have been on this latest upgrade. Here are the new features of this update and a guide to install.

Here’s what’s new in iOS 15:

Select text in a photo

With the live text feature, you can select, copy and paste text, call a number and even open a website in a photo. Any image with a text will show the live text icon at the bottom right corner of the photo. This is one of the most useful features of iOS 15.

Invite anyone to a FaceTime call

For the first time, FaceTime call can be made with your friends with other platforms like Android and Windows. To invite your friends on FaceTime, tap New FaceTime, add contacts, then tap invite with Messages.

Translate text

You can translate text in PDFs, messages and other apps with just a tap. This is available in English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Korean.

Focus mode

You can silence notifications you don’t need while you work, exercise, game and more. In the Control Center, tap focus to open Focus Mode. Then you can select from one of the preset focus modes or create a custom focus mode giving varying levels of permission for notification from apps and contacts. This is one of my best features of this new upgrade.

Background noise

You can reduce background noise while on a call. In a call, open Control Center, tap Mic Mode and tap Voice Isolation. This will make your voice loud and clear.

Background sounds

With background sounds turned on, you can simulate real time sounds from the environment right on your iPhone. You can select from Rain, Ocean, Bright Noise to get real time simulations of these sounds. On a hectic day where I face sleeping difficulties, I turn on Background Sound and select Rain to give me a very weird but optimal sleep.

Safari tabs and more

Safari has also seen subtle but important tweaks. The address bar is now at the bottom of the window where it is very reachable. Tabs can now be organised and saved as a tab group.

Installation guide

Now that we have looked at some of the most useful iOS 15 features, I will walk you through ways of installing the new update. You can install the update via Over the Air (OTA) or you can download the ipsw firmware file and flash with iTunes.

Installing iOS 15 via OTA

This is the easiest way to install the update. Go to Settings, General, Software Update. At the bottom of the screen, select upgrade to iOS 15.

It is very important to note that you have to be connected to a very strong WiFi to use this method. If you have no access to WiFi, the next method is your best option.

Installing iOS 15 ipsw firmware with iTunes

This option is suitable to those without WiFi. Also, if you and other people use the same iPhone model, you can download one signed ipsw file to update all the devices. One issue is that apple has to sign the firmware file so iTunes or any third party tool will search apple servers to verify if it is a signed iPhone firmware. For some reason, apple does not sign old firmware and this may make your downloaded file somewhat obsolete.

However, there is a way to install unsigned apple firmware but you cannot restore to this firmware in iTunes.

To install iOS 15 ipsw firmware on your iPhone,

1) Go to and select your iPhone model. Choose iOS 15 from the list and download the file.

2) Once the file is downloaded, open iTunes. If iTunes asks you to download and install iOS 15, close the dialog box and click on your device in iTunes.

3) Hold shift key and click Check for Update. A dialog box will open.

4) Browse to the location of the downloaded ipsw firmware file and select it and click open

5) Make sure your computer is connected to the internet as iTunes will verify Apple’s signature.

After some few minutes, your device will be updated to iOS 15. This upgrade will not wipe your data but it is a smart idea to backup your files should something go wrong.

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