Major New Updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS Previewed

During the early hours of this morning, Apple unveiled major releases to its software platforms. Including iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and macOS Monterey. All of which will be released to the general public in Sprint, 2021, as free software updates.

This year, Apple has focused on new experiences to connect and share with the ones we love. Cities in Apple Maps are significantly more detailed. And there are bigger and better improvements to privacy, health, and more.

New features and updates are generally available across all software platforms, particularly iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. However, some are unique to specific platforms, as follows:

iOS 15

Every iPhone runs iOS, so naturally, any update to iOS lands in the hands of people more than any other Apple platform. This year’s major release to iOS is called iOS 15.

Apple has focused on improving several key areas of iOS 15. While also providing new and exciting features. Some of the many new key features of iOS include:

  • Innovative new ways to connect and share what we love with friends and family. With updates to FaceTime. And the ability to listen to music, watch a movie/TV show, and more simultaneously.
  • Detailed cities and more in Apple Maps
  • Ability to adjust notifications and more depending on a set ‘Focus’, such as sleep, work, fitness, reading, and more
  • Live text: Ability to select, copy, and paste text from photos. Including handwritten text on a whiteboard
  • All-new updated weather app with new detailed information and weather maps
  • and much more

A complete list of new features in iOS 15 can be viewed here.

iPadOS 15

iPad will gain just about every new feature of iOS 15. But it will also gain improvements and new features specific to it, with iPadOS 15 – the next major release of iPadOS.

This years release of iPadOS heavily focuses on improving multitasking, getting things done, organising information, and much more. Some of the many new key features of iPadOS 15 include:

  • An easier way to use multiple apps at once with a new ‘Multitasking Menu’
  • Ability to see all opened windows of a particular app, for example, multiple documents opened in Microsoft Word
  • Add widgets to the Home Screen
  • Organise Apps automatically with ‘App library’
  • Quick Notes: Ability to write a quick note by simply swiping from the bottom right corner

iPadOS 15 also gains many of the new features available in iOS 15. Including new ways to use FaceTime and share, Apple Maps, privacy enhancements, and much more. A complete list of new features in iPadOS 15 can be viewed here.


Every new Mac runs macOS. This year, macOS will receive a big update with the release of macOS Monterey. It will gain many of the features of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Including FaceTime and sharing updates, detailed cities in Apple Maps, and more.

macOS Monterey has, however, updates that are unique to it. Some of the many new features of macOS Monterey include:

  • Ability to quickly take notes, save links, and more with ‘Quick Notes’ (as with iPadOS 15)
  • Streamlined tab bar in Safari, taking up less space while extending the colour of the site to the UI
  • Universal Control, giving the ability to drag and drop content from a Mac to an iPad. Or even a Mac to another Mac. It is even possible to use one trackpad and keyboard and control multiple devices
  • AirPlay to Mac allows for displaying content from an iPhone on a larger Mac display
  • Live Text, allowing text to be selected, copied, and pasted from photos
  • Shortcuts App, enabling automation of tasks you do most often

A complete list of new features in macOS Monterey can be viewed here.


The operating system which powers Apple Watch will also gain an update with the release of watchOS 8. It gains new and exciting ways to view and share photos, store digital versions of keys, and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Some of the many new features of watchOS 8 include:

  • Add Portrait photos to watch faces
  • watch photo highlights with Memories and Featured photos now on Apple Watch
  • Access and view your security cameras with the ability to use the two-way audio
  • Store digital versions of keys, then unlock or lock your doors. (Compatible smart lock required)
  • Filter out distractions with ‘Focus’ (as seen on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15). Set a Focus type, such as Work, Fitness, Sleep, and more. App notifications and more will vary depending on the Focus type chosen
  • The ‘Breath’ app is now called ‘Mindfulness, helping you clear your mind. Start a meditation practice and see your breath and reflection minutes.
  • Gain insight into your overall wellness with ‘Sleeping Respiratory Rate’
  • New fitness workout – Pilates

A complete list of new features in watchOS 8 can be viewed here.

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