Apple’s iOS 15 is available for iPhones and iPads. Here’s what you need to know.


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Apple’s iOS update is the annual consolation prize for people not buying the newest iPhone model. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars, you can add a little zest to your perfectly fine older-generation iPhone (or iPad) at no charge.

graphical user interface: An iPhone is seen using iOS 15's new Photos feature on September 17, 2021.

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An iPhone is seen using iOS 15’s new Photos feature on September 17, 2021.

This year’s update, iOS 15, is available starting Monday. It’s the usual grab bag of new features, extra settings and a subtle software makeover for iPhones and iPads. More than a few of this year’s changes are familiar to anyone who follows Android updates, but some are original or improved. Beta testers have been using the update for months.

There are tons of big and small changes in iOS 15, though none that will disrupt your life too much if you’re not into learning new things. We’ve been using it and found some of the standouts features.

Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s latest iOS update.

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The big question: Should you update your iPhone or iPad now?

This is a trick question. You should absolutely, without delay, make sure your phone is updated to the most recent version of iOS 14.8, the operating system you are probably already on. Earlier this month, Apple released an important security patch after researchers said they found an exploit that could be used to hack Apple devices.


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However, there’s no rush to update to iOS 15. Developers and early adopters have been testing the public beta for months, but bugs are unavoidable. It’s best to hold off a few weeks for the first update to avoid any hiccups, but the risks should be minimal if you can’t wait.

Update your Apple devices now. New Pegasus hack prompts company to issue new software to fix iMessage vulnerability.

The easy directions: How to update to iOS 15

Once you decide to install it, first back up your device just in case something goes wrong. You don’t need to pay for iCloud to keep regular backups…