Apple Releases New Phones Again, More Software for Your Current Phone Too


Imagery by Blue Linden

Blue Linden
October 19, 2021

Apple, the computer and software company that created the iPhone, has come out of the shadows to release hardware products that are high in cost. However, the real excitement surrounding the event was Apple’s new software for their devices, iOS 15.

Apple demonstrated iOS 15 at WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2021 on June 7, with not much hype from users at first. Christian Selig, who maintains the popular Reddit app Apollo, has a different viewpoint. He’s relieved that he doesn’t have to add and support too many new features this year. This view is also shared by Marco Arment, the developer of Overcast, which is a popular podcast player app.

iOS 15 brings the following:

  • Your phone can share its screen over FaceTime which is great for a co-op gaming session or watching some Disney+ with a friend. Unfortunately, Netflix doesn’t support this feature.
  • There’s a new way of controlling your phone’s notifications called Focus. You can have different apps and people allowed to contact and notify you based on what Focus mode you’re in. (example: a school mode versus a sleep mode versus do not disturb.)
  • Newer iPhone models will let you select and copy or translate text from images. For example, taking a picture of a business card lets you call the company by tapping on the phone number in the photo.

Apple also announced new iPhones on September 14th. However, the new iPhone 13s aren’t much different from last year’s iPhone 12 and 12 pro series.

The key differences are:

  • The newest generation of processor is the Apple A15. It makes an appearance in both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. It’s a bit faster, and it has more memory. Not only that, but It can do things like speak in Siri’s voice faster than iPhones before.
  • The cameras on the back of the iPhone 13 series have been re-arranged. They now look like someone looked at the current iPhone camera bump and said, “You know what? I’d like this phone more if we yanked this camera over to the other side of the camera bump. But only this camera.” (Google it, you’ll see.)
  • The iPhone 13 Pro has a screen that moves smoother. It shows more pictures to you every second, so there are fewer times when the image, video, or interface on screen isn’t moving.

The regular iPhone 13 costs $699 at the lowest tier, and the 13 Pro costs $999 at the lowest tier, going all the way up to $1599.

Raine, a Glasgow 8th grade student, was interviewed about the new iPhones and the new update.
When asked their opinion on the iPhone 13, they said, “I think the phone looks cool, but the camera size seems a little [excessive].” When asked if they were going to buy the new phone, they said they’re not looking to. “I currently have [a] phone that I like, and I’m not in the market to buy a new one, so no.” They have positive sentiment toward the new updates, as they said, “The new updates are really cool, I like how much softer everything looks.” They said their iPhone 12 has been responding well to the updates. “It seems to be working fine, I haven’t noticed any problems with how it’s working.” However, they state that their phone is exactly as useful as it was before. “The usefulness of my phone hasn’t changed, it’s just added some cool perks.”

Now, for how to update to iOS 15. First, you’re going to want to have your phone on. Open the “Settings” app and scroll down to the button that says “General.” Click it, and then click the “Software Update” button near the top of the screen. Wait a few seconds until it shows you that your software is either up to date or needs to update to iOS 14.8. Ignore those messages, near the bottom of the screen it should display a button that says “Upgrade to iOS 15.” (If you can’t see it, scroll down a little.) Tap on it, and install the update when you know you won’t need your phone for an hour or two because your phone will reboot. Additionally, Apple will still keep updating iOS 14, so if 15 isn’t for you, you can stay on iOS 14 for another year.