iOS 15 is coming soon. Here's what we know about the iPhone's upcoming update

Brett Molina
USA TODAY

With Apple’s event Tuesday and the announcement of the newest iPhones, we’re also closer to the launch of iOS 15.

On Tuesday, the tech giant introduced the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 Pro during a virtual event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Among the other devices unveiled in the live-streamed event: a revamped budget iPad, an updated version of its iPad Mini, and the new Apple Watch Series 7 with a bigger display.

Apple said its new operating system will be available as a free software update starting Sept. 20.

Here's everything we know about iOS 15:

►Landmark ruling:Apple must allow for apps to circumvent its App Store for payments, judge rules

►Facebook smart glasses:What it's like to wear Ray-Ban Stories

iPhones running iOS 15

When will iOS 15 launch?

Apple said the new operating system will be available Sept. 20, days before the Sept. 24 launch of the new iPhone 13 devices.

Last year, iOS 14 was available on Sept. 16. But 2020 was an odd year (for obvious reasons), and Apple launched the iPhone 12 in October.

How can I download it?

The best way to check is to head to Settings, then General, then Software Update. Your iPhone will tell you whether iOS 15 is ready to roll. Some older phones should allow users to update by plugging in to a laptop and going through iTunes, if you prefer a tethered option.

What features will appear on iOS 15?

Most notable is an update to FaceTime. You get a grid view to see everyone on a FaceTime call, the option to take calls in Portrait Mode, and SharePlay, the option to watch shows or movies with others while on a call. You also can participate in a FaceTime call through an Android or Windows device. But don't get too excited: You need to know someone with an iPhone who can start the call and send you a link to join.

Users also get a Focus mode to help manage distracting notifications, upgrades to the Weather and Map apps, and the option to add your state identification or personal driver's license to your Apple Wallet, although that feature won't arrive at launch.

►Driver's license on your iPhone:These are the states where you can add ID to your Apple device

Which iPhones will support iOS 15?

This update goes all the way back to the iPhone 6s, so if you have that iPhone model or any version after that, you're set.

Will all iPhones support every new feature?

The key factor deciding which features you'll get on your iPhone is the processing chip. Phones without the A12 chip or later miss out on features such as Portrait Mode or spatial audio on FaceTime, immersive walking directions, and Live Text, which lets users search within photos or screenshots for text.

So which phones don't have the A12 chip? Every model between the iPhone 6s and the iPhone X.

Contributing: Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.