Apple’s iPhone runs the iOS operating system, while iPad run iPadOS—based on iOS. You can find the installed software version and upgrade to the latest iOS right from your Settings app if Apple still supports your device.
The latest major versions of Apple’s mobile operating systems are iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, which Apple released on September 20, 2021. Apple releases new major versions of iOS and iPadOS roughly once every twelve months.
iOS 15 on iPhones adds the ability to FaceTime with others on Android and Windows, a new Do Not Disturb feature called Focus, the ability to scan, identify objects, and copy text from pictures, and more. Additional performance improvements were also added to both iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
You can check which version of iOS or iPadOS you have on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via the Settings app.
To do so, navigate to Settings > General > About. You’ll see the version number to the right of the “Version” entry on the About page. In the screenshot below, we have iOS 15.0 installed on our iPhone.
You can upgrade iOS or iPadOS to the latest version available for your device from the Software Update screen. Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch may occasionally show a notification telling you a new version of iOS or iPadOS is available, too.
To start an update, open the Settings app and then head to General > Software Update. Your device will immediately check for an updated operating system. If an update is available, you can download and install it whenever you want. Just tap the “Download and Install” option at the bottom of the screen to install it.
If no updates are available for your device, you’ll see a “Your software is up to date” message instead.
You can also use iTunes to update an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
If your device tells you your software is up to date, but you aren’t running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 yet, you’re probably using an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch that Apple is no longer supporting with operating system updates.
According to Apple, the following devices are compatible with the iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 operating system:
- iPhone: iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (2nd generation), and iPhone SE (1st generation)
- iPad: iPad (9th generation, iPad Mini (6th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad (8th generation), iPad (7th generation), iPad (6th generation), iPad (5th generation), iPad mini (5th generation), iPad mini 4, iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation), and iPad Air 2
- iPod touch: iPod touch (7th generation)
If you have an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod that isn’t on this list, you won’t be offered iOS 15 on the Software Update screen. You can still install the latest version that is compatible with your device. But, to get iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, you’ll need a new device.
- › How to Update an iPhone
- › Why Isn’t My iPhone Charging?
- › How to Use Apple’s New Multi-Room Audio Features in AirPlay 2
- › 12 Family Tech Support Tips for the Holidays
- › How to Update an iPad
- › The Computer Folder Is 40: How the Xerox Star Created the Desktop
- › Cyber Monday 2021: Best Tech Deals
- › How to Find Your Spotify Wrapped 2021