Executive Editor, MacworldSEP 12, 2023 11:59 am PDT
The iPhone 15 is here, and while all of the attention is on the new Pro models with titanium frames and new telephoto cameras, those people who don’t want a thousand-dollar phone aren’t left out. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have some excellent upgrades as well, especially if you’re coming from an iPhone 12 or earlier. Here are the five best new features of Apple’s newest iPhones.
The biggest change with the iPhone 15 is the move from Lightning to USB-C. For the past decade, the iPhone has had a proprietary Lightning port, but now you’ll be able to charge your iPad and Mac with the same cable. Apple is supplying a USB-C charging cable in the box so you probably won’t need to buy anything unless you don’t have a USB-C charger. If you do need a spare one we’ve rounded up the best USB-C iPhone charging cables.
The iPhone 15 gets the same A16 chip that was introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro models last year, and while it probably won’t feel much faster in your day-to-day use, you’ll get some new features that might make a difference. For example, the A16 chip has an upgraded image signal processor for better computational photography as well as a Display Engine for smoothing out images and animations.
New camera features
The iPhone 15 still has a dual-camera array with a wide-angle and ultra-wide camera, but Apple has upped the main camera’s megapixels from 12 to 48 with a quad-pixel sensor and 100 percent Focus Pixels for fast autofocus. Shots will be saved in 24MP by default “offering incredible image quality at a practical file size ideal for storing and sharing.”
Additionally, the iPhone 15 can take 2X telephoto shots without a dedicated telephoto lens. And with “next-generation portraits,” to adjust the focus and bokeh effect after you snap a pic—even if you haven’t switched to Portrait mode.
The Dynamic Island was one of the most talked-about features on the iPhone 14 Pro and now it comes to the iPhone 15. That means the notch is gone and you’ll get pop-ups and live activities at the top of your phone.
Reverse wired charging
Thanks to the iPhone 15’s new USB-C port, you can now use a charging cable to fill up other Apple devices, including an Apple Watch and 2nd-gen AirPods Pro just by plugging them into your phone.
Price and availability
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus start at $799 and $899, respectively, and come in five colors (black, blue, green, yellow, and pink) and will be available for preorder beginning Friday for delivery starting Friday, September 22.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.