Apple’s iOS 15 has finally launched, along with some brilliant new iPhone privacy features. Two of the best, in my opinion, are Apple’s email feature Mail Privacy Protection, and the iPhone App Privacy Report.
Sadly the App Privacy Report is not 100% functional yet—the UI for the report itself will come in a later iOS 15 update. Still, it’s worth getting the feature prepped on your iPhone for when it’s ready. If you are fairly technical you can read the report now.
First things first. Make sure you have downloaded iOS 15 in Settings > General > Software Update. Then you can try out these great new iPhone features.
Mail Privacy Protection
The first iOS 15 feature to try out now is Mail Privacy Protection—a way to protect your email from marketers. You might not know that each time you receive an email, marketers can gather information including your IP address, whether you opened it and whether you clicked onto their website.
Apple’s answer to preventing this—Mail Privacy Protection—will come up when you go into your Mail when you first update to iOS 15, where you will be given the option to “Protect Mail Activity.”
If you didn’t do this when you upgraded to iOS 15, you can access Mail Privacy Protection in your settings by going to Settings > Mail > Mail Privacy Protection and make sure you turn on Protect Mail Activity.
App Privacy Report
Also new to iOS 15 is the App Privacy Report, which improves iPhone privacy and builds on Apple’s App Tracking Transparency by showing which permissions apps are accessing and how often—such as your camera or mic. Sure, it might be useful for an app to be accessing permissions, but a weather app shouldn’t need access to your camera.
Like the successful App Tracking Transparency feature stops unwanted tracking, the App Privacy Report gives you more control over permissions, and the power to revoke them where needed. It also shows when apps are tracking you via other apps and websites.
To turn on the iOS 15 App Privacy Report, go to your iPhone Settings > Privacy and scroll all the way to the bottom and toggle on Record App Activity. The iPhone setting will record a seven day report which you can send to yourself and review.
Now, the detail that many people don’t realize. The full functionality of the App Privacy report is not ready yet, as I discovered when I tried it out on my iPhone. You can enable the feature in iOS 15, and download the seven day report, but you’ll need to open it on a PC or Mac and paste it into a text editor to read it.
The more pleasant looking and easy to understand interface will come in a later version of iOS 15. “The UI that renders the raw file is missing at the moment; there’s no standard way to view this file on the iPhone,” security researcher Tommy Mysk told me. “You need to download it and then view it on a PC, or open it with a text editing app on the iPhone, but you need to be an advanced user.”
iOS 15 features are great for iPhone privacy
The launch of iOS 15 is great for iPhone privacy, and hopefully you are as excited about these new features as I am. Watch the video at the top for a visual guide, and follow the easy steps to enable them now.