SF Symbol Changes in iOS 15.2


When examining the iOS 15.2 simulator in Xcode 13.2 beta 2, I noticed that there had been a few changes to SF Symbols. [EDIT: Xcode 13.2 Release Candidate has now been released and there have been no additional changes since beta 2.]

  • SF Symbols v2.0 available in iOS/iPadOS/tvOS/Mac Catalyst 14.0, watchOS 7.0 and macOS 11.0
  • SF Symbols v2.1 available in iOS/iPadOS/tvOS/Mac Catalyst 14.2, watchOS 7.1 and macOS 11.0
  • SF Symbols v2.2 available in iOS/iPadOS/tvOS/Mac Catalyst 14.5, watchOS 7.4 and macOS 11.3
  • SF Symbols v3.0 available in iOS/iPadOS/tvOS/Mac Catalyst 15.0, watchOS 8.0 and macOS 12.0
  • SF Symbols v3.1 available in iOS/iPadOS/tvOS 15.1, Mac Catalyst 15.1, watchOS 8.1 and macOS 12.0
  • SF Symbols v3.2 available in iOS/iPadOS/tvOS 15.2, Mac Catalyst 15.2, watchOS 8.3 and macOS 12.1

Changes in SF Symbols 3.2

There are relatively few changes this time:

  • Restricted symbols 10 new symbols are restricted
  • Hierarchical / Palette rendering 6 new symbols support the hierarchical and palette render modes

Added Symbols

These are the 15 new symbols in iOS 15.2:

iOS 15.2 System Images ‘Added’ collection in Adaptivity v8.4 on iPhone 13 Pro Max in monochrome, hierarchical and palette render modes

Restricted Symbols

In Adaptivity, a red ⓘ button indicates a symbol is restricted. Tapping the button shows an alert explaining how the symbol can be used. Adaptivity also has a custom ‘Restricted’ collection which shows just the restricted symbols. The 10 new restricted symbols brings the total number in iOS 15.2 to 267:

iOS 15.2 System Images ‘Restricted’ collection in Adaptivity v8.4 on 12.9" iPad Pro

Hierarchical and Palette Symbols

The screenshot above in the “Added Symbols” sections shows the 6 new symbols which support hierarchical and palette render modes. Here’s a closer look at two of them:

iOS 15.2 System Images context menu in Adaptivity v8.4 on iPhone 13 Pro Max in hierarchical render mode

Localized Variants

Apple’s naming conventions use words such as leading, trailing, forwardand backward for symbols that have right-to-left localized variants. In general (but not always), symbols with words such as left and right do not change. There are many symbols which come with both fixed left/right and localized leading/trailing versions.

iOS 15.2 System Images localized variants in Adaptivity v8.4 on iPhone 13 Pro Max


WWDC 2021: 10097, What’s new in SF Symbols


Adaptivity has many other features in addition to browsing SF Symbols. It is primarily a tool to visualize the different window sizes, layout margins, readable content guides, bar heights and Dynamic Type sizes that a modern, adaptive, iOS app uses when running on different devices and iPad multitasking sizes. There are also views for browsing System Colors, System Fonts and System Materials, and a view for exploring iPadOS Pointer Interactions. In iOS/iPadOS 15 you can also configure UISheetPresentationController options for modally-presented view controllers.

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I have written articles on How iPad Apps Adapt to the New 8.3" iPad Mini, How iOS Apps Adapt to the various iPhone 12 Screen Sizes, Bringing Adaptivity to Mac Catalyst, How to Switch Your iOS App and Scene Delegates for Improved Testing and the View Controller Presentation Changes in iOS 13.



Independent and freelance software developer for iPhone, iPad and Mac

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Geoff Hackworth

Independent and freelance software developer for iPhone, iPad and Mac