- FaceTime with Android and Windows phones…
- iPhone helps users focus…
- Ditch your wallet with new digital ID…
iOS 15 shined bright at Apple’s 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference.
The tech giant highlighted the new features of its iPhone operating system at the virtual event on Monday which is set to be released this fall.
Table of Contents
The newest operating system comes with a slew of new features for iPhone enthusiasts.
Apple categorizes those updates into four different themes — staying connected, finding focus, using intelligence, and exploring the world.
FaceTime Gets a Facelift
Some of the biggest changes in iOS 15 are on FaceTime as Apple is giving the video chatting service brand new features.
One of those is the ability to continue a FaceTime call while simultaneously watching TV shows or movies or listening to music.
The update also includes a new feature called SharePlay, which allows you to share your screen with everyone on the call.
Now you can watch movies together, listen to music together, and even browse through websites together — all over FaceTime.
Apple is also upgrading the audio on its flagship video chatting app by introducing spatial audio and new mic modes to improve sound quality when in noisy environments.
With spatial audio, the company says, “Individual voices sound like they’re coming from the direction in which each person is positioned on your screen, helping conversations flow more naturally.”
Apple is also adding grid view for group FaceTime calls and portrait mode to blur the background.
Want to FaceTime with a friend who doesn’t have an iPhone? You can with iOS 15 by sharing a link to connect to FaceTime on any device, even an android.
Message Attachments Get Organized
The upgrades to Messages are all about organization.
To find a link or photo previously sent to you through messages, you no longer have to scroll through your history.
The corresponding app, say Photos, will now have a folder called “Shared with You,” which will include all photos previously sent to you in Messages.
The same goes for other apps like Safari for website links or Podcasts for podcasts.
Multiple photos in one message thread will no longer be stacked one on top of each other but will instead appear as a thin stack you can click into and scroll through.
Memojis are also getting more expressive with new outfits, more expressive hair options, stickers, and accessories.
Apple is introducing a new app to help iPhone users stay focused — Focus.
The tech giant says, “Focus helps you stay in the moment when you need to concentrate or step away.”
Using the app you can choose from a pre-selected list which includes driving, fitness, reading, and more.
When you choose a focus, iPhone will silence unrelated notifications.
If someone tries to text you while you have Focus turned on, messages will automatically alert them you have “notifications silenced with Focus” so they don’t wonder why you aren’t replying.
Notifications will look a bit different in iOS 15 as Apple is adding contact photos to Message notifications and making the app icons a bit larger for other notifications.
You’ll also notice a new “notification summary” which Apple says allows you to “quickly catch up with a helpful collection of your notifications delivered daily, based on a schedule you set. The summary is intelligently ordered by priority, with the most relevant notifications at the top.”
Maps Get City Friendly
Apple is ramping up its Maps app to be more helpful for city dwellers.
Users will be able to “explore cities with unprecedented detail for roads, neighborhoods, trees, buildings, and more. Visit amazing 3D landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge in both the day and dark mode maps.”
When using Maps for GPS while driving, users will notice new detail including “turn lanes, crosswalks, and bike lanes; street-level perspectives as you approach complex interchanges; and a new dedicated driving map that helps you see current incidents and traffic conditions at a glance.”
Maps will also include new immersive walking directions and upgraded features to use public transit.
Browse Easier with Safari
iPhone’s flagship web browser Safari is getting a slew of new features as well.
The redesigned tab bar will take up less space on the screen and users will be able to scroll through tabs with just the swipe of a thumb.
And tab groups will allow users to save and organize their tabs together, these groups will sync across devices linked to the same iCloud account.
Safari will also feature a new voice search feature and extensions that are available on the desktop version of Safari will now be active on the mobile version.
Digital ID in Wallet
Apple’s Wallet is getting its biggest upgrade yet with the ability to have a digital version of your state-issued driver’s license or ID.
The tech giant said it is working with the TSA to ensure that digital ID can even be used to fly.
You’ll also be able to set up digital keys to unlock your home, garage, or hotel room using NFC software.
The iOS 15 update also includes:
- Live Text in photos and camera, which can read an email address or phone number right off of a picture or through the camera lens.
- Live Text translation that understands English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
- Visual Look Up, which allows you to search for something just by taking a picture of it
- New privacy features that allow users to more easily see which apps are using your information.
- iCloud+ is a new subscription service to replace today’s storage plans plus new features like iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support
The developer version of iOS 15 has been rolled out for companies to make apps while the beta version for users will be released this summer.
Apple is expected to officially roll out the new operating system in September with a rumored iPhone 13.
Featured cover editorial credit: nikkimeel / Shutterstock.com