FaceTime with our Android user friends? Well, it’s about time…
If you didn’t tune in to Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference two days ago, fret not ’cause we are here to break down all the new features coming to all you iOS users.
iOS 15, a substantial upgrade with significant improvements that improve the iPhone experience, was released today by Apple. iOS 15 improves the naturalness of FaceTime conversations, offers SharePlay for shared experiences, helps users focus and be in the present with improved notification management options, and adds more intelligence to images and search for faster information access.
Apple Maps introduces stunning new ways to travel across the globe. Full-screen maps and more graphical data displays have been added to the weather app. The wallet now supports home keys and ID cards, and Safari now has a new tab bar design with Tab Groups, making browsing the web even easier. To help safeguard users, iOS 15 provides additional privacy options in Siri, Mail, and other locations across the system.
With spatial audio, voices in a FaceTime call sound as if they are coming from where the person is positioned on the screen, and new microphone modes separate the user’s voice from background noise.
Inspired by the stunning portrait photos taken on iPhone, Portrait mode is now available for FaceTime and designed specifically for video calls, so users can blur their background and put themselves in focus. While using Group FaceTime, a new grid view enables participants to see more faces at the same time.
FaceTime calls also extend beyond Apple devices with the ability to create a link from iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and share it through Messages, Calendar, Mail, or third-party apps, so anyone can join a FaceTime call from their web browser on Android and Windows devices. FaceTime calls on the web remain end-to-end encrypted, so privacy is not compromised.
Users can now share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime, including listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together. SharePlay works across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and with shared playback controls, anyone in a SharePlay session can play, pause, or jump ahead. SharePlay even extends to Apple TV, so users can watch shows or movies on a big screen while connecting over FaceTime, and SharePlay will keep everyone’s playback in sync.
This new feature filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on. Customers can set their device to help them be in the moment by creating a custom Focus or selecting a suggested Focus, which uses on-device intelligence to suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them. Focus suggestions are based on users’ context, like during their work hours or while they’re winding down for bed, and when Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to their other Apple devices.
Users can create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation. When a user’s Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status is automatically displayed to others in Messages, reflecting that a user is not currently reachable.
Notifications have been redesigned, adding contact photos for people and larger icons for apps that make them even easier to identify. To help reduce distraction, a new notification summary collects non-time-critical notifications for delivery at a more opportune time, such as in the morning and evening. Using on-device intelligence, notifications are arranged by priority, with the most relevant notifications rising to the top, and based on a user’s interactions with apps. Urgent messages will be delivered immediately, so important communications will not end up in the summary, and it’s easy to temporarily mute any app or messaging thread for the next hour or for the day.
Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognise text in a photo and allow users to take action. For example, users can search for and locate the picture of a handwritten family recipe, or capture a phone number from a storefront with the option to place a call.
With the power of the Apple Neural Engine, the Camera app can also quickly recognise and copy the text in the moment, such as the Wi-Fi password displayed at a local coffee shop. With Visual Look Up, users can learn more about popular art and landmarks around the world, plants and flowers found in nature, breeds of pets, and even find books.
Spotlight now uses intelligence to search photos by location, people, scenes, or objects, and using Live Text, Spotlight can find text and handwriting in photos. Spotlight now offers web image search and all-new rich results for actors, musicians, TV shows, and movies. Enhanced results for contacts show recent conversations, shared photos, and even their location if shared through Find My.
Photos include the biggest update ever to Memories, with a fresh new look, an interactive interface, and integration with Apple Music, which uses on-device intelligence to personalise song suggestions that bring memories to life.
When navigating using iPhone or CarPlay, Maps features a three-dimensional city-driving experience with new road details that help users better see and understand important details like turn lanes, medians, bike lanes, and pedestrian crosswalks.
Apple Wallet adds support for additional types of keys, making it possible to access everyday places with just a tap. Last summer, Apple introduced digital car keys, and BMW was the first car company to add its keys, allowing users to tap to unlock. This year, digital car keys get even better with support for Ultra-Wideband technology, so users can securely unlock and start their supported vehicle without removing their iPhone from a pocket or bag. iPhone can also be used to unlock a user’s home, office, or even a hotel room — all through keys stored in Wallet.
The Health app gets a new sharing tab that lets users share their health data with family, caregivers, or a care team, Trends gives users a way to focus attention on meaningful changes in personal health metrics, and Walking Steadiness is a new metric that empowers people to proactively manage their fall risk.
iOS 15 introduces even more privacy controls to help protect user information. With on-device speech recognition, the audio of Siri requests is now processed entirely on iPhone by default, and performance improves significantly. Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from learning whether an email has been opened, and hides IP addresses so senders can’t learn a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them. App Privacy Report offers an overview of how apps use the access that has been granted to location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts in the last seven days, and which other domains are contacted.
Notes and Weather
Weather includes more graphical displays of weather data, full-screen maps, and dynamic layouts that change based on conditions. Beautifully redesigned animated backgrounds more accurately reflect the sun’s position and precipitation, and notifications highlight when rain or snow starts and stops.
Notes add user-created tags that make it easy to quickly categorise notes, and mentions allow members of shared notes to notify one another of important updates. An all-new Activity view shows the recent history of a shared note.
Widgets for the iPadOS home screen will be available. They’re quite identical to the ones on iOS, with the addition of a considerably larger widget choice because of the larger screen.
Working with several applications is now easier than ever with iPadOS 15. A new multitasking option displays at the top of programmes, allowing users to quickly switch between Split View or Slide Over. When utilising Split View, users now have instant access to the Home Screen, making it quicker to choose the relevant app. They may also multitask with programmes that have many windows, like Safari and Pages, using the new shelf.
The watchOS will now be able to measure your respiratory rate and record how you breathe throughout the day thanks to the new function. New fitness modes, such as Tai Chi and Pilates, will be available as well.
New Portraits watchface will generate a tidy, layered-looking clock layout using your portrait-mode photos.
New tools in macOS Monterey are designed to help users get more things done whilst staying focused. The SharePlay feature will soon be available on the macOs too.
Universal Control lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard and move between Mac and iPad for a seamless experience, with no setup required. Users can even drag and drop content back and forth between devices — great for sketching a drawing with Apple Pencil on iPad and placing it into a Keynote slide on the Mac.
With AirPlay to Mac, users can play, present, and share just about anything — from the latest movies and games to vacation photos and presentations — from their iPhone or iPad right to their Mac’s stunning Retina display.
Shortcuts arrives on the Mac to help users automate everyday tasks and achieve peak productivity. Just like on iPhone and iPad, Shortcuts on Mac lets users quickly accomplish tasks with the apps they use the most. Power users looking to take things further can use the Shortcuts Editor on Mac to customise shortcuts to match their workflows. Shortcuts is integrated throughout macOS, including the menu bar, Finder, Spotlight®and even hands-free with Siri — making it easy to run shortcuts no matter which app the user is in. Users can easily import existing Automator workflows into Shortcuts and be up and running right away.
A major update to Safari features a gorgeous streamlined tab bar and powerful tab organisation with Tab Groups.
A public beta will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com
Siri adds Announce Notifications on AirPods, the ability for users to share what’s on their screen just by asking, and more.
Shared with You works across the system to find the articles, music, TV shows, photos, and more that are shared in Messages conversations, and conveniently surface them in apps like Photos, Safari, Apple News®, Music, Podcasts, and the Apple TV app, making it easy to quickly access the information in context.
iCloud+ combines everything users love about iCloud® with new premium features, including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit® Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost.9 Current iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically this fall. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with people in the same Family Sharing group, so everyone can enjoy the new features, storage, and elevated experience that comes with the service.
Translate adds a new Live Translate feature that makes conversation flow naturally across languages. Systemwide translation allows users to translate text anywhere on iPhone.
HomeKit accessory makers can now enable “Hey Siri” in their products, allowing customers to talk to and get responses from Siri on third-party devices. “Hey Siri”-enabled accessories will relay requests through HomePod® or HomePod mini™ and will support features such as Personal Requests, Intercom, timers, and alarms. Starting today, smart home device manufacturers can begin working with Apple to integrate Siri into their accessories.
Find My introduces new capabilities to help locate a device that has been turned off or erased, as well as live-streaming locations for family and friends who choose to share their location. Separation Alerts notify a user if they leave an AirTag, Apple device, or Find My network accessory behind in an unfamiliar location, and the Find My Network now supports AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. A new Find My widget offers an at-a-glance view directly from the Home Screen.
The Apple TV app now features a new row titled “For All of You” — showcasing a collection of shows and movies based on the interests of selected people or an entire household — perfect for movie nights.
New iPhone setup makes it more seamless than ever to get started with iPhone. Existing iPhone users can temporarily back up data to iCloud — even without a subscription — to easily transfer their data to a new iPhone. For those moving to iPhone for the first time, an improved “Move to iOS” experience easily transfers photo albums, files, folders, and Accessibility settings, so iPhone feels personal right from the start.
Accessibility across iPhone expands with new features for VoiceOver that enable users to explore even more details about the people, text, table data, and other objects within images. In support of neurodiversity, new background sounds help minimise distractions, and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, Made for iPhone supports new bidirectional hearing aids. Sound Actions customises Switch Control to work with mouth sounds, and users can now customise display and text size on an app-by-app basis. Apple is also bringing support for recognising imported audiograms — charts that show the results of a hearing test — to Headphone Accommodations.