WWDC 21 happened yesterday and Apple previewed the next version of iOS in the event. Even though we did not see any hardware announcements, there are some really cool features iOS 15 brings. Also, one thing to note from the event is that if your iPhone is running iOS 14, you are going to get the next iOS update as well. This means that all devices from iPhone 6s and above are going to get the update.
Top iOS 15 Features
FaceTime on iOS 15 gets a really major update. Spatial audio reflects the speaker’s on screen location. There’s also Voice Isolation that reduces background noise from your surrounding. Portrait mode can now be used on FaceTime as well, and users can even share music and videos during calls. You can now send links to schedule or start a FaceTime call, and people can also join from their Android or other devices since it is now accessible on the web as well.
Notifications suck. All apps try to get your attention as much as possible. This is leading us towards a world of crazy distractions and unlimited scrolling throughout the day. Apple is trying to bring a change in this habit by introducing something called Focus. With Focus, you now have the ability to customize which notifications appear during different activities. For example, you can set a different mode while you are working and sync that across all devices. You can also set a custom home screen page that contains widgets and apps for your particular Focus mode.
iOS 15 also allows you to batch certain notifications together and receive all of them at a later time of the day as a summary.
Remember iMessage? A generation of iOS later, I still cannot stop calling it iMessage. Anyway, Messages are getting a few cool updates too! When you have enabled Do Not Disturb mode, your contacts will see a status in the Messages apps. They can also override the DND mode if it is really urgent. If you share multiple photos, they will be stacked together or appear in a collage and will also be visible in the “Shared with you” section of the Photos app.
Privacy has been one of the core functions of iOS and Apple now has even more edge. iOS 15 will bring all Siri request processing on-device by default. Users will also get an App Privacy Report that will summarize how often apps accessed location information and microphone or camera in the last seven days. Mail will also block tracking pixels that are commonly used in email marketing to see whether or not an email was read.
There’s also the ability to search text in a photo, something Google has been doing for years now, finally available in iOS. It’s called LiveText and can search photos even in Spotlight, Apple’s local search engine. Users can also find their AirPods Pro and AirPods Max using the Find My application. AirPods will also get audio updates.
Apple Wallet will now support a wide range of items such as hotel room keys and other relevant identification information for TSA. Memories in the Photos app gets more customization options with different music track and transition options to change the feel of your videos.
The Weather app is also getting new animated backgrounds, and will display more information with full screen maps. Speaking about maps, there are now significantly enhanced details in cities and a three dimensional city driving view when using navigation on the phone as well as CarPlay.
Safari also gets improved design changes and grouped tabs that will sync across all devices. Safari on IOS will finally support browser extensions as well.