iOS 15 has been unveiled – and it’s a huge update. Apple added revamped notifications, a ton of new FaceTime features, Siri upgrades, and more.
During his WWDC 2021 opening speech, Apple took over from iOS 15. iOS 15 is the next major software update for the iPhone, and while it might seem a lot less exciting compared to iOS 14 at first glance, there’s still a ground for users to sink their teeth into. From Apple app updates to a complete notification overhaul, iOS 15 has a lot to offer.
It’s safe to say that last year’s iOS 14 update was one of the most exciting Apple has released in quite some time. Between the app library, home screen widgets, picture-in-picture, and plenty of other features, the iPhone feels legitimately exciting again. Naturally, this put a lot of pressure on Apple to deliver another substantial update with iOS 15. While there aren’t as many drastic UI changes this time around, iOS 15 is still packed with plenty of perks to keep people busy. for another year.
Let’s start with one of the most important updates: notifications. Notifications on iOS have long been one of its biggest problems, and with iOS 15, Apple thinks this problem is finally solved. Notifications now feature larger app icons, contact images for messages, and are automatically prioritized using “intelligence on the device.” In addition to individual notifications, iOS 15 also introduces the notification summary. This combines less important notifications into one big set, allowing users to quickly triage alerts from apps that don’t need immediate attention. Another major update is “Focus”. In addition to hosting the Do Not Disturb and Sleep features present in iOS 14, Focus also introduces Personal and Work modes which allow users to switch between different home screen layouts depending on which mode is enabled. For example, in Work mode, someone can limit themselves to a single home screen that displays all their necessary work apps/widgets. Comparatively, Home mode could be created to hide work-related apps and show frequently used ones around the house (grocery list app, streaming apps, etc.). Users can also create custom focus modes for the gym, the grocery store, or anything else to fit their lifestyle.
iOS 15 upgrades FaceTime, Apple Maps, Safari, etc.
As with every iOS update, iOS 15 also introduces a bunch of updates for Apple apps. FaceTime received the most attention, including support for spatial audio, new microphone modes, portrait mode, scheduled FaceTime calls, and the ability to host a FaceTime call via a URL, allowing users to Android and Windows users to join a call. FaceTime also benefits from the new SharePlay API, allowing members of a FaceTime call to simultaneously watch a movie/TV show or listen to a song together. Safari users also have a lot to look forward to, with Apple completely revamping the app for iOS 15. The URL is now at the bottom of the screen, users can move between tabs by swiping on the tab bar , there are tab groups, Safari extensions, and users can customize the start page to create a more personalized browsing experience. Use Apple Maps for navigation? There is also good news. iOS 15 adds a lot more detail to select cities, 3D roads while driving in the city make it easier to spot lanes/medians/crosswalks, and iPhone owners can use the camera viewfinder to get directions AR while walking. Apple Wallet is also getting important updates. As part of iOS 15, the app will support driver’s license/personal ID cards, hotel room keys, house keys for smart locks, and employee IDs/cards . Apple has also redesigned the Weather app, added mentions and user-created tags to Apple Notes, Apple Photos has a new Memories interface, and the Apple Health app gains Sharing + Trends.
Then there are all the miscellaneous updates scattered throughout iOS 15. Like Google Lens on Android, Live Text in iOS 15 lets iPhone recognize text in photos. Once the text is identified, users can act on it instantly, such as copying and pasting an old recipe into an iMessage conversation or typing a phone number on a handwritten note to call it. Similarly, Visual Look Up allows users to scan artworks, landmarks, plants, and other notable items with the camera app to learn more about them. Spotlight users will notice that it can now search web images, get improved results for things like conversations, and see identified text in photos. Certain search items, such as movies and actors, also get improved results pages that are more visually appealing. To complement iOS 15, it includes on-device voice recognition for faster Siri performance, an App Privacy Report to see a quick overview of how apps are using certain permissions, and a feature called Privacy Protection. email privacy” which will hide users’ IP addresses and “prevent senders from knowing if an email has been opened.”
In other words, iOS 15 is a massive update. It might be as immediately exciting as iOS 14, but there’s no denying that Apple has stuffed this latest update with a slew of features for every type of user. iOS 15 will roll out to all compatible iPhones later this fall, with a public beta launching in July.
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