During WWDC in June 2021, which was held virtually, Apple unveiled iOS 15, the new version of its operating system, which will arrive on iPhones later this year. As usual with Apple’s announcements, iOS 15 has generated a lot of hype, and some of the features featured should be a game-changer already. Before the official announcement, we already had an idea of ââthe kind of changes to expect from iOS 15, especially in terms of confidentiality. Apple’s decision to give the user control over their privacy and limit app tracking in 2020 was one of the most revolutionary things to happen to smartphones, and users expected it to be. that they follow up. And, indeed, the more extensive iOS privacy features were one of the highest in WWDC. But they’re not the only reason to update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS when it arrives in fall 2021. Here’s a look at the most exciting features Apple announced:
- Extensive privacy features
Privacy-conscious users will be happy to hear that Apple has leveraged the privacy features of iOS 14.5 and introduced even more measures to reduce data tracking. Apple announced a new privacy dashboard where users can see which apps have accessed their microphone and camera and how many times. From there, they can revoke the permission of that app and even remove it.
Apple will also reduce mail tracking. Right now, when you open a marketing email, the brand that sent it can get information like when you opened it and your location, which is quite intrusive. Starting with iOS 15, marketers will no longer be able to track emails you open from your Mail app. iCloud will also get a premium upgrade with iOS 15, iCloud +. It will be similar to a VPN, in that Safari traffic will be encrypted and you can use a âHide my emailâ option.
Siri requests will also be handled internally, which on the one hand means faster response times and on the other hand, increased privacy. Apple also announced âSecure Pasteâ. This feature comes in when you paste data from one app to another, preventing the second from accessing the clipboard until you paste it. This is an improvement over iOS 14, where you could see that an app had accessed your clipboard, but there was nothing you could do to stop it.
- Focus mode and new look for notifications
A while ago Apple introduced Screen Time, a feature that lets you see how much time you spend on your iPhone, which apps you use the most, and schedule time away from the screen. Now they build on that with Focus – a feature that lets you set multiple occasions (eg, work, home, before bed, personalized) and select which notifications can reach you next. Think of it as a do not disturb mode, but you have more control over it. For example, while you’re at work, you may only receive calls and messages from coworkers and productivity apps, or when you’re getting ready for bed, you won’t receive notifications from social media.
iOS 15 also comes with a new look for notifications, as well as notification summaries. With this feature, notifications of similar apps will be grouped together in a summary until you are ready to open them. This reduces clutter and, as a long-term involvement, will encourage developers to create more meaningful and engaging notifications.
- Improved Apple Cards
Apple Maps has not got off to a good start. In fact, it was one of Apple’s most disastrous versions. Fortunately, the app has come a long way since 2012, and despite the horrific first impression, it has improved. We are still far from Google Maps, but with the features announced in iOS 15, we are getting there little by little. The new Maps app will have 3D views in some cities and will also show details such as bike lanes and crosswalks. There is also an augmented reality powered feature that makes it easier to understand walking routes. Unfortunately, these add-ons aren’t supported for all cities, but if you live in one of the supported cities, you might be tempted to use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps.
- Improved FaceTime calls
FaceTime was already one of Apple’s most popular apps, and unsurprisingly, its use skyrocketed during the pandemic. As a result, many features announced for iOS 15 aim to make calls smoother, more natural, and more intuitive. One of the biggest improvements is Spatial Audio. In a group call, it causes the speaker’s voice to sound from where that person is on the screen, making it easier for participants to understand each other. Apple has also introduced new microphone modes, which allow you to separate your voice from the background. This will be especially useful for people who work from home or in public spaces.
You can also use the new Portrait mode if you want your background to be out of focus and your face to be in focus. Another cool addition was SharePlay, which lets you listen to music and watch content from streaming platforms at the same time. For example, during a FaceTime call, you can play an episode of a TV show and share the screen with the other person. When you pause, the video also pauses for the other person, making the whole experience more connected. And finally, on iOS 15, you’ll be able to share the link to your FaceTime call, and your friends will be able to join no matter what device they’re on, including Android or Windows.
How and when to update to iOS 15
If you’re a registered developer, you can download and install the iOS 15 beta in July from the Apple Developer Center. However, please note that all of the above features may not yet be available and it is recommended that you install the new OS on a secondary device as bugs are common with betas. If you are going to install the new version of iOS on your primary device, check out this useful iPhone info and guides on how to back up your data to avoid file loss.
The public version of iOS 15 is slated for fall 2021, and that’s when regular users will see it in the “Software Update” section.