Apple unveiled the new iOS 15 for its iPhones last night at the WWDC 2021 event. The iOS 15 update, which is in beta form, will go through the public development phase until launched in the iPhone 13 later this year as a stable version.
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iOS 15 promises to bring in more productivity and introduce new features while improving on current ones. iOS 15 will be supported in iPhone 6s and newer. Yes, the 2015 Apple smartphone, the iPhone 6s, will get updated to iOS 15. Android OEMs, take a note!
Here are the top features you should be excited about.
Looks like FaceTime has been hitting the gym, and it’s back with some fantastic new gains that any Apple user will appreciate. First, FaceTime now gets Spatial Audio; this makes the person on call sound natural with the sound originating from where they’re located on the screen. Adaptive voice isolation ensures a more natural experience.
You can now watch your favourite movies, listen to music and look up videos movies in sync on FaceTime. In addition, you can now also share screens. This SharePlay feature is similar to what Watch Party on Amazon offers and allows shared controls over playback. This feature will be worked upon as API to better integrate with Disney+ and HBO Max services.
FaceTime will also be available on Android and Windows devices via a shareable link.
Zoom left the chat.
The notification shade will see an update in iOS 15. The notification centre on any smartphone looks like a dump pile with tons of apps pushing multiple notifications. You don’t need to turn off banners for a specific application while consequently lose out on that occasional notification.
Notification Summary helps out by prioritising notifications based on the user’s interactions with the application. The icons have been made larger to be easier on the eye.
This new feature on iOS is productivity-oriented addition. Users can choose a Focus to help them concentrate on a task of their liking. This can be done by creating a customised Focus or choosing from a suggested Focus.
Home Screens and widgets can also be customised to react according to the set Focus, eliminating distractions further. While using this feature, other users can view your status accordingly.
Photos app also sees some improvements. Live Text now allows you to highlight text inside images that can work across other applications such as Apple News.
Photos can now add songs from Apple Music onto images and videos to create some incredible Memory Mixes. It is intelligently synchronised and is also user-configurable.
Additionally, you can also search images on Spotlight now.
The Wallet app now supports additional key types such as corporate badges, hotel room keys and smart home keys. The much-anticipated ID storing feature has also been introduced into the Wallet. Although limited to the United States, for now, the Wallet lets you scan and store ID cards such as your Driver’s Licence.
The weather app has been freshly redesigned and now features newer graphics. It now shows the suns position, newer animations as well as in-app maps. The animations also change based on the situation, denoting when the rain stopped and the sun shined.
Although Google Maps and Waze are widely chosen over Apple Maps across the globe, Apple still has updated the Maps app. In the news maps app, you can see detailed views of city structures and show real-time animations of night and day scenes. Light glows on buildings are just awesome.
Maps now also include detailed layouts for cycle tracks, crossroads, turn lanes, etc, to increase assists. Topological features, elevations and elaborate 3D models enhance the in-map feel.
The transit view also sees improvements with more significant information and guidance, including detailed directional information.
The original iPhone in 2007 featured a desktop-grade Safari browser. The glory days are back as Safari now supports extensions for your favourite apps and websites. Safari will also feature a customisable start page for the first time.
Safari has also been redesigned, and the new look brings it onto a new generation of usability. The redone tab bar now sits at the bottom and can be swiped across to switch other tabs. Tabs can now be viewed easier in a grid.
Other New Additions
While those were some of the main features, there still are a host of other features that improve the quality of the iOS 15’s usability experience.
Messages app sees newer ways to share media content such as music and photos, and messages can now be pinned. There are Memoji outfits as well.
Safari now supports the drag and drop feature as well as voice search. Speaking of search,
Spotlight also can now search media items to provide a richer experience.
Notes can now be tagged to be categorised, and mentions inside the notes can notify the particular person in a shared note.
The Health app also sees functional improvements where the new sharing tab can be utilised to share health data with concerned people. Trends also help keep a tab on significant health traits.
FindMy network now gets a widget with a live location feed.
‘Privacy. That’s iPhone’. On-device Siri requests that can be made without a network means that your searches are stored on the phone rather than the cloud. Alongside that, Mail Privacy Protection and App Privacy Reports are some new additions.
iOS 15 Upgrade is Optional
Apple has chose to give users an option to stay on their current version of iOS (i.e. iOS 14) while still receiving necessary security updates. Although, Apple states that the users will be getting the entire set of security and firmware updates on iOS 15, Apple is willing to push updates for users on iOS 14 until they’re ready to upgrade to iOS 15.
Developer builds for iOS 15 beta is available right now. It will be followed by a public release of the beta in the coming month.