Apple iOS 15: What are the New Features to Know?
Apple has just released iOS 15 software update at Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 7. We’re breaking down the new features that you should know about, including FaceTime features such as spatial audio and portrait mode, new tools that help users focus, and more
Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021 just wrapped. Though there was no new hardware revealed at the event, the tech giant went big on software updates, previewing iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 and watchOS 8 that can significantly impact the way you use your devices including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and more, on a day-to-day basis.
According to the official statement, the latest iOS 15 update from Apple revolves around four major themes: staying connected, focusing without distraction, using intelligence and exploring the world—which brings an enormous amount of new features and improvements to enhance the iPhone experience.
In case you missed the showcase, We’re listing all the cool new features of iOS 15 and why should consider upgrading your iPhone iOS.
A bunch of new features has been introduced to Facetime, Apple’s app for video and audio calls. It’s no secret that there’s been a rise in the usage of video chat apps where many of us have relied on video calls to stay connected with our loved ones since the pandemic. And now, Facetime is getting some huge upgrades to make your video calls feel more “natural, comfortable and lifelike”, according to Apple, with the addition of spatial audio. With this new feature, voices in calls will sound as if they are coming from where the person is positioned on the screen. New microphone modes are also launched to help users block out the user’s background noise on calls.
Next is the portrait mode feature. Users can now blur their background and put themselves in focus, just like how the portrait mode photos work on iPhones. If you’d like to use FaceTime for work conferences, the app also lets you generate a shareable link to a scheduled video call, and join calls through the browser on Android and Windows devices. All of these new updates do make the app more competitive with other video chat services, such as Google Meet and Zoom.
Another new feature to Facetime is Shareplay, which enables users to share their screens, music or videos with others during a video call. It works across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and with shared playback controls, anyone in a call can play, pause, or jump ahead. It’s also available as an API to be integrated into third-party apps such as Disney+, HBO Max and Tiktok.
The New Focus Tool
iOS 15 introduces a new tool “Focus” that helps users concentrate better and reduce distraction. The feature filters notifications and apps based on what the user wishes to focus on, where you can create a custom Focus or select a suggested Focus.
Utilising on-device intelligence, the phone will give Focus suggestions are based on your context, like during your work hours or before bedtime. And when Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to their other Apple devices as well. You can also create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus, to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation.
Lastly, when you turn on Do Not Disturb, your contacts will be able to see your status in iMessage and they can choose whether to send a message or not.
Notifications also gets an upgrade with a new feature called Notification Summary. Instead of being sorted by apps and by date, the messages will be sorted by priority. Utilising on-device intelligence, a notification summary will be presented based on how users interact with their apps and contacts, meaning you can reduce those distracting rings coming from your phone and enjoy a more personalised phone experience.
Live Text in iOS 15 uses artificial intelligence to allow users to find text in photos or through their iPhone's camera viewfinder. You can highlight, copy and paste the text in photos, which is similar to what you can do with Google Lens.
Apple’s Spotlight search feature now also enables users to search photos by location, people, scenes, or objects, and using Live Text, Spotlight will help locate text and handwriting in photos as well in the Photos app. In the new update, the Photos app also gets a new interactive interface, where Apple Music songs can be added to the library and bring your memories to life.
Photo: Courtesy of Apple
Photo: Courtesy of Apple
Photo: Courtesy of Apple
New types of keys have been added to the Wallet app, including corporate badges, hotel room keys and keys for home smart locks. Digital car keys will be provided with better support thanks to the Ultra Wideband technology, where users securely unlock and start their supported vehicle without removing their iPhone from a pocket or bag.
The Weather apps gets a fresh new look, which now features more graphical displays of weather data, full-screen maps, and dynamic layouts that change based on conditions. Users can expect beautifully redesigned animated backgrounds that accurately reflects the sun’s position and precipitation, as well as notifications highlight when rain or snow starts and stops.
Safari features a completely new design with easier-to-reach controls in the iOS 15 upgrade. There is a new, compact tab bar floating at the bottom of the screen so users can easily wipe between tabs. Tab groups feature is also available, where users can save tabs and access them at any time across any device. Safari will also support new features including customisable start page and web extensions on iOS.
Discover more about Apple's iOS 15 update and other new features here