Apple has officially announced iOS 15, the latest iteration of the iPhone operating system on the first day of WWDC 2021. iOS 15 brings multiple quality of life changes and is built on three design principles: focus, connect and explore.
Apple iOS 15 announced:
Immersive FaceTime changes
FaceTime is Apple’s alternative to Zoom and Google Meet—and the go-to video calling platform for most iOS users. The company announced at WWDC 2021 that it is bringing a natural, intuitive, and life-like experience to the app.
The video-calling app now supports Spatial Audio, which makes discussions feel more realistic by making participant’s audio come from the appropriate location on the screen.
Apple has also introduced Voice Isolation, a setting that prioritizes human voice by reducing ambient noise using machine learning to improve audio clarity. Nonetheless, you may enable Wide Spectrum audio to intentionally retain background noise.
The app gets a fresh new look as well. A grid view may now be used to observe each participant in a tile-like block, or a portrait mode may be used to focus on the speaker rather than the background.
FaceTime for Android and Windows
But the biggest update to FaceTime has to be its availability on Android and Windows. Yet, it won’t available as a standalone app. Android, Windows users will be able to join in on a FaceTime call via a web browser through a shareable link.
Next up, FaceTime has new SharePlay support, allowing you and everyone else on the conversion to enjoy songs, shows, and videos together. You can now go to the Music app (without leaving the chat), select a song, and play it with everyone.
Likewise, this also works with streaming platforms such as HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, Twitch, and TikTok. SharePlay can share your screen on the app too. Apple is also providing SharePlay API, so we’ll have to wait and see what modifications third-party app developers bring with it.
Moving on, Notification Summary will give the seemingly unending list of notifications a fresh look. This feature will transform alerts from a jumbled mess into a tailored bundle of notifications that look organized and take up less space.
Meanwhile, it will not include important notifications in the summary, so you will not miss them. Furthermore, the app icons, avatars of contacts have been enlarged for better readability.
Assisting the notification summary is the new feature called “Focus”. It allows you to customize your notification preferences and restrict your exposure to them and applications based on your choices.
For instance, if you enable the “Do Not Disturb” mode, your contacts will see that status on the Messages app. However, if the sender requires something critical from you, he or she can overrule the DND request.
Photos takes cues from Google
Although Android users have long enjoyed OCR (Optical Character Recognition) through Google Lens, Apple is now introducing it to the Photos app with the Live Text feature. It allows you to select text from your gallery’s photographs, screenshots, and other images.
At its debut, an Apple spokesperson stated that the Live Text can recognize seven languages. The isolated text is saved on the device itself, which is beneficial for privacy.
Apple Wallet is the next best thing to have your house, workplace, and hotel keys in one place. That is, you can use your phone to open compatible door locks. This autumn, Wallet users will be able to get digital keys for certain businesses and hotels. Furthermore, you may now keep an encrypted replica of your identity card, which will be accepted at airports too.
Likewise, Apple Maps has undergone a 3D design makeover that looks fantastic. The app can now utilize the camera to scan nearby buildings to precisely orient the phone and assist you in determining the direction.
Last but not least, iOS 15 introduces new functionality for AirPods known as “Conversation Boost”. It assists individuals in hearing who they are speaking to better in real-time, in a relatively crowded environment. To optimize the audio experience, users may also alter the volume of ambient noise too.
Apple iOS 15 compatibility
The new iOS 15 upgrade is available for all iPhones that support iOS 14. This includes:
- iPod Touch (7th generation), iPhone SE (2016), SE (2020), iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
It’s incredibly impressive seeing how Apple is still generous for devices almost 6 years old. Take note, Android smartphone manufacturers.
Apple iOS 15 Availability
Apple announced that the developer beta of iOS 15 is available from Monday. Likewise, the public beta version will be released next month.
- Meanwhile, check out our long-term review of the iPhone 12.