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. On Monday, under an online main direction for , Apple’s annual the company presented a preview of iOS 15, the next major version of the software for the iPhone. It is a follow-up to last year’s iOS 14 and will start in its entirety this autumn and will probably debut on .
iOS 15 brings a huge amount of new features, enhancements and enhancements. FaceTime offers several zoom-like features, including links that allow Android and Windows users to join a FaceTime video call via a web browser. You can have your phone swap out minor alerts and deliver them to you as a notification summary. Live Text is basically Apple’s version of Google Lens. You can watch videos and listen to music with friends over a FaceTime conversation. Messages can collect and organize links and content so you can see them all at once. You can even add your driver card to the Apple Wallet app.
The upgrades in iOS 15 fit into four main themes: staying connected, finding focus, using intelligence and exploring the world. Apple’s fast – paced preview on Monday was a contrast to the sober reality of iOS and Apple’s App Store of late. Over the past year, Apple has respondedat home and abroad. The company was launched and new ad tracking controls that led to one . Apple is waiting too , one of the largest app developers for iOS.
A developer version of iOS 15 will be available for download today, with a public beta launching this summer.
iOS 15 adds FaceTime support for Android, Windows
One of, Apple’s video and audio call app. Over the past year, many of us have relied on video calls to keep in touch with friends and family and collaborate with colleagues. Apps like Skype and Zoom became the norm, while FaceTime suffered due to the limitations. iOS 15 makes FaceTime a little more like Zoom while retaining some of its uniqueness.
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said the goal of updating FaceTime in iOS 15 was to make it feel more natural and comfortable to use. You can now schedule FaceTime conversations and create links in advance. FaceTime links are available on Apple devices or via a web browser on Android phones and Windows computers.
FaceTime’s video interface is overhauled with a new grid view. Gone are random tiles, replaced by a nice grid of equal squares for all your callers. Grid view makes it easier to see in a moment who is talking. FaceTime in iOS 15 adds portrait mode. Just like the portrait mode for photos on the iPhone, which sets you apart from your background, FaceTime turns the background of your video call into a fine artistic blur.
There are also new tools to improve sound. FaceTime in iOS 15 supports spatial sound during a conversation and makes friends and family sound more natural, giving the effect that they are in the room with you. Your microphone gets smarter and can isolate your voice or expand your pickup to capture all the details of your environment. Apple showed a video of two people having a FaceTime conversation. Behind one of the people was a child using a leaf blower. When voice isolation is activated, the sound from the leaf blower disappears. (I do not know how many people will give their child a leaf blower, let alone let them use it indoors, but it was a fun example.)
Watch movies, listen to music via FaceTime in iOS 15
Another new feature of FaceTime is called SharePlay, which lets you share your screen, music or videos during a video call. For example, if you’re in a FaceTime conversation, you can play a song in Apple Music and listen to it during the conversation with friends and family. The feature works with Apple Music, as well as video content from Apple TV Plus, TikTok, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu, among others. Developer can add SharePlay API to their apps, so maybe there’s a hope YouTube will adopt this?
Watching a video over FaceTime can also be shared with Apple TV. SharePlay adds a huge wealth of multitasking and integration when you’re on a FaceTime call.
Messages get a new design and the content is more organized
Messages get a visual overhaul and become more organized. An iMessage conversation thread shows pictures in a new collage design or, when there are many, in a photo stack. You can swipe through a photo stack just from the thread view or tap to open all the images on a separate screen.
Another new feature called Shared with you, which takes videos, music and history that connects people shared with you in Messages, and organizes them into a new tab for the corresponding app. For example, if a friend sends you a link to an Apple News story via iMessage, it’s automatically added to the Shared With You tab in the Apple News app. The tab shows not only the link, but who shared it with you. When you tap the person’s name, you are taken back to that place in your Message conversation with them.
Shared with you also brings photos that are shared with you in the Messages to Photos app. Apparently, the Photos app will only import the ones you care about. Screenshots and memes are not added.
Shared with you works in the following apps: Apple Music, Apple News, Apple TV, Safari, Photos and Podcasts. You can also attach a message, link or content and have it highlighted in Shared with you and appear in searches.
iOS 15 overtakes notifications, adds tools to help you focus
The alerts on iPhone are updated to help you handle all the phone alerts. Alert Summary is a new feature that lets you schedule when unimportant alerts are delivered. It can prioritize which ones are most important and pack the rest for a delivery in the morning (or whichever time you choose). Siri can now automatically read time-sensitive messages when you do not have your phone with you. For example, if you order food delivery and it arrives, Siri can read the alert via a HomePod or Apple Watch.
You can also use the new focus tool in iOS 15 to help you concentrate on certain things when using your phone. For example, if you are at work, you can choose to only be notified by colleagues for apps such as Mail, Calendar or Slack. Other settings for the focus tool do not include disturbance, personal and sleep, which you can plan to remember when setting bedtime.
Live Text allows you to digitize and interact with text in your photos
Live Text in iOS 15 uses artificial intelligence to find text in photos or through the iPhone’s camera viewfinder. You can copy and paste the text, or if it is a website, you can open the link. It sounds like Google Lens.
In the Photos app, Live Text automatically generates image tags for its device-wide Spotlight search function. With a new search function called Visual Lookup, you search in the word “beach”, and the iPhone will display images that have a beach in them or were taken on a beach. This seems like a huge improvement when it comes to searching your photos, and it can help the Photos app capture the detailed photo searches you can do in Google Photos.
Add your driver card to Apple Wallet in iOS 15
The Wallet app in iOS 15 lets you add enterprise key cards and driver cards. Apple says it is working with the TSA on ways to accept it at US airports. This is in addition to being able to carry credit and debit cards, transit price cards and car keys (for phones equipped with Apple’s U1 chip for ultrawideband).
Everything else in iOS 15
There’s so much in iOS 15. For people like me, it’s fun to dig into features deeper and try those that never got screen time, like new outfits for Memoji stickers. I will update this article as I find more.