Apple’s new operating system, previewed at WWDC, will launch this fall alongside the iPhone 13.
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. On Monday, for an online keynote Apple’s annual , the company presented a preview of iOS 15, the next major version of of operating system. It’s the follow-up to last year’s iOS 14 and will launch in full this fall and likely debut .
iOS 15 brings a large number of new features, improvements and refinements. FaceTime grows with more Zoom-like features, including Linksthrough browser. You can keep low-key alerts in your phone bundle and have them delivered to you in the form of notification summaries. Live Text is basically Apple’s version of Google Lens. You can watch videos and listen to music with friends on FaceTime calls. Messages can aggregate and organize links and content so that you can view them all at once whenever you want. You can also add your driver’s license to Apple’s Wallet app.
Upgrades to iOS 15 fit four key themes: staying connected, finding focus, harnessing intelligence, and exploring the world. Apple’s fast-paced, feature-packed preview on Monday stood in stark contrast to the sober reality surrounding iOS and Apple’s App Store. In the past year, Apple respondedat home and abroad. company launched and new controls on ad-tracking, which has led to a . waiting for apple , one of the largest app developers for iOS.
A developer version of iOS 15 will be available to download, and a public beta will launch this summer.
iOS 15 adds FaceTime support to Android, Windows
one of the following, Apple’s app for video and audio calls. Over the past year, many of us have relied on video calls to keep in touch with friends and family and collaborate with coworkers. Apps like Skype and Zoom became the norm, while FaceTime suffered because of its limitations. iOS 15 makes FaceTime like Zoom while retaining some of its quirkiness.
Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said the goal of updating FaceTime to iOS 15 was to make it feel more natural and comfortable to use. Now you can schedule FaceTime calls and create links in advance. The FaceTime link can be accessed on an Apple device, or.
. Randomly sized tiles are gone, replaced with a neat grid of squares of the same size as all of your callers. Grid view makes it easy to see who is speaking at a glance. FaceTime adds Portrait Mode to iOS 15. Like Portrait Mode for photos on the iPhone, which separates you from your background, FaceTime turns the background of your video calls into a nice artistic blur.
There are also new tools to improve audio. FaceTime in iOS 15 supports spatial audio during calls and makes your friends and family feel more natural, giving the impression that they are in the room with you. Your microphone gets smart and can isolate your voice or widen its pickup to capture all the details in your surroundings. Apple showed a video of two people making FaceTime calls. Behind one of the people was a child using a leaf blower. When voice isolation is enabled, the leaf blower sound goes away. (I don’t know how many people would gift a leaf blower to their child, let them use it indoors, but it was a fun example.)
Watch Movies, Listen to Music on FaceTime in iOS 15
, which lets you share your screen, your music or video over a video call. For example, if you’re on a FaceTime call, you can play a song in Apple Music and listen to it on the call with your friends and family. This feature works with Apple Music as well as video content from Apple TV Plus, TikTok, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu. Developers can add the SharePlay API to their apps, so maybe YouTube will adopt it?
Watching videos on FaceTime can also be shared on your Apple TV. SharePlay looks like it adds multitasking and a great wealth of service integration when you’re on a FaceTime call.
Messages gets a new design and content is more organized
Messages gets a visual overhaul and gets more organized. In an iMessage conversation thread, photos are shown in a new collage design or, when there are many, in a photo stack. You can simply swipe through a photo stack from the in-thread view or tap to open all photos in a separate screen.
Another new Share With You feature, which links video, music, and story links people share with you in Messages, and organizes them into a new tab for the respective app. For example, if a friend sends you a link to an Apple News story via iMessage, it’s automatically added to the Share with you tab in the Apple News app. The tab shows not only the link but who shared it with you. When you tap on that person’s name, you’re returned to that place in your Messages conversation with them.
Photos Shared With You also brings photos you’ve shared with you to Messages in your Photos app. Apparently the Photos app will only import the ones you care about. Screenshots and memes will not be added.
Shared With You works in the following apps: Apple Music, Apple News, Apple TV, Safari, Photos and Podcasts. You can also pin a message, link, or content and have it elevated to Share with you and show up in Search.
iOS 15 changes notifications, adds tools to help you focus
Notifications on your iPhone are revamped to help you deal with all the alerts on your phone. Notification Summary is a new feature that lets you schedule when unimportant notifications are delivered. It can prioritize which ones are most important and bundle the rest for morning delivery (or whatever time you choose). Siri can now automatically read time-sensitive messages when you’re not on your phone. For example, if you order a food delivery and it arrives, Siri can read the notification via HomePod or your Apple Watch.
You can also use the new focus tool in iOS 15 to help you focus on certain things when you’re using your phone. For example, if you’re at work, you can choose to be notified by coworkers only for apps like Mail, Calendar, or Slack. Other settings for the Focus tool include Do Not Disturb, Personal, and Sleep, which you can schedule to come on when you set your bedtime.
Live Text lets you digitize and interact with the text in your photos
Live Text in iOS 15 uses artificial intelligence to find text in photos or through your iPhone’s camera viewfinder. You can copy and paste the text, or if it’s a website you can open the link. It feels similar to Google Lens.
In the Photos app, Live Text automatically generates photo tags in its device-wide Spotlight search feature. With a new search feature called Visual Lookup, you search for the word “beach” and the iPhone will display any photos that have a beach or were taken at the beach. This seems like a huge improvement when it comes to searching through your photos and could help the Photos app hold up to the widest photo searches you can do in Google Photos.
Add Your Driver’s License to Apple Wallet in iOS 15
The Wallet app in iOS 15 lets you add corporate keycards and driver’s licenses. Apple says it is working with the TSA on ways to accept it in US airports. This comes on top of being able to carry credit and debit cards, transit fare cards, and car keys (for phones equipped with Apple’s U1 chip for ultrawideband).