Apple announced iOS 15 at WWDC 2021, an update coming to iPhones when it’s released to the public this fall, and very soon as a developer beta.
As usual at Apple’s developer conference, the company used Keyword WWDC 2021 to reveal the next important OS releases.
Set to arrive this fall to coincide with new devices like the iPhone 13, iOS 15 will introduce a variety of new features and other improvements.
And as you can expect from a significant release, the changes are extensive, covering everything from the home screen to apps built into mobile operating systems.
Apple also continues to push to maintain user privacy and security in the latest release.
The first set of changes outlined at WWDC relate to FaceTime, Apple’s video calling app that has become very important over the past year.
Adding Spatial Audio support to FaceTime makes it easier to identify who is speaking in a conference call, by making the audio appear to come from a picture of the person currently speaking.
Sound isolation improvements help reduce background noise, while a wide range audio mode is also available.
Grid View also helps reorganize the call and make it easier to see everyone on the call at once.
The big advantage of FaceTime is cross-platform calls, where a FaceTime link can be created and shared with others.
This link can be used across Android devices and Windows desktop computers, expanding the service for the first time in its history.
SharePlay allows users to share media within a FaceTime call, including shows, movies, and music from various service providers.
Apple Music support is also included with the integration of multi-user playback sync. Screen sharing option is also available.
Complementing the theme of communications, iMessage users benefit from new options for grouping and stacking images for sharing, providing more ways to visually display shared images with others.
And when you share content like Apple News articles or playlists, it now appears as embedded in messages rather than as a link.
Shared with You within Apple Music, Safari, Podcasts, Apple News and the Apple TV app aggregates shared content to listen to or watch later.
To help users stay focused when doing other tasks, Apple has added a range of features to reduce the amount of distraction that can occur.
Notifications are edited, and they now have a notification summary. Instead of a stack of notifications, a single large summary notification can be presented to the user whenever they want it, combining all the most important elements into a single message.
If users have enabled Do Not Disturb mode on their devices, the status is shown to others in messages to let them know that the user has silenced notifications with focus.
Under Focus, modes can be set up for different situations, which can also be enabled or displayed depending on where the user is. For example, a configured fitness mode can be suggested if the user shows up at the gym.
In an effort to help users deal with large amounts of typed information, Live Text is an automatic OCR feature for the Camera app.
Users can point the camera at text across a board, tag, or page, making the live text selectable and can be copied and pasted elsewhere.
Leveraging machine learning, the feature isn’t just limited to the camera app, as it can be used to scan images practically anywhere they’re used in the operating system, including pre-captured images and web images. It also includes support for seven languages, and can recognize objects and scenes.
Spotlight has been updated with the ability to search for images within the user’s library. Contact searches have also been improved, with an indication of whether DND mode is enabled by them.
A slew of new cards are included, showing information for actors, movies and other types of content.
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