Apple has unveiled the new iOS 15 for iPhone with new features designed to help users stay connected in a more natural way, enjoy shared experiences, prioritise their tasks and reduce distractions.
The new software for iPhone was revealed at the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and will be available for public beta in July with the final version due for release in September.
“For many customers, iPhone has become indispensable, and this year we’ve created even more ways it can enhance our daily lives,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
“iOS 15 helps users stay connected while sharing experiences in real time, gives them new tools to help reduce distraction and find focus, uses intelligence to enhance the photos experience, and, with huge upgrades to Maps, brings new ways to explore the world. We can’t wait for customers to experience it.”
FACETIME AND SHAREPLAY
FaceTime was used extensively during the pandemic to help users stay connected with loved ones and colleagues.
With iOS 15, Apple wants to make these FaceTime conversations even more natural so it feels like the person you’re talking to is in the same room.
It does this using Spatial Audio so voices in a FaceTime call sound like they’re coming from the screen.
A new microphone mode can also separate the user’s voice from background noise as well.
FaceTime will also introduce Portrait mode for video calls so users are able to blur their background and keep themselves in focus.
And now you can invite Android and Windows users to the FaceTime conversation by sending them a link so they can join through their browser.
FaceTime can now also be used for sharing experience and a new feature called SharePlay will allow users to listen to music together on Apple Music or watch a TV show or movie In sync whether they are viewing on an iPhone, iPad or Mac.
SharePlay can also be used with Apple TV so you can watch shows and movies on your big screen while still being connected over FaceTime.
Streaming services including Disney+ and MasterClass will be integrating SharePlay into their apps.
For many users the iPhone does many things but now iOS 15 offers powerful tools to help users focus on their tasks and reduce distractions.
Focus is able to filter notifications and apps based on what the user decides to focus on.
By using on-device intelligence, Focus can suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them.
It also considers a user’s context including work hours and if they’re winding down for bed.
In this mode a user’s status can be automatically displayed to others in messages which could show that the user is currently unavailable.
The notifications in iOS 15 have also been redesigned with a new summary now able to prioritise notifications for delivery at a more appropriate time.
This feature uses on-device intelligence and arranges notifications by priority with the most relevant notifications becoming more visible.
Naturally, more urgent images will be delivered immediately so important communications are not lost.
Another new feature of iOS 15 is Live Text which can recognise text or phone numbers in a photo and allow users to capture and share that information.
For example, if you take a photo of a whiteboard after a meeting, users are able to select text that is recognised in the photos and share it on emails and other apps.
Visual LookUp now makes it possible to learn more about what is in your images including popular art and landmarks and can even identify plants and flowers and breeds of pets.
iOS 15 will include an improved Maps app which offers enhanced details in cities, suburbs and commercial districts that include elevations and buildings.
The rich new view will also add road colours and labels and offer a new night time mode.
Maps will also feature three-dimensional city driving experience with added row details to help better understand important details like turning lanes and bike lanes.
Apple wallet will now support additional types of cards, IDs and even keys.
Apple introduced digital car keys with BMW becoming the first company to add its keys to allow users to tap to unlock their vehicle with an iPhone.
This technology will also be used so people can use their iPhone to unlock their home, office or even a hotel room with keys stored in their wallet.
In the US users will also be able to add their drivers licence or state IDs to wallet.
With on device speech recognition, the audio of Siri requests will now be processed entirely on the iPhone which will improve performance significantly.
This means users can still interact with Siri without an Internet connection.
– Siri adds Announce Notifications on AirPods, the ability for users to share what’s on their screen just by asking, and more.
– Shared with You works across the system to find the articles, music, TV shows, photos and more that are shared in Messages conversations, and conveniently surfaces them in apps like Photos, Safari, News, Music, Podcasts and the Apple TV app, making it easy to quickly access the information in context.
– iCloud+ combines everything users love about iCloud with new premium features — including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay — at no additional cost.9 Current iCloud subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically this spring. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with people in the same Family Sharing group, so everyone can enjoy the new features, storage and elevated experience that comes with the service.
– The Health app gets a new sharing tab that lets users share their health data with family members, caregivers or a care team; Trends gives users a way to focus attention on meaningful changes in personal health metrics; and Walking Steadiness is a new metric that empowers people to proactively manage their fall risk.
– HomeKit accessory makers can now enable “Hey Siri” in their products, allowing customers to talk to and get responses from Siri on third-party devices. “Hey Siri”-enabled accessories will relay requests through HomePod or HomePod mini, and will support features such as Personal Requests, Intercom, timers and alarms. Starting today, smart home device manufacturers can begin working with Apple to integrate Siri into their accessories.
– Find My introduces new capabilities to help locate a device that has been turned off or erased, as well as livestreaming locations for family members and friends who choose to share their location. Separation Alerts notify a user if they leave an AirTag, Apple device or Find My network accessory behind in an unfamiliar location, and the Find My network now supports AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. A new Find My widget offers an at-a-glance view directly from the Home Screen.
– Translate adds a new Live Translate feature that makes conversation flow naturally across languages. System-wide translation allows users to translate text anywhere on iPhone.
– The Apple TV app now features a new row called For All of You, showcasing a collection of shows and movies based on the interests of selected people or an entire household — perfect for movie nights.
– New iPhone setup makes it more seamless than ever to get started with iPhone. Existing iPhone users can temporarily back up data to iCloud — even without a subscription — to easily transfer their data to a new iPhone. For those moving to iPhone for the first time, an improved Move to iOS experience easily transfers photo albums, files, folders and accessibility settings, so iPhone feels personal right from the start.
– Accessibility across iPhone expands with new features for VoiceOver that enable users to explore even more details about people, text, table data and other objects within images. In support of neurodiversity, new background sounds help minimise distractions, and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, Made for iPhone supports new bidirectional hearing aids. Sound Actions customises Switch Control to work with mouth sounds, and users can now customise display and text size on an app-by-app basis. Apple is also bringing support for recognising imported audiograms — charts that show the results of a hearing test — to Headphone Accommodations.