Apple iOS 15 Features: 10 New Features You Need To Know About
In June 2021, Apple announced iOS 15(iPhone Operating System) at the WWDC. We also did a write up on the expected iOS 15 features earlier this month. Finally, iOS 15 has arrived and how, it brought interface changes, security fixes and a range of new features. If you have a supporting iPhone model, you can install it for free. In this article, we summarize everything you need to know about the iOS 15 software update like details of the interface updates, the new version of the iOS 15 software along with beta versions and drawbacks.
Apple launched iOS 15 on September 20, 2021, for iPhones and iPad lineup offering new features to both devices. Some of the new features include a Focus mode that replaces Do Not Disturb, a new Live Text feature and Find My has been enhanced to assist with device recovery. Let us find out more about the latest iOS 15 features.
FaceTime is getting a significant boost with iOS 15, to make video chatting more natural and comfortable. It begins with the FaceTime app supporting Spatial Audio present in AirPods Pro. This means that the sound is coming from the device when wearing Spatial Audio compatible AirPods. FaceTime will also get an update that allows you to block ambient noise using Voice Isolation. Machine Learning is used to isolate your voice and block all other noise.
In iOS 14, Apple introduced a new version of multi-user video calling that supported live tiles that increase in size depending on the speaker. Most users liked this feature, where some users did not. Apple allows you to pick between the live tiles view and a grid view that will display all video participants in the same size grids so you can view all the users simultaneously. There are two new features though: FaceTime Links and Share Play.
FaceTime links will enable you to schedule an advanced FaceTime meeting and share the link to other members using email, iMessage or Calendar. When a user clicks the link, it will open FaceTime by default and if the user is on Windows or Android, a web browser will open that lets them securely join the meeting without the FaceTime app.
Share Play is another significant feature that unlocks three new features for users: listening to music together, watching videos together and screen-sharing. Listening to music and videos will synchronize the audio so that all viewers are watching at the same time. You can use Picture in Picture to complete other tasks to get a split view where the video is displayed on the larger screen and the video chat on the smaller screen. Moreover, Share Play also has the ability to share your screen with other FaceTime users for screen sharing.
Messages have a few new features that will support better searching, better app integration and photo management. The first feature being, when the device is in Do Not Disturb mode, Messages will share that status to anyone trying to reach you. They will be alerted that you are in Do Not Disturb mode before sending the message. They can then decide to send you the message and you will receive the notification even when in Do Not Disturb mode.
If you send a lot of pictures using the Messages app, then you know that sending a lot of images involves spamming the chat with each photo on a single line. Using Photo Stacks, the Messages app will solve this by merging multiple photos in a single carousel view that can be flipped or tapped to get a grid view.
The Photos app can also bring in pictures that include those sent in Messages by others. You will not need to pull out images from the Messages app. The last major feature to Messages is the ability to pin items in a chat, which can be found when searching in Messages. It is best for going back to a video, link or picture later when you have time.
As mentioned in our previous article, the Spotlight feature is getting upgrades in two major areas: Photo search is now possible due to the Live Text feature. It can search through images containing certain people, scenes or text in the image. Additionally, it will return for contacts you search and include the ability to make a call with the context, text them or see appointments, notes and files that mention them.
iOS 15 comes with a new feature to reduce user distractions and is called Focus mode. Focus can allow you to filter notifications and Home Screen pages based on a user’s request to focus on something at a particular time and still allow urgent notifications. Creating a Focus mode allows you to specify which apps, Home Screens and contacts you will need to access in that mode. When swapping between modes, any contacts or irrelevant applications will be ignored.
Focuses created on a device will be seamlessly integrated through iCloud to additional devices so you can simply share focuses from iPhone with iPad and Mac. It will still be possible for users to create a custom Focus to display only a few notifications and Home Screen pages and send auto-replies in Messenger during a Focus.
Notifications have been redesigned to add larger icons, user profile pictures for Messages and larger images to make them easier to distinguish between one another. Additionally, you can set particular apps as non-priority so you do not see them during the day and get a Notification Summary at a particular time that you want. Critical communication notifications will always go a long way when you are trying to focus on work or enjoying family time.
One of the favorite inclusions in iOS 15 is Live Text. This feature can pull text out of a picture and make it actionable. This works on new images, old images in the Photos application, or even when using the Camera viewfinder without taking a picture. It means you can tap on a phone number to make a call, copy a tracking number from a receipt, or open the website for a business from a flyer posted at your local restaurant.
To use Live Text in the Photos application, select a picture with text in it. In the bottom right corner, you will find the Live Text icon. Tap the icon to know which areas of the image are available. You can interact with the text as if it were, well, live. It is possible to highlight it, copy it, tap on a phone number, email address or URL to place a call, write a message or open the site.
Photos is an application that consistently finds improvement to on-device machine learning. In iOS 15, Photo Memories has achieved a considerable improvement. This feature will merge relevant photos and videos to make a video with a song selected from Apple Music that matches the occasion and beat of the song to the action in the video. You can edit the video style and new music will be selected to match the styling.
Apple bought Dark Sky over a year ago, and it is getting many of those weather features in the default Weather app in iOS 15. A new design will include a layout that changes depending on current weather conditions and new weather data that is sure to make all weather nerds happy.
Apple introduced Car Keys in Wallet as a part of iOS 14; though this feature is improved and expanded in iOS 15. Car Keys, hotel keys and passes can be included into the Wallet app. Continuing on this goal to digitize the physical wallet, it is also partnering with specific states to enable you to scan your driver’s license into the Wallet app and use the digital license. The TSA is on board and will be the first to participate in this program. For now, the Driver’s License support in Wallet is limited to Arizona, Connecticut, Utah and a few other states.
Apple is enhancing the Maps app in iOS 15 by including new “City Experiences” in maps. For particular cities, significant landmarks will be added as digitized 3D models, and new data will provide information about commercial districts, road colors and labels. Additionally, a new nighttime mode will enable exploring cities in a moonlit environment.
There are new driving instructions that enhance road details and will now include information on the road you are travelling, like bike lane details etc. This will enable drivers to drive safely with the help of GPS. Transit riders can pin their favorite lines and get notifications on watchOS when it is time to leave when approaching the destination. Moreover, now you can use Maps with a new augmented reality view in select cities.
iOS 15 can be easily downloaded and installed on any iOS 15 compatible device via Settings >> General >> Software Update and choosing iOS 15 in the banner that comes at the bottom of the Software Update section. Alternatively, it is possible to update it through any Windows or Mac computer by plugging in your device and following the instructions in the Apple support documentation. It is important to see how mobile app development companies will adapt and build apps according to the updates in iOS 15. What do you think about the latest updates in iOS 15? Let us know in the comments below.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.