08 June 2021
Apple has officially announced iOS 15 as the newest operating system version for eligible iPhones. There are a number of changes to talk about as it is always the case with a major new release. There are noticeable changes made to FaceTime to help users stay connected in a better way. Other important differences include better notification management, the Photos app, Spotlight, and more.
Starting with FaceTime, Apple has made numerous changes to the way people connect through video calls. FaceTime now supports Spatial Audio so that when you are attending a group video call, you will feel the sound coming from the place where the speaker's head is. It is aimed at making video calls feel more comfortable, life-like, and natural.
The team has worked on improving voice isolation so that you focus on what is important. If you want to hear everything that is going around, you can shift to "wide spectrum" audio anytime. FaceTime finally gets Grid view support so that you can have video calls with multiple people even while holding the iPhone in portrait mode.
In an attempt to make FaceTime video calls more accessible, the team has introduced FaceTime Link. This is a unique link that you can share with people on other platforms like Android and Windows. It will allow them to join FaceTime video calls with ease despite not having access to an iPhone.
SharePlay is probably the biggest new FaceTime feature announced today. It will allow users to share media like movies, videos, and music through screen sharing. Apple Music can be used for adding songs to an ongoing FaceTime call that will play in sync with everyone. The same goes for watching videos together where you can play a video on the full screen and have a thumbnail of the user you are on FaceTime with. Some of the content partners include Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Twitch, TikTok, ESPN+, and NBA among others. There is even a SharePlay API to help other interested developers become a part of this new feature.
Apple is further making it easier to share photos in Messages. There is now support for sharing multiple photos as a collage or stack that will make it more convenient for recipients to browse through them all. Messages have a new "Shared with You" section that will offer a compilation of all the Apple News articles links shared with you. This new section is supported by Photos, Apple Music, Safari, Podcasts, and Apple TV as well.
The team has also made changes to how notifications are delivered to you. There are big icons to help you differentiate among notifications so that you can see which ones are from where. There is "Notification Summary" which is basically a bundle of low-priority notifications that get sent to you at your chosen time of the day. It does not include notifications from people.
If you have DND mode enabled, the Messages app will show that status to other users in the chatbox. The next important feature is Focus which lets you create different profiles like work, personal, gym, etc. iOS will change the overall look of the iPhone as well as different functionalities like notification relevant to that particular profile.
Live Text is a feature that will let iPhone users point the camera at any text and then it can be copied, selected, searched online, and even get translations. This is essentially similar to Google Lens but will have to see how effective it is in the real world. Photos app has been improved with better image detection like Google Photos. You can search for specific photos directly from the Spotlight search through keywords. Spotlight will also show celebrity information in the form of cards.
The Wallett app is getting support for keys from cars, hotels, and even workplaces. BMW is the first partner for the cards and Hyatt will roll out support for around 1,000 properties. There is even support for adding a driver's license as Digital ID. The Weather app is getting a visual uplift for showing updated information in an easy-to-understand form. Apple Maps has been improved to make them more interactive with better 3D graphics.
- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE (2nd gen) and iPhone SE (1st gen)
- iPod Touch (7th gen)