Last Updated on January 21, 2022
Apple in June 2021 announced iOS 15, the latest update for iPhone’s operating system. Set to be released in fall 2021, the newest update combines interface changes and security fixes together with a slew of innovative features. And the best part: you can install it for free, provided your iPhone supports the update.
Here, we will look at all the aspects of the iOS 15 software update, including the upcoming features and different ways to try it out before the actual public release.
New Features At A Glance
- Redesigned notifications experience
- Tools to find ‘Focus’ and reduce distractions
- Spatial Audio and SharePlay in FaceTime calls
- Live Text using on-device intelligence
- Redesigned browsing experience with Safari
- Additional privacy features
- ID cards in the Wallet app
- Restyled Weather and Notes app
iOS 15 Overview
The announcement about iOS 15 was made at Apple’s WWDC 2021 event that took place on June 7. The software update is anticipated to officially release to the public in September 2021, coinciding with the new iPhone models.
In the words of Mr. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering, ‘iPhone has become indispensable, and this year, we have created even more ways it can enhance our daily lives.
The update brings to fore an enormous amount of features that typically fit into four main themes: finding focus, staying connected, exploring the world, and using intelligence.
FaceTime lets the users indulge in conversations that feel even more natural with amazing Zoom-like features. It includes links that allow Windows and Android users to participate in a FaceTime call via browser. The redesigned notifications experience bundles all the less important alerts and deliver them in the form of a Notification summary. Live Text works in a similar manner as Google Lens and Messages gather and organize content and links so the users can view them all at once. iOS 15 also delivers powerful tools to improve Focus and reduce distractions.
iOS 15 Supported Devices
iOS 15 will work on iPhone 6S and all models above. However, there is a slight possibility that some features may be unavailable in earlier iPhone models. The exact details are yet to be figured.
Newest iPhone Features in iOS 15
As discussed above, the iOS 15 is allegedly going to be incredible with dozens of upgrades and new features. Here are the highlights.
1. FaceTime Calls with SharePlay
Apple has brought several new features to FaceTime with the sole aim to make the experience more comfortable and lifelike. It has introduced Spatial Audio that will make every participant’s audio appear to be coming from the appropriate location on the screen. It is also working on improving the audio clarity with its Voice Isolation feature. This will use machine learning to identify and successfully remove any background noise.
Apple also brings its incredible Portrait mode to FaceTime, enabling the users to blur the background and put themselves into focus. There is also Grid View that enables participants of a group call to see more faces at the same time.
iOS 15 will also come with FaceTime links which work in a similar way as Google Meet. This feature allows the Apple devices to create a link and share it through Messages, Calendar, or any other third-party app so anyone can join the FaceTime call from their web browser.
Lastly, the SharePlay in iOS 15 improves the user experience in a big way. Essentially, the feature lets the users flip out of a FaceTime call, activate another app, and then have the app’s effect reflect on the call. The most perceptible application is music. You can go to any music app using the picture-in-picture mode and play a song for everyone. Similarly, the users can play videos for all participants of the call using apps like HBO Max, TikTok, Disney+, Hulu, and Twitch.
The users can also extend the SharePlay feature to an Apple TV, which is great for playing a movie.
In iOS 15, notifications have been redesigned, enabling better management of all alerts on the phone. Apple has added larger icons for apps and contact photos for people, making it easier for the users to identify them.
A new notification summary gathers and organizes all non-essential alerts and displays them bundled together at an appropriate time, such as in the morning or evening. The system leverages machine learning and on-device intelligence to arrange the notifications by priority. Thus, depending on the user’s interaction with specific apps, the most relevant notifications will appear at the top of the summary.
Lastly, all urgent messages will be delivered immediately so they won’t appear in the summary.
iOS 15 also has the new Focus tool that enables the users to concentrate on some specific things while using their device. For instance, if a person is at work, he can create a custom Focus and only be notified by coworkers for apps like Calendar, Mail, or Slack, etc.
Using the feature, the users can even create Home Screen pages with specific apps that apply to moments of focus. This will display only relevant apps and reduce any kind of distraction. Some other settings for the Focus tool include Personal and Sleep which will automatically activate at your scheduled bedtime.
4. Advanced Spotlight Search and Live Text
Apple has improved photos search by introducing the feature of Live Text. Spotlight search will now search photos based on location, people, objects, and even Live Text, i.e. text displayed in the images.
Live Text in iOS 15 leverages on-device intelligence to detect text in a photo and allow the users to take action. This is a very handy feature that works similar to Google Lens.
If the users look at a photograph, either in the photo library or through the viewfinder, a button will appear at the bottom right prompting them to activate Live Text. So when the user finds a photograph with a contact number, he can choose to interact with it. He can simply tap the photo and choose to dial it. At the time of launch, Live Text will be able to pick up seven languages.
Photos also include the greatest every update to Memories, which now comes with a renewed look and integration with Apple Music. The operating system will use on-device intelligence to provide suitable song recommendations that bring memories to life.
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5. Apple Wallet
The iOS 15 further redesigns Apple Wallet to provide support for additional types of keys. Digital car keys become even better with support for Ultra-Wideband technology and this enables the users to unlock their car without removing their iPhone from their pocket.
Additionally, iPhone can also be used to unlock a user’s office or home. Very soon, hotel chains like Hyatt will be enabling this feature on devices supported by iOS 15. This will let users unlock their hotel room through keys stored in Apple Wallet.
Apple is also working on letting users add their driver’s license or state IDs to the wallet. As per the Transportation Security Administration, USA, airports will be the first place to allow customers to use their digital ID stored in the wallet.
6. Safari Browser
Apple’s web browser has witnessed a huge redesign in the new operating system. The address bar is shifted to the bottom, enabling users to quickly swipe between tabs. There is a refresh web option that offers a similar experience as refreshing your mails.
Safari also comes with an all-new home screen that can be customized to your liking. The Tab Group also allows the users to save tabs and access them whenever needed.
7. Apple Maps
The Apple Maps update is looking incredibly interesting. The all-new maps will now come with additional road details in the cities, such as bus and bike lanes, turn lanes, pedestrian crossings, etc.
Also, the transit directions will become even more accommodating with constant notifications to facilitate the journey. The users can simply hold up the device and Maps will produce a highly accurate position with explicit walking directions in AR.
8. Weather App
The Weather app has been totally restyled in the new iOS 15. The app will now feature graphical displays for showcasing weather information along with a big-screen map and dynamic layout that alters based on the weather conditions outside.
The app’s animated background also precisely shows the sun’s position and rainfall conditions. There are even notifications to alert the users when the rain starts or stops.
How To Install iOS 15?
iOS 15 will be officially launched to the public this September. When that happens, updating your iPhone with the latest OS will be pretty straightforward. You can simply go to the Settings App and click on General > Software Update. After that, you can simply follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
However, if you wish to experience iOS 15 before the official launch, you will have to install the beta version. But because it is the pre-release software, it might contain some bugs.
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To get iOS 15 on your device before September, you can follow the below-mentioned steps
- Go to the Apple Beta page and click on Sign Up to register with your Apple ID.
- Gain access to the Beta Software Program. Once you have signed in, choose the appropriate OS for your device. In the Get Started section, click on the Enroll your device link.
- Visit beta.apple.com/profile on your iOS device. Download and install the configuration profile.
- After all that is done, the beta version of the operating system will be available in Settings under General > Software Update.
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