While Apple certainly may have more up its sleeve for iOS 15 that will unfold over the course of the betas as we get closer to the iPhone 13 release this fall, the features covered today point to an update reminiscent of iOS 14 with more granular controls and personalization made possible for users.
Here's a look at everything that Apple had to say about iOS 15 at WWDC 2021.
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Apple kicked things off with options that help you stay connected with other people This included updates to FaceTime including spatial audio. Mic enhancements was another update with the ability to both eliminate outside noise or allow in the entire environment depending on your needs. Portrait mode will now allow you to blur the background in your FaceTime calls.
FaceTime links will allow you to schedule FaceTime calls just as with popular options like Zoom. In perhaps one of the biggest announcements related to iOS 15, FaceTime links will also allow you to bring Android or Windows users into FaceTime calls.
SharePlay lets you bring music, videos or your screen into your calls. While you are on a call you will simply get to add music to the call or create a playlist with the other people on the call. This works identically with watching video, keeping you all in sync and allowing you to control the video. The video can also be extended to your TV via an Apple TV. The SharePlay API will allow other developers to add this functionality, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max and others also are working to add this functionality.
Messages updates include a new collage design to show off photos. Shared with You is a new feature in iOS 15 that pulls in things that were shared to you in Messages in Apple News, Apple Music, Photos and more.
Notifications are getting a big update as well. The notification summary will deliver an update with all of the notifications that you've missed at a set time during the day. Do not disturb is getting an update as well with the ability to set a number of distinct styles: Do Not Disturb, Personal, Work and Sleep. You can choose what you want to have happen to notifications when you select each one.
Intelligence is bringing quite a few features to Apple's Photos experience that will be familiar to Google Photos users. This includes advanced search features, including text recognition from your photos.
Photos Memories will create collages, videos with music from your library. These are created automatically and appear in the For You page. If you want to take more control you can create one yourself by selecting photos, videos, music and a color palette.
Wallet is getting updated with the ability to have your ID saved in your Apple Wallet in some states. Apple is working with the TSA for this to be accepted at airports.
Weather is getting an update as well with a full-screen high-resolution weather map.
Apple Maps is bringing greater details to the maps including custom-designed landmarks and topography. Driving directions are getting an update as well with additional details on turn lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes and more to help you understand your surrounding. Maps is also adding 3D support for interchanges that go overhead to avoid any confusion. Maps will also follow your transit route and help you know when to get off. If you get lost maps is adding a new AR experience to identify where you are and where you need to go.
App Privacy Report is a new section in settings that will show you all of the permissions that apps have accessed with the time that they sought to access them.
Safari on iOS 15 will get the new Tab Groups functionality found in macOS 12 (Monterey) with the ability to access your tabs with a single tap at the bottom of the screen that goes away as soon as you start scrolling.
Developer betas for iOS 15 are available now with the first public betas expected in July.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.