In 2021, Apple took advantage of the iOS 14.5 announcement to bring important updates to its flagship line of smartphones. These new features included transparency in tracking in apps and the long awaited iPhone screen unlock with Appe Watch. So our expectations for iOS 15 weren’t very high.
However, during WWDC 2021 we had big surprises, particularly with regards to the iOS notification system and FaceTime. Check out all of this below.
Apple brought a lot of features for FaceTime with iOS 15, especially in relation to video calling, which are supposed to offer an experience that is closer to that in a non-virtual environment. For this purpose, we have the spatial audio function which makes the speaker’s tone softer and more direct to give the impression of the location in the call.
Another interesting option is the noise isolation and focus on the caller’s voice, which happens right inside the iPhone’s microphone. Using machine learning (ML), the system blocks background noise and prioritizes the speaker’s voice. The example used in the keynote was pretty impressive. A vacuum cleaner was turned on in there and the noise was completely removed by activating the feature directly on the call screen.
We’ve also made changes to the video call participant grid, which is larger and gives you a better view of who is in the conversation with you. We also now have the option to blur the background of videos during the video call, in the best portrait mode on the iPhone.
Apple also brought the “Links” feature to FaceTime, which makes it much easier to share the link to the call with participants – yes, it’s too reminiscent of Google Meet and Zoom. This makes a huge difference for Apple as we’re talking about allowing Android (and Windows) users to join these conversations through Facetime!
Another super cool new FaceTime feature in iOS 15 is Share Play. It gets a lot easier to share media during a voice call, and you can even share your own screen. Well done apple!
During the presentation, a demonstration showed how fluid this function is in iOS 15: You can share a film on the phone and watch it in real time with all participants – yes, Disney + must have appeared in your memory by now. With the picture-in-picture function, you can continue surfing on your mobile phone and, if you want, you can even play the film on your Apple TV while you are on the phone. It really is state of the art … if it works that well.
The messaging app is visually smarter. The “shared with me” feature now enables a number of functions that messengers have long needed. For example, the app organizes all the links shared with you in one place so that you can quickly access such information. This also applies to messages and photos.
It’s really similar to WhatsApp today, but it also has the ability to pin the most relevant links, messages, and even songs that have been sent on the chat.
iOS 15: custom notifications based on your activity
Starting with iOS 15, we have new ways to interact with notifications. This is because the system begins to take into account different activity profiles. For example, if you’re at work, notifications might have no sound while using a different setting at home. The name is “Notification Summary”.
Each person can choose between different categories such as driving, working or sleeping and also create their own ratings. These modes can then be activated from the lock screen and control center. Apple’s idea here is to get people more focused on the action they’re taking.
Oh, and all the suggestions the system offers to be part of your profiles are done locally on the device itself without going through the company’s servers, what Apple calls “on Device Intelligence”.
The auto-response function is also available here. It works in the same way as the “Do not disturb while driving” function. This means that you will be automatically notified that you are, for example, B. cannot answer at the moment due to a car trip. It is worth noting that a lot of people who use iPhone do not like this feature as it is clearly an invasion of privacy. Therefore they leave the option disabled by default.
However, each profile has a specific configuration. During the keynote, a demonstration of these custom notifications even showed the home screen changing to only make room for the services you selected for each activity profile.
Once you’ve chosen your notification summary, your selections will automatically be configured on all of your Apple devices. Which, in my opinion, could prove to be a problem as you may not want the profile to be selected on your phone at the same time while you are on your computer.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that the icons shown in notifications are also larger, which makes it easier to identify between people and apps, and makes it easier for us to interact with each notification.
Live Text is basically a copy of Google Lens. With the iPhone’s camera, you can now copy text into pictures, search for objects, animals, and even artwork, just a click away. This also applies to images and text on the screen. The function is available in seven languages.
Following the same principle, we have Spotlight Search, which offers the ability to search images for locations and even recognize text on images.
Photos in iOS 15
One very cool feature that has been added to Photos is the ability to use Apple Music in Memories which gives the app more dynamism and the best part is that it does it in real time. So while you scroll between the memories, the system recognizes the context of the picture and suggests the soundtrack.
I’m not a fan of the videos made by Google Photos, for example with soundtracks, but in the WWDC demo I was honestly quite impressed.
Wallet: Apple wants you to leave Wallet at home!
I have to say that Wallet’s Keys feature would be a turning point in my life after September. In addition to a more secure Apple Pay system with iOS 15, the “Keys” function has, in my opinion, been raised to the umpteenth power.
With the new OS version, Apple is practically enabling you to leave the house without your wallet, as Keys integrates a number of options, such as: The same applies to the digital keys to your house or apartment. Even hotel room keys can be sent to your wallet in advance with keys. But that’s not the most interesting thing …
Apple offers a digital copy of your ID with iOS 15. Simply scan your ID and add it to the wallet using a key. The data will of course be encrypted and private. Additionally, it was reported during WWDC that this ID could be used at airports for domestic travel in the United States. To have the digital ID regulated directly in the cell phone is amazing, isn’t it? Apple seems to have taken the first step on this path.
The weather app has been redesigned and synchronizes the background graphic with the current weather information. This means that if there is a thunderstorm, you will soon see rays and lightning bolts on the screen. In addition, we have the option of displaying the app in full screen mode and in high-resolution weather maps.
Maps is also subjected to a visual makeover, which looked quite futuristic and three-dimensional in the demo. We have added an interactive globe and new details when exploring cities on the map, with more information on commerce, parks and buildings. The night mode has been optimized.
Apple’s idea is to provide more relevant traffic information by taking into account the context in which the driver and pedestrian are.
A new feature that caught attention because it is very similar to Google’s AR solution in Maps is the use of the same augmented reality technology in Apple Maps to locate you when you exit a subway station and for example do not know which direction to go to go. It’s relevant, yes, a lot, but there are services out there today that already offer the same functionality and maybe even better!
Here’s how to install the beta version of iOS 15 on your iPhone
Although much of the news that will be in the final version of iOS 15 was revealed during WWDC21, we still have a long way to go before you can take advantage of such features. However, developers and tech enthusiasts who have an account in Apple’s beta testing program can download iOS 15 and test out the new notifications. Developers starting today and the public starting July, when Apple’s public beta makes available.
Warning: Since this is an unstable version of the software, we do not recommend downloading iOS 15 on your primary smartphone.
So when the iOS 15 public beta is available, you can download this version and install it on your iPhone for testing. But first, back up the device on macOS or iTunes. Below we explain how to do the beta install of iOS 15:
- Go to https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/.
- click Log In.
- Enter your Apple ID and password.
- Read the terms and conditions, if you agree, click Accept.
- In this case, select the desired iOS operating system.
- Click the option Register your iOS device, within the Getting started field.
- Go to https://beta.apple.com/profile on the iPhone and download the configuration file.
- Then open it the settings Select the registered profile on the smartphone and follow the instructions on the screen.
- To install the iOS beta, follow the traditional procedure: Settings> General> Software update.
Well, this was a recap of what Apple presented today regarding the new features of iOS 15. During the day we will produce other content to complement this article.
What do you think of the new iOS 15 features that were unveiled today during WWDC 2021? Share your thoughts with our community in the comments section below.