IOS 15 is on the way! Apple introduced the new OS during its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Where they announced several impressive updates, which should land on your device sometime in mid-September, I’ll highlight the ones that stand out most to me.
The updates to FaceTime have been available from other chat offerings like Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom. Things like background blur and background noise reduction.
What’s most exciting is that you’ll be able to FaceTime on Android and Windows.
Also coming to FaceTime is SharePlay, where you can simultaneously watch a flick on streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu or listen to music on Apple Music. Of course, if you have an Apple TV, you’ll be able to take part in the fun as well.
My favorite FaceTime update is Screenshare. You’ll be able to share your screen with everyone on the call so you could plan your next vacation, scroll through a photo album or even give tech support, all while seeing and talking with one another.
Focus in iOS 15
We’ve been able to set Do Not Disturb for quiet time on your iPhone, which stops notifications, calls, and message dings. With iOS 15, Apple has expanded on this feature with Focus. There are four ways to step away. It will use AI to suggest one of the four modes: Do Not Disturb, Personal, Work, and Sleep. Personal and Work will allow you to create a unique home screen only to see certain apps. This feature could be a game changer.
There are plenty of app options when it comes to Weather. Apple is hoping it can pry you away from weather.com or yahoo Weather. The home screen looks the same, but now you’ll get animated maps and backgrounds that change to reflect the time of day.
Apple is hoping to make Weather more powerful and engaging.
Live Text in iOS 15
Live Text is one of the more incredible new features in iOS 15. You’ll be able to point your iPhone camera at a sign with a phone number and jump right to the phone app. In addition, with Live Text in Safari and the Photos app, including screenshots, you can copy, paste, look up and even translate into seven languages. It even applies to handwriting.
Safari finally gets rid of its stacked view and gets a new tab view. There’s also a new Tab Group at the bottom of the screen. Users will be able to customize the start page with a background image of choice. You can also organize tab groups to save your favorite websites.
Safari makes navigating through tabs easier; swipe right or left across the tab bar to see your open tabs. There’s also a grid view so you can see all of your open tabs at once.
It will take some to get used to the changes, but it should make the Safari experience much better.
Privacy in iOS 15
Apple is adding even more privacy features in iOS 15. A big one is Siri’s on-device speech recognition. This prevents your spoken requests to Siri from going out onto the internet, where your privacy could be at risk. Instead, everything will be done locally on your device.
There are also privacy protections in Mail and iCloud+. ICloud+ is just Apple’s fancy name for iCloud. You won’t pay more, but it includes new benefits. For example, it will hide your online activity using “iCloud Private Relay,” making it harder for people to see the sites you visit.
“Hide My Email” creates a random email address in forms where you need one to sign up. The recipient won’t know your actual email address, and you can still receive forwarded emails to your regular email address.
Accessibility in iOS 15
Apple is constantly upping its game when it comes to Accessibility features. People with visual impairments will enjoy the new ability to explore images with VoiceOver. You’ll be able to move your finger over an image to learn which people, locations, and items are in the image and their position relative to each other. Nutrition labels, receipts, and other text will be read out as well. Magnifier is becoming a default iOS app, so it should be easier to access. You can also customize your text and display sizes in apps by bolding, changing contrast, adding color filters, and more.
For those with reduced manual dexterity, you’ll be able to use simple sounds to control your iPhone instead of buttons or verbal commands.
With the iOS 15 Wallet app, you can add digital keys for compatible HomeKit locks. So to unlock, lock or even start your car without taking your iPhone out of your pocket.
Traveling is about to get easier. Participating states will allow iPhone users to add their driver’s license and state ID cards to the Wallet app, which can be presented when needed on either the iPhone or the Apple Watch at TSA checkpoints. In the future, you’ll be able to use it even if you get pulled over; hopefully, that doesn’t happen. In addition, you’ll be able to download multiple boarding passes, saving you time.
Health Monitoring in iOS 15
Apple Health updates will make it easier to access and share your medical information records. You’ll be able to share them with physicians or a trusted family member. A new walking steadiness metric can warn if you’re likely to suffer a fall, and Respiratory Rate will inform you of breathing pattern changes.
There’s a lot more to come in iOS 15, new widgets for Apple Apps, systemwide translation, changes to the Airpods allowing you to hear conversations better, and so much more. There may be some changes in iOS 15 come this fall but expect some great features. We haven’t even touched on the iPad!
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