Apple kickstarted its WWDC 2021 keynote with iOS 15. The new OS for iPhones comes with improvements to FaceTime, iMessage, and notifications, among others, along with a handful of new features like SharePlay and a Focus mode that blocks out distracting notifications for you. The new iOS 15 features also include Live Text that does OCR (Optical Character Recognition) automatically in the Camera app, more updates to Apple Photos app’s Memory feature, and support for keys and ID cards in wallets. Additionally, Spotlight has new cards for actors, movies, and more, and its universal search can now be used for photos in your collection. iOS 15 will start rolling out to compatible devices starting this fall.
iOS 15 new features
FaceTime: Upgrades to FaceTime are among the major highlights of iOS 15. The video calling app is coming to Android and Windows via the web with the latest update for group calls. Additionally, FaceTime comes with Spatial audio to make the calls sound ‘more natural, comfortable, and lifelike’. With Spatial Audio, “When there are a bunch of people on the screen, the voice will sound like it comes from where the head is,” said Apple at the event. The app also supports voice isolation to cut background noise, grid view, portrait mode to blur the background when you are on call, and the ability to create a FaceTime link for those on other platforms to join the call.
SharePlay: The iOS 15 features also include SharePlay that allows users to listen and watch content together on screen and share the screen with others. Apple Photos, Music, News, Safari, Podcasts, and Apple TV all support ‘Shared with You’. The feature also lets you pin stuff for easy access to that content within those apps. Then there is iMessage, which now has a new collage and stack for sharing photos, new embeds for playlists and Apple News articles, and a section in Apple News called “Shared with You” that pulls from all the Apple News links sent to you in Messages.
Focus Mode in Notifications: The new Focus Mode on iOS 15 does exactly as the name suggests. It lets you focus on things at hand by blocking phone’s notifications. You can set up modes for work, personal, and more. The feature is said to use on-device AI to pre-guess what notifications you want.
Live Text: As for the Live Text feature on the new OS, it lets you select, copy, and paste text from images elsewhere – similar to Google Lens. Apple says that the feature will work on existing photos as well.
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