Apple took the stage today at its WWDC conference, and the first announcement was iOS 15. The company highlighted FaceTime, announcing the introduction of spatial audio to the video conferencing service. The app will also include noise isolation, which will help to silence background noises in order to amplify users’ voices.
The company also announced FaceTime links, which allow users on not only iOS but also Windows and Android to join FaceTime calls through the browser. Another new feature in FaceTime is SharePlay, which allows users to share their device screens, watch content on streaming platforms, or listen to music together. The tech giant is also introducing APIs for streaming platforms to add SharePlay support.
The next feature is Shared with you, which allows users to effortlessly share news and other forms of content with other people. In iMessages, these objects can also be pinned. For Shared with you, the company is introducing support for apps including Podcast, Apple Music, Apple TV, and more.
With the advent of Notification summary, Notifications are getting a huge update. To decrease clutter on the lock screen, iOS 15 will summarise notifications from non-essential apps. Users will be able to choose which contacts and apps will be able to break through and display full notifications. Notification summaries are tweaked using “on-device intelligence.”
Users can, however, enable Focus to turn on Do Not Disturb to block all notifications or to select which apps and contacts can bypass the restrictions and serve notifications. On the home screen, Focus will also allow you to add relevant widgets with information.
The next feature is Live Text for Photos, a Google Lens-like capability that allows users to recognise items such as text across the OS and look it up on the web. Users can also use photos to seek up locations, recognise characters in photos, and so on. Live Text is compatible with not only photos but also the web, as well as iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
A number of apps have also received updates, and the first is Spotlight. Apple has added Photos to Spotlight, allowing users to search for pictures immediately from their home screen. In Contacts, the company is also integrating extensive information from services like Find My into the contact cards. The company is also offering celebrity-specific cards.
The Memories feature in Photos is one of the Google-inspired features. Using on-device machine learning, iOS 15 will build interactive memories based on users’ pictures. It will also allow users to participate with the memories by allowing them to add or remove pictures, customise what appears, add music, and more.
Other software changes include the ability to store government-issued identity cards in the Wallet app, allowing users to carry a digital copy of their IDs. By using iPhone’s UWB technology, the company is also expanding the usage of Wallet as a lock or access system. Car keys, hotel access cards, and other items fall into this category.
The Weather app is being revamped to include plenty of new features, including a background that changes depending on the weather. Finally, the Maps app is getting some updates, including a new appearance and extra info for commercial buildings, among other things. A new Nearby Transit option has also been added, as well as the ability for the app to notify users when it is time to depart from public transportation.