Everything Apple revealed about iOS 15 at WWDC 2021
On June 7, Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). We previously reported that Apple is expected to announce major operating system updates for all its products running on iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. Apple has made interesting tweaks to its smartphone operating system, iOS 15. A stable build is expected to roll out later this year. Here are more details.
FaceTime will be usable on Windows, Android devices via browser
The keynote for WWDC 2021 set the tone for what we can expect from the event as it unfolds. Apple started the keynote address by announcing iOS 15 with upgrades to FaceTime and notifications. The updates to FaceTime include improved video and audio. The video calling service will also be accessible on devices running Windows and Android via the web browser.
SharePlay will help FaceTime users enjoy music, videos together
Additionally, FaceTime got a dose of Apple's spatial audio, accompanied by features such as voice isolation to reduce background noise and a Portrait mode that blurs the background in real-time during video calls. FaceTime will also support sharing music, video, and device screens via SharePlay. Speaking of notifications, Apple has redesigned them to display bigger app icons and contact images for text notifications.
Focus mode lets you personalize notification delivery based on activities
Notifications will be delivered collectively at a set time using on-device intelligence that understands user patterns. Further, Focus mode will let users customize which notifications are allowed during different activities. Interestingly, when Focus is set on one device, it automatically applies to all other Apple devices. The Messages app will show senders your Do Not Disturb status, which can be bypassed for important communication.
Live Text will let you copy-paste handwritten text in images
Further, the Photos app received a visual refresh and a slew of new capabilities to search for handwritten recipe pictures and celebrities using Live Text and Spotlight respectively. Live Text will automatically detect text in images and help you select it and perform clipboard actions such as copy and paste. Spotlight will offer web image search results for film personalities, TV shows, and movies.
Find My will notify if accessory left at unfamiliar location
Apple's Find My app also sports new capabilities to locate a device that's been switched off or erased. If they choose to, locations of friends and family members can be live-streamed too. Separation Alerts will notify users if they leave an AirTag, Apple device, or Find My network-compatible accessory behind at an unfamiliar location. AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are now Find My compatible.
App Privacy Report shows how apps use permissions they have
iOS 15 also includes new privacy controls. For starters, audio from Siri requests is now processed on the device itself, Mail Privacy Protection hides your IP address, location, and the email's read/unread status from senders. Building on the App Tracking Transparency policy announced earlier this year, iOS 15's App Privacy Report offers an overview of how apps use permissions they've been granted.
Developers can access iOS 15 today, public beta next month
The Apple Maps app now includes more details including crosswalks and bike lanes. The app will enable a "3D city experience" for some cities in the US. iOS 15 is now available to Apple Developer Program members, followed by a public beta next month. The stable global version is expected to be released in October 2021.