iOS 15 offers several key new features to improve the iPhone user experience and expand communication capabilities on Apple devices:
FaceTime got a boost with the introduction of SharePlay, which allows parties to watch TV shows and movies, listen to music, or share their screen while chatting on FaceTime. Notably, the feature offers synchronized playback controls so that both parties can react to shared moments at the same time.
Apple has also deployed spatial audio for FaceTime calls, which allows individual voices to sound as if they are coming from the direction they are positioned on the screen, allowing conversations to flow more naturally. Additionally, FaceTime links can now be shared with anyone through a web link, allowing Windows and Android users to use the service.
The latest update also features new tools to minimize distractions. The Focus feature allows users to choose which tasks to prioritize while minimizing the number of notifications received from other applications. Users can also signal to others that they are in Focus mode to avoid disruption.
Notifications have been redesigned with larger icons for easy hovering and can now be sent as a streamlined daily summary, while the Maps app now offers more detail, better walking routes, and 3D landmarks. The Safari web browser can now support extensions and has been redesigned to include a bottom tab bar to make it easier to scan pages. In addition, the Wallet app will soon support driver’s licenses and digital keys.
One notable feature is the introduction of Live Text in Photos, which uses AI on the device to locate useful information in images, like phone numbers and email addresses. Live Text also supports translation into seven different languages, including English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Users can use the Visual Look Up feature to learn more about objects in photos, while the Spotlight feature now shows more information at a glance.
The Photos app has also received a boost in its Memories feature, while the Health app now offers better ways to share important data with designated contacts to better track health changes.
Finally, iOS 15 increases privacy and security on Apple portable devices, providing increased visibility into how apps access user data and introducing an iCloud + subscription feature with enhanced privacy options.
Check out the full list of iOS 15 features here.
In case you haven’t, check out Apple’s biggest Keynote event announcements in September.