08/06/2021

Overview of the New iOS 15 Features

At the Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced the next generation of iOS coming later this year to iPhones alongside the new 2021 iPhone series. There are many small and significant refinements across Maps, Safari and several great features for FaceTime, iMessage, Apple Wallet and more.

What iPhones Will Support iOS 15?

One of the best iOS 15 features is that it will be compatible with all iPhones currently running iOS 14 which means Apple is not dropping software support for older generation iPhones for another year.

Here’s the list of all iPhones that will support iOS 15:

  • iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (2016)
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X and iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

What’s New in iOS 15?

Notification Centre has turned into Notification Summary with a big push on AI. The new view presents notifications neatly stacked together. With the help of AI notifications will be prioritised and most urgent or from family and friends will be displayed at the top, so you can take action on most important things first. Also these notifications can be scheduled to appear at certain times depending on your Do Not Disturb settings and if you have DND mode on this will be displayed to your contacts.

More creativity in iMessage

iMessage has received additional memoji and a bundle of media files will be organised into a collage in which the photos can be swiped to view. This feature will save a great amount of space in messages. Also links and media that people have shared with you in messages are organised in a Shared With You section which can be accessed under contact details.

Image: Apple

FaceTime catching up with Zoom and Google Meet

Portrait mode is now available in FaceTime and provides a blurred background when video calling. iOS 15 offers shareable links to FaceTime calls that you can send to anyone to jump on a video call with you, and most surprisingly Android users can now join in on a FaceTime call. This is a big move by Apple to expand the usability of FaceTime to Android devices. Apple says that Android phones will be required to run the latest Edge or Chrome version as well as a H.264 video encoding support which is a standard video compression for high-quality digital video.

While on a FaceTime call a feature called SharePlay allows you to play a song or a video on your phone and it will be shared with other call members so you can watch or listen to something together or share your screen.

Image: Apple

Safari search improvements

Search bar in Safari browser has moved to the bottom of the screen which will be helpful to reach the search bar on larger screen iPhones. You can now easily swipe on the bottom of the screen to access all your tabs. Open tabs on other Apple devices can be saved and will be categorised in Tab View, so they can be accessed and viewed on your iPhone.

Copy and Translate Live Text

This new feature lets you populate the text field from the camera. Simple long press on the text field will trigger the Text From Camera feature and a small camera view window will appear at the bottom of the screen so you can point it to the text you want to grab and it will appear in the text field. Additionally, when taking a photo of a text with your camera app, this feature will transform the text into writing. You can use your cursor to select text from the taken photo and share it in an email or message without actually needing to type it all over again.

Image: Apple

Keys coming to Apple Wallet

Your home key, hotel room keys or corporate badges can be linked to your Apple Wallet for easy access as well as your ID which can be scanned and stored in your Apple Wallet. We’re not sure if in the UK a digital ID on your iPhone will be acceptable, but Apple is working on enabling this feature in selected states in the US, so hopefully this will become available in other countries. Adding car keys to your Apple Wallet will require manufacturers to participate and Apple is saying that this feature will be coming later in 2021.

Maps getting a major facelift

Maps gained more significant details such as 3D view and animations, elevation and landmarks as well as night mode. For better navigation purposes maps will show road intersections in a more clear way to help drivers assess traffic and stay on track.

Image: Apple

Conversation Boost improving accessibility for hard of hearing

With iOS 15 a new feature called Conversation Boost will be brought to AirPods Pro making the headphones act like hearing aids that users with hearing difficulties can use to help them listen to and follow along face to face conversations.

AirPods Pro and AirPods Max can be located in Find My on iOS 15 from where you can play a sound on them whether they are in a case or on their own and use Precision Finding to receive navigation to find them nearby. Additionally, Find My will send you a notification to let you know if you’ve left your AirPods behind.

Overall it looks like iOS 15 is going to bring a number of tweaks to already existing and loved applications as well as a few key features that are going to make our digital lives easier. We can expect iOS 15 to roll out to devices starting from iPhone 6s and newer some time in September following the release of the iPhone 13 lineup.

Antonia

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