Apple revealed its latest iPhone operating system, iOS 15, during the virtual Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 Monday, with changes that include new notification settings, Messenger improvements, and more.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president in charge of software, announced iOS 15, saying, “For many of us, iPhone has become indispensable. And at the heart of iPhone is iOS. IOS powers experiences we’ve come to rely on, and this year we were inspired to create even more meaningful ways iPhone could help you.”
One of the biggest changes to the new operating system involves FaceTime, an app that allows iPhone users to make video calls. The software upgrade will add spatial audio to calls, making audio sound like it’s coming from the direction in which the speaker is talking – if a speaker is on the right, it will sound like he’s speaking from the right.
The new operating system will also allow users without Apple devices to join FaceTime calls through encrypted web links.
The company also unveiled a new feature known as SharePlay, which allows users to watch music and shows with friends and family on FaceTime. Apple announced it is working with Disney+, Twitch, Hulu, TikTok, ESPN+, and more for the update. Users will be able to watch using picture-in-picture, or even cast the video onto a TV using AirPlay.
A new feature called Shared with You will be included in Messages, allowing users to view every news article and video shared via the app. The Photos app is also getting the Shared with You update, which will allow users to view photos shared between friends, but only photos with your face will be included to avoid cluttering up photo libraries.
Apple users’ Notifications will include improved icons and an update called Notification summary, allowing users to schedule when specific notifications will appear. Messages are excluded from the summary, however, in order to ensure users still receive messages right away.
Messages will also feature a new Do Not Disturb mode to notify people that users are not currently taking texts. Those attempting to contact a user can still cut in the mode by calling or alerting that it’s important.
Looking ahead, the tech giant also noted that users will soon be able to put their IDs into the Apple Wallet. In certain states, users will be able to present an ID using the app.
Apple’s weather app is also getting a new design, layout, and graphics, and Maps will include an interactive globe for users to explore. The feature will also show 3D landmarks, elevation levels, road signs, and a nighttime mode.
The GPS will also include overpasses, traffic conditions and exits in select cities, including London, New York, and San Francisco.
According to Techradar, Apple will release a beta version of the new operating system in July, with the final version likely arriving in the fall.