Apple today previewed the iOS 15 at its WWDC 2021 Special Event. Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi showcased the new mobile platform at the event and a host of new features to FaceTime, Notifications, Messages and many more.
For the first time ever, spatial audio comes to FaceTime which will make voices in calls natural. With spatial audio, voices on FaceTime will now sound like it’s coming from the angle the person is positioned on the screen, there are also new microphone modes which will filter background noise away from the main caller’s voice. Portrait mode comes to video calls on FaceTime, giving that creamy-blurry background and making the users face the centre of attraction. In group calls, Apple is adding a new grid view which means more faces are shown.
Apple is also introducing SharePlay on FaceTime. With this feature, users can share experiences such as listening to songs on Apple Music, watching a TV show and even sharing their entire screen. SharePlay works across the iPhone, iPad and Mac and it even extends to Apple TV so users can share what they are watching on FaceTime.
Apple is now bringing FaceTime to Android and Windows devices via the web. iPhone, iPad or Mac users can create a FaceTime call link that can be shared via third-party apps, Messages, Mail, etc. so anyone can join the call. Calls remain encrypted which means privacy is maintained, Apple says.
There is a new Focus tool that Apple says will help “reduce distraction.” Focus helps filter notification by letting users create a custom setting, it also works by using on-device intelligence to suggest different focus modes. Focus works across all Apple devices when it’s set on one. Notifications get a major update which lets its show contact photos and larger app icons. Notifications now work with on-device intelligence to show the most relevant ones in order of priority.
Apple is also introducing Live Texts powered by on-device intelligence. The camera app will quickly recognize and let users copy texts from anywhere and take instant actions with them in real-time. There is also Visual Look Up which Apple says will let users learn about popular arts and landmarks around the world.
Spotlight now uses intelligence for advanced search and Photos has been updated with a new look, Apple Music integration to create more touching memories.
Other updates include a redesigned Safari, Notes and Weather apps, more accuracy in Maps, more Privacy controls and a new iCloud which combines all the regular iCloud features with new premium features such as Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost. All iCloud subscribers will get iCloud+ automatically this fall, Apple says.
iOS I5 will be available this fall for iPhone 6S and later.