Apple iOS 15: 5 features to remember

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Expected for the fall, the next iOS 15 mobile operating system was unveiled at Apple’s WWDC. Evolution of FaceTime, Wallet, sharing functions, LiveText. Here are 5 features to follow.

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Each year Apple’s developer conference (WWDC) is an opportunity for the firm to unveil the evolutions of its next OS and in particular iOS which is coming in version 15. Scheduled for this fall, with a beta test which starts immediately , the mobile OS is full of extra features and brings a bunch of changes big and small. Here are the five features that will have the biggest impact on iPhone users when iOS 15 releases this fall.

FaceTime: links and modes

iOS 15 greatly improves the FaceTime function. Spatial audio will separate voices so group chats sound more natural. We will also be able to see all the participants at the same size in the display grid and the person speaking will appear in the foreground. Additional microphone modes will allow other participants to hear the speaker more clearly: Isolation mode suppresses background sounds to focus on the voice, while Wide Spectrum mode does the opposite by taking all sounds around the participant. A Portrait mode, which automatically blurs the background, is also making an appearance in FaceTime.

FaceTime links can be opened in a browser on non-Apple devices! (Credit: Apple)

FaceTime links are perhaps the biggest new feature of Apple’s app. Indeed, it will be possible to create a link for a future FaceTime call and send it to anyone in any application, or attach it to a calendar event. And, in a big change, Windows or Android users will be able to click those links and join the FaceTime call on the web!

Focus on sharing

With iOS 15, Apple is putting the emphasis on sharing. For this, the company has collected a large number of sharing features under the umbrella term SharePlay. The latter will offer several actions: listen to music, watch a video or share your screen with a person during a FaceTime call. Audio or video will be synced, and other call participants will have media controls if they want to pause or skip to another track, and the whole group can create a collaborative playlist. Screen sharing will even work between Apple devices.

FaceTime will share videos and music, all in sync. (Credit: Apple)

This feature will be accessible by default in Apple Music and Apple TV, but through Apple’s API, other apps will be updated to support SharePlay. This will be the case with popular apps like Disney+, HBOMax, Twitch, ESPN+, etc. A new “Shared with You” section in Apple’s apps will collect and highlight items sent by its correspondents via iMessage. By opening the Photos app, it will be possible to see all the photos sent by the correspondents in Messages. The same goes for News, Podcasts, TV, and Safari. This solution will allow you to quickly find the links that people send without having to scroll through the message thread. In Messages, it will be possible to pin items so that they can be seen in the “Shared with You” section of each application.

More responsive and customizable notifications

Apple should have overhauled notifications in iOS a long time ago. Finally, iOS 15 adds much-needed intelligence and organization to notifications. In the next version, a notification summary will group together all the notifications ignored during the day. It will also be possible to set the time at which we want to receive them and easily review all the notifications.

It will be possible to easily see all the missed notifications at the time of his choice. (Credit: Apple)

If the user goes into “Do Not Disturb” mode, other users will be able to see them in Messages and know that they may not respond to their message right away. However, if they really have an urgent message to convey, they can ignore it. The most interesting are the Focus modes. For example, if the user does not want to be disturbed while he is working, he can set a mode in which only the applications and people of his choice can send him notifications. In each Focus mode, he can even choose the applications he wants to appear on the home screen. The terminal can also suggest other Focus modes depending on its activity, but everyone can obviously create their own modes.

Live text (and more) everywhere

A feature called “Live Text” uses machine learning to find text in images and will allow the user to treat it like normal text. By pointing the “Camera” application on a text, an indicator will appear at the bottom right on which we can press to isolate the text and select it. We can then paste it into a message, email or other.

Live Text recognizes text in images across multiple apps and devices. (Credit: Apple)

The text recognition feature works across the entire operating system, not just the Camera app. It will be possible to select text directly from existing photos, search for text in them, and even select text from images on the web. Live Text will recognize them as native text: for example, we can select a phone number and call it with a simple touch. Or you can select an address and open it in a map. But the intelligent system is able to recognize something other than text: it can, for example, recognize pets and others, objects in nature, books, landmarks and certain common objects.

The Apple Wallet expands

The Wallet application already allows you to do a lot with payment cards, transport cards and tickets. But it cannot yet replace the physical wallet. Apple would like to change this with some important updates. Launched in iOS 13.6, the CarKey function is not yet very supported. In iOS 15, the function will support the Ultra Wideband (UWB) wireless network technology used in particular in AirDrop and AirTags. Note that some car manufacturers will start supporting CarKey at the end of 2021. But Wallet will also start supporting other types of keys, such as home key (if smart lock is supported), keys to enter the office building or the keys to his hotel. Provided, of course, that they are supported. The Hyatt Group has already announced that later this year it will support keys in the Wallet app at more than 1,000 properties.

In the United States, some states will allow ID card storage in Wallet. (Credit: Apple)

Another planned extension of Wallet, the storage, in the United States, of the identity card in certain States. It will be possible to scan their driver’s license or national identity card and store them in Wallet. This virtual identity document can be used instead of the physical identity card. The data will be encrypted and stored in the Secure Element, so no one will ever be able to collect it (not even Apple). The US National Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would like to be one of the first to support this next digital identity, which would allow you to use your iPhone to pass security checks.

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