Apple’s New iOS 15 Upgrade Provides A Range Of New Features

By Pamela Connellan
on 9 June 2021

Apple has released the latest version of its mobile operating system – iOS 15 – with upgrades to FaceTime, photos and messages. As well, there’s an increased emphasis on health and wellbeing. Apple announced the new changes at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday. The new iOS 15 operating system will be available this spring to all iPhone 6s and later models. 

These days Apple has to compete with Google’s Android 12 and other platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, so to do this, Apple has now made FaceTime calls available online to PC and Android users. As Apple’s Craig Federighi said: “We’ve all found ourselves using videocalling for just about everything,” so now on FaceTime, “… your friends’ voices are spread out to sound like they’re coming from the direction in which they’re positioned on the video call,” he said.

The goal is to make FaceTime more natural. Apple has introduced spatial audio, which is designed to make it sound as though you’re “sitting in the same room” as everyone else on the call, Federighi said.

There’s so much to know about the new iOS 15 system, if you truly want to know all the details, you can visit here to find out all about it.

In more good news, you can share Apple Music and video from Apple TV on FaceTime via a feature called SharePlay. This feature allows you to seamlessly bring music or a film into your FaceTime call. It will also let you share your own screen. As an example, Federighi said you might share your screen to look at real estate listings with a potential roommate.

As well, notifications have been upgraded to allow you to use bigger app icons and contact photos for people. Your notifications will now be delivered by priority, with urgent messages being delivered immediately and non-urgent notifications being collected so you can view them later at a better time.

The iOS 15 update has a new Focus feature which allows you to filter notifications and apps according to what you want to focus on. You can file notifications under different areas including: Personal, Work, Sleep and Do Not Disturb. Once you’ve set this up this system will extend across all your Apple devices.

As Apple says: “Focus is a new feature that filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on. Customers can set their device to help them be in the moment by creating a customised Focus or selecting a suggested Focus, which uses on-device intelligence to suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them.”

Apple upgrades focus on health and wellbeing

Something which was clear from all the new upgrades was Apple’s new focus on health. Sure, Apple has always been one to promote good health with all the features on the Apple Watch, Apple Fitness+ and the Health app, but iOS 15 has an even higher emphasis on wellness and in particular, mental health. The Apple health app already allows you to set up emergency contacts, and note important information like your blood type, allergies, heart health and sleep. Now, you’ll be able to share this data with your family with a “new sharing tab that lets users share their health data with family members, caregivers or a care team.”

Keys and IDs for Apple Wallet

Last year, Apple introduced digital car keys, with BMW the first car company to add its keys, allowing users to tap their phones to unlock. Now, and with shiny new tech updates, digital car keys will be able to securely unlock and start a supported car without you having to remove your iPhone from your pocket or bag: “iPhone can also be used to unlock a user’s home, office or even a hotel room — all through keys stored in Wallet,” says Apple.

Live Text feature

This new feature sounds good because it allows you to create a digital list. You can even write a list out first and then hover your camera over the written text and use the search or translate the text features. As Apple says: “For example, users can search for and locate a picture of a handwritten family recipe, or capture a phone number from a shopfront with the option to place a call. With the power of the Apple Neural Engine, the Camera app can also quickly recognise and copy text in the moment, such as the Wi-Fi password displayed at a local café. With Visual Look Up, users can learn more about popular art and landmarks around the world, plants and flowers found in nature, and breeds of pets, and even find books.”

More from Apple about the iOS 15 upgrade

“This year, we were inspired to create even more meaningful ways iPhone could help you,” said Federighi. “(iOS 15) is packed with features that make the iOS experience adapt to and complement the way you use iPhone, whether it’s staying connected to those who matter to you most, finding the space to focus without distraction, using intelligence to discover the information you need, or exploring the world around you.”

“iOS 15 helps users stay connected while sharing experiences in real time, gives them new tools to help reduce distraction and find focus, uses intelligence to enhance the photos experience, and, with huge upgrades to Maps, brings new ways to explore the world. We can’t wait for customers to experience it,” he added.

“With more intuitive multitasking, a new Home Screen design with integrated widgets and the App Library, system-wide note-taking with Quick Note, Translate designed for iPad, SharePlay, a redesigned Safari experience, new tools to stay focused and more, users can now be even more productive,” he said.

The new iOS 15 operating system will be available this spring to all iPhone 6s and later models, while iPadOS 15 will come to iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad (5th generation) and later and all iPad Pro models.

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