Apple has unveiled a bevy of brand new features coming with its iOS 15 update during is annual WWDC event, live-streamed yesterday.
The new software features include upgrades to FaceTime, Maps, Weather App, Messages, Photos and more.
Here are the 7 most important updates and new features shipping with iOS 15:
1. Spatial Audio is coming to FaceTime
Apple announced its surround sound-like spatial audio feature last year for its AirPods Pro. Now the feature is coming to iPhone with the company’s new iOS 15 update and set to be launching with Apple’s rebranded version of FaceTime.
Spatial audio will make your friends and family sound as if they’re in the same room as you during a video call depending on where their icons are located on your phone’s screen.
Check out more of the new features coming to FaceTime here.
2. Redesigned notifications, Photo grouping in Messages
iOS 15 will use a new collage design when you send photo batches in a group chat and will come with a Shared With You feature in the Photos app that will include pictures shared with you via text messages. No longer will you have to see random pictures you had no idea were shared with you because of all your open group chats on WhatsApp. These images will now all automatically go into the Shared With You folder.
A similar feature will be included in the Apple News app, where you can see news articles shared with you via chats or messages.
Notifications will also have a fresh redesign. Photos of contacts will now be included in the notifications, and icons for apps will be larger.
Notification Summary will group all the notifications that you have accumulated for ease of access.
3. Apple Focus
Enter Focus. A new app that will help you tune out certain notifications, for example: notifications unrelated to what you’re currently doing. If you set Focus to work mode you will only receive notifications from the mail app.
Personal mode will allow notifications from friends and family.
4. Isolate text in Photos
iOS 15 will allow users to highlight text from a photo and save it elsewhere. You can use the isolated text to search on the internet.
For example, if you receive a photo of a place from a friend, like a mall that you do not know. You can isolate the name of the mall from the photo and search for its location.
The tool is more functional than just text. You can look up information from isolated objects in images like animals or landmarks.
5. Search Photos and Add Songs to Them
You can now search through your photos for specific images of locations, scenes, people and even text.
The new Photos app will also allow for the addition of songs from Apple Music to slideshow videos showcasing your photo memories. Apple Music will recommend songs to you according to your listening habits.
6. Add digital ID copies and hotel keys to Apple Wallet
The new update will let users keep a digitised and encrypted version of their ID documents right on their iPhones through the Apple Wallet app.
Apple has also partnered with Hyatt Hotels in order for the digital keys of certain hotels to be sent to users directly on their iPhones. This system will roll out in the US this spring, according to Business Insider SA.
7. A brand new Weather App. New features to Maps
Weather, which has been relatively unchanged for many years, will be getting a design overhaul. Complete with new layout and graphics.
Apple Maps will be updated as well. It will feature a new interactive globe for users to tap and explore. Maps will now display 3D landmarks, elevation levels, road signs and come with a new nighttime mode.
Highway overpasses, traffic conditions and exits will be rendered in 3D on the app, though this feature will only be available for certain cities at first – New York, London, San Francisco.