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During the 2021 WWDC, Apple announced the next software update will be coming to iPhones everywhere this fall with iOS 15. This update is packed with new features that help you connect with others, be more present, explore the world, and use intelligence to do more with your iPhone. But what exactly should you expect when iOS 15 hits your phone? Here are the highlights.
FaceTime is getting a huge face lift. One of the biggest updates is a feature called SharePlay. With SharePlay, you can keep FaceTime conversations going as you watch TV, listen to music, or share your screen. This means movie night with distant loved ones is about to get way easier. With synced playback and controls, you’ll see everyone laugh, jump, and react at the same time. And the volume automatically adjusts, so you can keep talking while you watch. Maybe a listening party is more your thing. With SharePlay, the whole group can see what’s next and add songs to a shared queue. If you need to do some serious planning with a group, SharePlay allows you to share your screen with everyone in your FaceTime call. Collaborate with everyone face-to-face while looking at the same screen.
That’s not all, though. FaceTime also gets a new spatial audio feature, which makes individual voices sound like they’re coming from the direction in which each person is positioned on your screen. You can also expect to see a new grid view, Portrait mode (inspired by the blurred background feature in Camera), Voice Isolation and more.
Messages also gets a huge update. With iOS 15, all the links, images, and other content shared with you in Messages are featured in a new Shared with You section. You can even reply right from the app you’re enjoying it in — without going back to Messages. Shared with You is built into Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app. Plus you can now customize your Memoji with different outfits, multicolor headwear, and accessibility customizations including cochlear implants, oxygen tubes, and soft helmets.
Focus is a new feature that aims to help you stay in the moment when it’s time to concentrate. Similar to Do Not Disturb, Focus lets you choose only the notifications you want. Pick from a list of suggested Focus options or create your own. And no need to worry about ghosting your friends. When you're using Focus, your status will be automatically displayed in Messages. But for truly urgent messages, rest easy knowing there’s still a way for people to notify you.
With the new iOS update, you can expect notifications to look a little different, including contact photos and larger app icons to make them easier to identify. You can also set a time of day for a handy notification summary to be delivered, giving you a quick recap of everything you need to know. The summary is intelligently ordered by priority, with the most relevant notifications at the top.
We hope you’re ready to travel, because Apple just made it easier. iOS 15 introduces a new and improved Maps that offers unprecedented road details like turn lanes, crosswalks, and bike lanes; street-level perspectives as you approach complex interchanges; and a new dedicated driving map that helps you see traffic conditions at a glance. More of the pedestrian type? Maps can help you get where you’re going with step-by-step directions that you can view in augmented reality. Not to mention public transit integration shows nearby stations and transit times and lets you pin favorite routes to the top. With the updated Maps app, you’ll have all the tools you need to navigate the world around you. So get out there.
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