One of the most significant announcements on day one of Apple WWDC 2021 was iOS 15, with one impressive feature of this software upgrade being Live Text. This feature enables you to copy and paste text, scenes, landmarks, and objects from a photo to gather more information from the internet. Tap an image of a dog, for example, to gain insight into the breed online. Or let’s say there’s a restaurant in the background of an image and you want to discover its location, address, phone number, etc. Live Text makes this possible with a simple copy-and-paste action.
Continue reading to explore more updates you can expect with iOS 15, such as SharePlay, FaceTime’s voice isolation, iCloud safety features, message enhancements, and more. We’ve also touched on other Apple announcements, such as macOS Monterey and Apple Watch upgrades.
Apple WWDC 2021 full event
Audio and connectivity improvements to FaceTime with iOS 15
FaceTime is how we catch up with friends around the world and stay connected to family members. But video calls have their challenges: emotional signals can get lost. To feel more natural and lifelike, iOS 15 makes FaceTime calls sound more natural thanks to Spatial Audio. As a result, calls are more natural and less distorted. Additionally, voice isolation distinguishes background sounds and prioritizes your phone. But for times when you want every bit of sound to come through on your calls, Wide Spectrum picks up all sounds.
But audio isn’t the only important component of FaceTime calls; the visual aspect is just as, if not more, important. Turn on Grid View to see everyone’s facial reactions in one call. Or use Portrait Mode to blur the background and naturally put the focus on you. Furthermore, to help you schedule a FaceTime call, FaceTime Links lets you make an event for a video call. And it’s not just Apple users who can accept and join a FaceTime call; you can send the link to anyone.
Sometimes you want to FaceTime a friend just to feel connected while still watching a movie, listening to music, etc. SharePlay brings music and movies into a call. iOS 15 also allows you to share your screen to bring apps and moments right into your FaceTime calls. For example, if you’re talking about a new album on a FaceTime call, simply play the song on Apple Music and everyone in the call can listen. Best of all, all listeners receive access to customize settings and make adjustments. Or jump to a streaming app and press play to watch movies or TV shows along with users. This allows you and your friends to stay connected in real time.
Enhancements to messages
iPadOS 15 / Credit: Apple.com
Stay connected throughout the day by viewing images instantly and easily. For example, multiple images will appear stacked or collaged making them easier to view in a text. Therefore, you won’t be bombarded with hundreds of images from your friend’s vacation; images will be presented in an organized manner. And you can swipe through them to view at a glance and respond later.
The iOS 15 update also makes it easier to select, read, and view content when you’re ready. Think of instances when a friend sends you a news link that you’re not ready to read just yet or a song that you can’t listen to in that moment. The new iOS 15 system allows you to save these references and access them at a later date without having to scroll through past messages.
Customize how and when you receive notifications with iOS 15
iOS 15 / Credit: Apple.com
Notifications are more streamlined to help you feel less overwhelmed. iOS 15 lets you arrange a scheduled time in your day to receive notifications in one go rather than them being scattered throughout the day.
Best of all, Apple allows you to feel more in control of being able to put your phone down. With Focus, you can match your device to your mindset. Choose what you want to focus on in your day: work or personal life. Using on-device intelligence, your smartphone will only notify you of productivity apps, emails, or calls if you switch to Work mode. Or, if you want to set aside some time for your personal life, you can communicate this with your smartphone. It will suggest apps to suit your mood, such as Calm. As a result, you can unwind and find the balance between switching off and spending time on your device.
Spot early health concerns with Trends
Trends / Credit: Apple.com
Celebrate progress toward meeting your health goals and get insight into changes in your overall health with Trends. This is just one of Apple’s three new health upgrades to support good health and wellbeing. In particular, Trends will assess your resting heart rate, sleep activity, blood glucose levels, daily step count, and more. With this data, you can spot any early signs of health concerns.
Privacy improves to iCloud
Receive safe and accessible upgrades to iCloud. You’ll get access to Account Recovery to make it safer to access your account when you forget the password. This also allows you to set another individual to access your phone should you suddenly pass. Additionally, Hide My Email lets you share a unique, random address that forwards emails right to your personal email address. This is great for moments when you’re skeptical about giving away your trusted email address. Apple also includes an iOS 15 upgrade with iCloud+ where you’ll gain more privacy features.
This latest macOS software upgrade makes working more efficient and productive. For example, Universal Control lets you switch between more than two devices to drag images onto different screens.
AirPlay to Mac lets you play, present, and draw to bring your Mac to life. You can even use AirPlay to Mac as a speaker at the tap of a button.
Apple Watch upgrades
WatchOS 8 / Credit: Apple.com
Reply comedically with gifs, share images directly via messages, and more. watchOS 8 makes communicating with your loved ones from your smartwatch simple. Another impressive upgrade is tapping your Apple Watch (or iPhone) to unlock your front door without a key.
Above are just some of the latest and exciting upgrades from iOS 15 during the Apple WWDC event, such as enhancements to Notes, AirPods, and more. What are your thoughts on these improvements? Let us know in the comments.