Monday, Jun 07, 2021, 20:06 iOS: Software

iOS 15 – Numerous New Features Announced

Fourteen years after the launch of the first iPhone, Apple today presented the smartphone operating system in version 15. iPadOS, which is closely related to the iPhone version, also carries the same version number from now on. As usual, Apple did not give an exact release date, but it will probably be in September again. Users can look forward to various functional innovations. Here's a summary of the most important innovations.

FaceTime - Audio and Video
Pandemic-related, it has been even more important to use technology to stay in touch over the past year and a half. FaceTime is a key component - for the first time, the conferencing solution gets 3D audio ("Spatial Audio") to provide authentic, natural sound reproduction. Via "Voice Isolation", the system also filters out background noise to put the speaker's voice in the foreground. A tile view shows all participants of a FaceTime call, and there is also portrait mode to blur the background. Also new: screensharing to show others your own display content.

FaceTime - also on Android and Windows
Those who don't use an iPhone, iPad or Mac will be able to attend a conference via browser in the future - so Apple has actually opened up the platform to Windows and Android, albeit without a native app for other operating systems. Apple emphasizes that it still relies on end-to-end encryption. This step should significantly improve the acceptance of FaceTime, as the platform restriction was previously considered a major negative feature.



Messages/iMessage.
"Shared with you" is a new feature to sort shared media - this is meant to address the problem of not always wanting to view all sent pictures or articles directly. Instead, the Messages app creates collections that can be easily browsed. For example, picture galleries that different users have taken from one place join together.

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Notifications
Via a new "Notification Summary", the new notification system compiles similar messages. Again, the idea is that purely chronological sorting runs the risk of simply forgetting interesting notifications as they are moved out of sight. The "Focus" function offers settings for what you just want to concentrate on, for example, work, friends or leisure. Depending on this, notifications are displayed - and also the display of apps or widgets that appear context-dependent.



Photos and content detection.
If text is visible on a picture, "Live Text" steps in and analyzes the content - in order to copy it and send it, for example. Another exciting feature is the ability to look up information about parts of the photo. If the system recognizes a dog breed or plant species, the user can display further details with a tap. This is "on-device intelligence", so the detection takes place locally and without data exchange. Spotlight is also integrated, by the way; searching for "dachshund" would bring up corresponding photos on the device.

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Apple Maps
The map solution from Cupertino has already converted several countries to new, high-resolution map material. Now more European countries will follow, but neither Germany, Austria nor Switzerland are included. Apple emphasized that more details will also be offered in another point, for example, the display "surroundings at night", display of the gradient or the driver mode. In cities, whose public transport is available via Apple Maps, users are now offered favorite functions as well as more support in finding stations.

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