Apple officially unveils iOS 15 at WWDC 2021
What you need to know
- Apple has just unveiled its brand new iOS 15 operating system.
Apple has just announced iOS 15 at WWDC 2021, its brand new software for the iPhone coming later this year.
Apple has updated FaceTime to make calls sound more natural, bringing Spatial Audio to make conversations sound more realistic! It is also adding voice isolation for your mic to make audio clearer using machine learning, and you can switch between this or Wide spectrum audio for all of the ambient noises.
There's also a new grid view that puts people in titles, Apple is also bringing portrait mode to FaceTime. A new update will also let you use links that you can share via email and even the web, with FaceTime now available on the web with end-to-end encryption.
A new feature called Shareplay also lets people get together to consume content from services like Apple Music as well as TV shows and movies, all in a group watching environment. It also works with AirPlay on your Apple TV, and the new Shareplay feature will be an API available for third parties, bringing group watching to services like Disney+, Twitch, Hulu, and more!
Apple has also introduced some big new changes to Messages, including a new collage design for sharing photos and media in groups.
A new Shared With You feature lets you put shared things like news articles aside for later reading, even letting you pick up the conversation. There's also new Shared music in the music app, with similar changes for Photos, Safari, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app.
Apple has changed up its Notifications, bringing a new design and changes to how you interact with them. A new notification summary lets you see a collection of notifications that can be delivered at a certain time, whilst filtering out messages from other people. Do not disturb can now be displayed as a status in Messages so that people know you're out of reach. Apple has also introduced new modes of Focus that will let you filter out notifications depending on what it is you're up to, for instance, work or else. All of Apple's notifications changes are designed to help you separate work and play, finding balance whilst using your phone for lots of different things.
A new Live Text feature for photos can pull text out of images using your camera, such as taking photos of a whiteboard ideas session. It will also work on photos you've already taken, so you could do something like look up the name of a restaurant based on a photo you've taken.
Photos are also now available in Spotlight and you can search for them based on location, people, scenes, and more. New rich results in Spotlight for things like your contacts give you more access for things like calls and emails too.
Apple has also added new memory mixes, calling upon songs from Apple Music intelligently suggested based on photos in your memories, animated title cards, and more.
With iOS 15, Apple has updated its Wallet app. Building on the work of Apple's Car Key feature, BMW is going to ship UWB keys with cars later this year. It is also adding house keys to iOS 15, as well as office badges and hotel keys, bringing more access options onto your iPhone. In a big update, Apple is also letting users add their ID cards, including driver's licenses to Apple Wallet in participating US states. The TSA is in line to become the first place where you'll be able to use your digital ID, with sensitive information stored on the iPhone's Secure Enclave.
The weather app has a massive new design, with new graphics for different weather, as well as new metrics like pressure. Apple is also bringing full-screen, high-resolution weather maps with temperature and precipitation, as well as air quality.
Apple is bringing its new Maps software to Spain and Portugal from today and is bringing it to Italy and Australia later this year. Maps also has a new interactive globe, as well as big changes to cities. iOS 15 Maps includes new details for information like marinas and districts, as well as custom-designed landmarks, like the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a new night time mode. Apple has added new road details to Apple Maps for driving including crosswalks and bike lanes, as well as overlapping interchanges in 3D on highways. The new driving experience will debut on CarPlay later this year.
Transit riders also have new options for pinning stations, and it will even work with Apple Watch without your iPhone. A new AR feature will let users scan buildings to establish where they are in a city before showing you directions in Augmented Reality! This new feature is coming to LA, London, New York, and San Diego later this year.
Apple has also added new Voice search in Safari, updates to drag and drop, and new outfits for memojis.
Apple has also added updates to AirPods with iOS 15, including a new announce notifications features which will let Siri read notifications to you. With iOS 15 you can now use the FindMy app to find your AirPods Max and your AirPods Pro, even using proximity view to find them. Your phone will now give you a notification if you leave your AirPods behind.
Apple also says it will bring Spatial Audio to macOS and tvOS, the former with dynamic head tracking coming later this year. Finally, Apple has confirmed that its Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio will be available on Apple Music from today.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9