With this update, Apple users can FaceTime with those on Android and Windows devices. The AI in iOS 15 will be able to identify plants, animals, landmarks in photographs. That and lots more.
Apple released its iOS 15, the brand new version of its iPhone software, on September 20. The update comes with some big changes that enables FaceTime to make calls to Android and Windows users, and artificial intelligence (AI) that can recognise animals, plants, and other items in photographs. Other new features include control over notifications, new emojis, updated notes, smart folders, and much more.
While Apple offers regular updates throughout the year, the annual update that is released alongside new iPhones has the most additional features and changes.
Improved Safari design
With this update, Safari is redesigned with a new tab bar and tab groups for a better browser experience. The update will bring the address bar and back button from the top of the screen closer to the bottom. Those who do not like this change, have the option to return to the old look.
Safari will also save groups of open tabs and support extensions the way it happens on the desktop version of Google Chrome and Safari.
FaceTime opens up
Till now, FaceTime was reserved only for Apple products. Following this update, anyone with an Apple device will be able to create a link for videoconferencing on FaceTime. Apple users can share this link with any computer or phone via a modern web browser and the other user can join the chat. The link will require permission and will not let random people to join.
Users may not have time to check all the links sent via iMessage, now known as Apple Messages. The update -- which enables Messages to share information with other apps -- will allow users to track links and photos shared with Apple users. For example, if anyone sends a link to an Apple News story, it will show up in the Apple News section called 'Shared with You.' This update also applies to Safari web links, Apple TV movies, podcasts, and TV shows.
AI to identify elements in photos
With this exciting upgrade, Apple’s software can now identify subjects in photographs, and provide more information about animals, landmarks, books, and plants. It will also make the text inside a photo searchable and let users copy and paste text and photo into a document.
Notification control during off-hours
Till now, Apple had a mode called ‘Do Not Disturb’ that limited notifications except from a list of close contacts. This feature has been upgraded to ‘Focus.’ With this feature, Apple users will be able to decide which notification they want to allow. The user’s status will also be automatically visible in the communication application. So if someone is texting a user who is in Focus mode, they’ll receive a message that notifications have been silenced
Apple Maps sees improvements like better directions, public transit schedule, and a walking direction feature that places big arrows over real-world images directing users towards their destinations. It will also have new real-time alerts on when to board a bus/train or get off a bus/train.
Improved system reach
This is an update of Apple’s power-user feature Spotlight. It comes with a new look as Apple now provides information about TV shows, movies, musicians, etc.
The new ‘App Privacy Report’ will show users how often an app accessed their microphone or location in the past seven days. In addition, it will also let them know if apps are phoning home to their own servers. The users who pay for iCloud will also get ‘iCloud Private Relay,’ which is a beta feature, similar to a VPN and hides IP addresses.
Improvements in Siri
Siri will no longer need to send data to a faraway server in order to understand what has been asked for as it can now be done on the device itself. This will provide a faster experience to users.
Driver’s licence in wallet app?
Soon users may be able to add their driver’s licences to the Wallet app. They will have to wait until Apple gets government support for this feature.
How to get iOS 15?
Just connect the compatible iPhone to Wi-fi and power, go to settings, then general, and open Software Update. Click on Download and Install options.
What are some compatible devices?
iPhone 13 series, iPhone 12 series, iPhone 11 series, iPhone XS series, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE (first and second-gen).
Also read: Apple's plan to scan your phone raises the stakes on a key question: Can you trust Big Tech?
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First Published: IST