iOS 15 adds new ways to stay connected

Published June 8, 2021, 6:21 AM

by Jonathan Castillo

iOS 15

WWDC is one of Apple’s big events where they show off what they’ve been working on. Earlier this year we got iOS 14.5, despite being only half the update, made headlines for its new privacy improvements. Now Apple is unveiling the whole package.

FaceTime is getting spatial audio. The iPhone will be able to tell where the user is and isolate voices to reduce background noise. You’ll also be able to share music and video over FaceTime. FaceTime can now also be shared with Android users through a browser link.

Apple is introducing Focus mode. This is where they give you the option to customize your notifications by the time of the day. Apple clearly believes this will help users stay focused on their current activities.

When turning on Do Not Disturb mode, anyone who texts you will receive an automatic response, unless the message is urgent. That raises some questions for me, like, how would the app know the message is urgent enough to disturb you? This is something we’ll have to test ourselves in the future.

iOS 15 also sees even more privacy improvements (certain tech giants are probably gnashing their teeth right now). Every seven days, you will receive an App Privacy Report. Here, it will let you know how many times your location, microphone, and camera were used by an app. On paper, this should also notify if any apps are reaching into your data when they shouldn’t be. Apple’s Mail will also receive new privacy updates, primarily by blocking tracking pixels, which are used in marketing emails to let them know if you opened their emails or not.

LiveTexts is a new feature that lets you search photos through Spotlight. Basically, If you’ve got over a thousand photos and you need to find a certain one, you just need to type it on Spotlight to find it. As interesting as that sounds, it’s something we’re keen to try out ourselves first.

You can now use “Find My” to locate your AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

iPhone 6s and newer will receive iOS 15. This is slated later this year with a developer beta opening today and a public beta next month.