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Apple’s iOS 15 includes revamped notifications, SharePlay, new FaceTime features and more

Several long-overdue features are finally coming to Apple's mobile operating system

iOS 15

During WWDC 2021, Apple revealed the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 15.

Among a flurry of updates, the tech giant revealed several new FaceTime features, including that Spatial Audio is coming to FaceTime, along with new meeting invitations, a portrait mode and browser-based compatibility with Android devices.

There’s also a new feature called SharePlay that allows you to watch Apple TV+ content, Apple Music and more. The tech giant says SharePlay will be available to third-party developers via a development API, and that it’s already working with several third-party streaming services, including Disney+.

FaceTime Gridview

Apple then moved on to reveal new iOS 15 Messages features, including in-line photo galleries and a new ‘Shared With You’ section that organizes any links contacts send you in a specific area of the messaging app.

The tech giant also showed off several changes to notifications, a long-requested feature from iOS users. For example, iOS 15 will feature a new ‘Notification Summary’ that combines several notifications into one single broader notification, cleaning up the barrage of pop-ups that can often appear on an iPhone.

Further, a ‘Focus’ notifications feature aims to help users carve out a portion of their day that they don’t want to receive notifications during. Through Focus, you can select what notifications you still want to receive — for example, messages from co-workers — but block out those you don’t need right away.

Next, Apple showed off a Google Lens-like feature called ‘Live Text’ that pulls text out from a photo, allowing you to share handwritten notes more easily. This feature also works with photos you’ve already shot. Spotlight, Apple’s universal search feature, can also search for photos.

Sticking with Photos, Apple showed off how Apple Music tracks are now integrated into the image app’s automatically created ‘Memories’ feature. Music appears automatically but can also be added manually.

Other new features shown off include expanding Apple Wallet to work with hotels, smart home locks and more vehicles. The company also showed off that Apple Wallet will work with government IDs in certain U.S. states. It’s unlikely this feature will come to Canada anytime soon and it’s also unclear what states it will work within the U.S.

Apple’s Weather app is getting what seems to be a full, more visual design refresh, and Apple Maps, the tech giant’s beleaguered map app, will feature more detailed data like elevation, landmarks and more in certain major cities.

Finally, several AirPods Pro accessibility features, including the ability to boost people’s speech, are coming with iOS 15.

iOS 15’s developer beta is available starting today, with the public beta releasing next month. The new operating system will officially release later this fall.

Image credit: Apple 

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