Apple's adding SharePlay to FaceTime that will let you listen to music with people while you're FaceTiming them.
Apple
  • Apple unveiled its iOS 15 software update during its developer conference on Monday.
  • iOS 15 will feature redesigns and upgrades in FaceTime, Messages, Notifications, and more.
  • It will likely be available for download in the last quarter of the year.
  • See more stories on Business Insider SA's home page.

Apple unveiled its iOS 15 software update on Monday with upgrades to FaceTime, Maps, Weather, Messages, Photos Wallet, and more.

The update was announced during Apple's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference, which is being held virtually for the second year in a row and runs through Friday.

Here are the biggest changes coming to your iPhone through the update, which will likely be made public in the last quarter of the year.

Spatial audio is coming to FaceTime

Apple announced its surround sound-like spatial audio last fall, and the feature is now coming to the iPhone. It will make your friends and family sound like they're in the same room as you, with their voices sounding as though they're coming from where their icons are located on your screen.

The FaceTime facelift will also use machine learning to cut out background noise and isolate your voice "so it comes through crystal clear," Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, said.

A new grid view will be available to view all of your friends and family's icons, and Apple is adding a portrait mode to the video chatting app, a blurred background inspired by the camera feature.

Apple's FaceTime links will help schedule calls with people, and you'll be able to send the invite link to people via email and text. And that's not just on iPhone - Federighi said you'll be able to use it with your friends who have Android, and they'll be end-to-end encrypted.

Lastly, Apple will roll out a feature called SharePlay, which will let you FaceTime people while listening to music or watching a movie on your phone. Apple said it's already working with Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO Max, among others, for this feature.

Photos will be grouped in messages, and notifications are redesigned

A screenshot showing Apple's new notifications designs.
Apple

iOS 15 will add a collage design when sending photo batches in a group chat. It's also bringing a Shared With You feature that will display articles that friends and family share with you in a section in the Apple News app. A similar folder will be available in your photos app and will include pictures shared with you in text messages.

Notifications will also get a fresh redesign, with contacts' photos now included, and icons for apps will be larger. Apple is rolling out a Notification Summary grouping ones that you've accumulated.

Apple will help you focus on work, sleep, or your personal life

The Focus feature will help tune out notifications that are unrelated to what you're currently doing. If you set your phone to work mode, you'll receive notifications pertaining to the mail app, for example. If personal mode is activated, you'll be notified with messages and calls from friends and family.

You can isolate text in photos and copy and paste it into an email

Apple's iOS 15 will let you highlight text from a photo and save it elsewhere. You can also use that text to search on the internet.

For example, you can highlight the name of a restaurant in a photo and look it up on the web.

The tool doesn't just work on text - you can also look up information on objects, like dogs and landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.

You'll be able to search photos and add songs to memory videos

You can search your photos by location, scenes, people, and even text.

You'll also be able to add songs from Apple Music to videos showcasing your photo memories. Apple Music will recommend songs to you to add based on your listening habits.

You can add a digital copy of your ID and your hotel key to Apple Wallet

iOS 15 will let you unlock your home or apartment with Apple Wallet and will even let you automatically receive your hotel key on your iPhone. Apple said it teamed up with Hyatt Hotels and will start rolling out such a system this fall.

You can also keep a digitised and encrypted copy of your ID on your iPhone.

The weather app will get a makeover, and Maps will have a new 3D feel

A screenshot showing Apple's new Maps layout.
Apple

The weather app will get a new design, layout, and graphics that reflect the weather, Apple said. And maps will feature a new interactive globe for users to tap and explore. It'll also display 3D landmarks, elevation levels, road signs, and a new nighttime mode.

Maps will render overpasses, traffic conditions, and exits, but the new features will only initially be available in some cities, like London, New York, and San Francisco.

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