Perhaps a little unfamiliar is the integration between the Apple Music and the Photos app. When you open the Photos app and go to For you Tab, you’ll be greeted with a new version of Memory – this feature automatically creates a mini-movie of specific trips or events, and automatically selects a relevant song from Apple Music (only if you have a subscription to the music service). You can customize the viewing of the movie by changing the speed, changing the song, changing the filter, or changing the picture. It’s not too far from the Google Photos feature that launched in 2018, but Apple gives you a lot more control with music integration here.
Safari is now easy to use with one hand. The URL bar is now at the bottom, and it is hidden when you scroll to maximize your screen real estate. You’ll notice that the Safari New Tab page is very similar to the MacOS or your iPad interface – it contains your favorite websites, reading lists, and content shared with you. You can easily swipe through tabs and combine them. And finally, for the first time, Safari extensions are coming to iOS. These are available through the App Store, though you still don’t expect every extension you use on your computer.
Speaking of travel, the company launched an improved version of Apple Maps last year, now in four new countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy and Australia. Apple’s map information is getting more detailed in iOS 15. You’ll find street level details in the commercial district, city height information, and custom designs for landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. While driving, the maps will now show the highway interchange in 3D so you have a good idea of exactly which lane you should be in. These features are still coming to CarPlay after 2021.
If you run public transit, the map will tell you when to get off, and if you don’t know which way to go by bus or outside the subway station, point your phone to the buildings in front of you for Apple. This is similar to AR Live View on Google Maps.
Shared with you
Choose items that your friends share in messages Now sit in a new “Share with you” section on some apps. For example, if someone shares some photos of the trip you were part of, these photos will be in a new section shared with you in the Photos app. If you are sent a news article, you can find it in a Shared With You section of Apple News. The idea is to have another chance to see what your friends and family members have sent, if you don’t have time to see before. New shared with categories are available in Apple’s Photos, News, Podcasts, Safari, TV and Music.
When you use the spotlight, the search bar that pops up when you swipe the home screen, you’ll notice a new design with more details when searching for contacts, celebrities and movies. You can also search for your photos through it and use it to install new apps. You can now easily access it from the lock screen, simply by swiping to the display.
With Apple’s Health app, you can now share your health information with family members or carers. This way, they can easily keep an eye on the metrics and receive notifications for any unusual trends over time. There is also a new walking stability metric that regularly analyzes your fall risk.
You can also save your Covid-1 test results and vaccine records in the app. If certain medical locations or vaccine providers do not support this feature, you can download the record using a QR code or browser and save it to the Health app whenever you can access it.
This new service is available without any price change for anyone who already subscribes to iCloud. It adds the ability to create one-burner emails for you when you’re signing up for a service on the web; Homekit Secure extends video support; And iCloud adds a feature called Private Relay (currently in beta), which encrypts all Internet traffic leaving your device so no one can see your data, much like a virtual private network.
Other new features
IOS 15 has many more features.
- ICloud Backup: You can temporarily back up your data to iCloud even if you don’t have enough storage to transfer your data to the new iPhone.
- Weather app: Apple bought the popular Dark Sky Weather app last year and it looks like we’re finally seeing the results of that acquisition. The weather app has a new design, with more detailed graphics, a background that changes more accurately with current weather conditions and access to high-resolution weather maps.
- Message: Instead of scrolling through a long message of multiple photos, iMessage now neatly organizes numerous photos (sent simultaneously) through a stack through which you can swipe. To see them all at once, you can also tap on the collage icon.
- Visual look up: Like Google Lens, you can point the camera at landmarks, plants, pets or books and get information about what you’re looking at.
- Mail privacy protection: This feature prevents senders from seeing if you open an email and it hides your IP address and location.
- Siri: Talking to Siri on iOS 15 is more secure than before because your audio no longer leaves your device. You can control on-device functions without an Internet connection, such as asking Siri to turn on Dark Mode or set an alarm, and it will run much faster.
Apple unveiled most of the new features found in iOS 15 at its Global Developers Conference this past summer, but not all of them are available at launch. Below are a few that have been delayed.
With SharePlay, you can share movies, music, and your screen with anyone you’re FaceTiming. Want to hear a new album at the same time as your friend? You can bring tunes from Apple Music. Maybe you want to watch a movie with your long distance partner while video chatting? Easy. You can airplay the movie on your TV to watch on the big screen at the same time.
Apple originally rolled back this feature in August, just after the beta release. In an email to those who have Apple Developer Accounts, the company has confirmed that SharePlay will be “disabled for use in their initial releases” and that it will be “released to the public in a software update later this autumn.”