With iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple will add all kinds of new features to your iPhone and iPad later this year. What’s new and changed?
Although the software updates were announced this week, they are not yet widely available. However, we could probably try an early test version especially for app makers, to get an idea of the innovations.
The changes you will notice the most are notifications. Those have changed in appearance and functionality in iOS and iPadOS. First, there are now different types of notifications, including passive messages and critical notifications. Due to the distinction, a promotional message will not always immediately jump into the picture and will later become visible in a notification overview, while, for example, an NL-Alert comes through everywhere.
The new features should help people with the plethora of notifications and messages that can arrive on a phone. One important detail: the function has to be enabled manually in early test versions. If so, users must discover that the opportunity exists before they can use it.
The second big new feature in iOS and iPadOS is Focus. That is a combination of Do Not Disturb and the auto mode that has been around for some time, along with new setting options. By default, there are already some profiles ready: Driving, Do Not Disturb, Personal, Sleep and Work. This tells the phone what you are doing and which apps you do not want to be disturbed by. You can adjust the icon screen on the phone per mode.
There is also an option to show Focus status in the Messages app. If someone sends you a message, they will see that you are busy at that moment, for example. Developers can build in support, so that the status may also appear in WhatsApp or Signal. It is not yet clear whether that will happen.
App changes in
As always, Apple upgrades its apps along with the operating system. The biggest changes are in Facetime and Messages. To start with Facetime: that is becoming more of a Zoom competitor. It will be possible to schedule Facetime calls and send invitations.
In addition, you can now facetime with people outside the Apple ecosystem, who then have to use the browser. Shareplay lets you watch videos or listen to audio together.
All a subscription
Shareplay does have limitations: you both have to have access to the things you watch or listen to. So if you go to Frozen To watch on Disney+, all devices must have the Disney+ app with an activated subscription.
Messages especially has more integration with other Apple services. For example, from Messages you can save news to News, songs to Music, and podcasts to, well, Podcasts. They end up in the Shared With You section, or ‘Shared with you’ in Dutch.
Live text and Safari
Under iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the camera has built-in image recognition, to be able to select text in a photo, for example. You can then copy and paste that text as normal text.
The interface of the web browser Safari has undergone a major overhaul. The URL bar is at the bottom by default and floats above the page. If you scroll, it disappears to the very bottom of the page. Switching between tabs is done by swiping.
Groups with tabs
There will also be groups of tabs in Safari. For example, if you are looking for a gift for a friend and you have five tabs open, you can save them as a group.
Placing the URL bar at the bottom makes it easily accessible and that’s nice. Then it slides up when you want to type. A browser should of course not get in the way and Safari does that just fine. The interface is minimal and that works fine.
In addition to new licks of paint and new features, Apple, as always, has a strong focus on privacy. That extends to iOS and iPadOS, too, and it shows in many ways. They are also important changes, because they aim to protect private data.
There will be an authenticator feature in the iOS password manager. When a site asks for a code, the system automatically enters it in Safari. The browser prevents IP addresses from being shared, and paid iCloud subscribers gain access to a VPN of sorts for added privacy and security.
The Mail app prevents mail providers from seeing that you have opened a message. For paid iCloud users, there is a function to use a random email address to hide your real email address.
All of the changes we’ve discussed so far are in both iOS and iPadOS, but some features have been added specifically for the iPad as well. The main change in the interface is that it is more in line with that of iPhones. Widgets can therefore now also be placed between the app icons, although the separate page also still exists.
In addition, the App Library containing all apps will also be available on iPads. That’s where all the apps that aren’t on your home screen gather. It lives to the right of the rightmost home screen, but has also been given a place in the dock. That is the rightmost button.
Another big change is multitasking. That system was already there, but many users found it bad. Now you can place two apps next to each other with a button at the top of the screen. An option at the bottom of the screen shows all windows of an app. These changes make multitasking a bit more convenient on iPads.
You can swipe from the bottom right corner with Apple’s stylus to open a quick note. This is possible on the home screen, but also in an app; then he adds a link or image from the app if you want. It’s a kind of digital post-it system.