Apple released iOS 15, its annual iPhone software update, on Monday. Last week, during Apple’s virtual event, the tech giant said the iOS 15 update will be available starting September 20. This year’s iOS version includes the ability of FaceTime to make calls to Windows and Android users, new integrations for messages, upgrades to maps, privacy protection, and lots more.
What’s new on iOS 15
iOS 15 is packed with new features that help you connect with others, be more present and at the moment, explore the world, and use powerful intelligence to do more with iPhone than ever before. Here are some new features on iOS 15.
- FaceTime calls with Android and Windows devices
FaceTime was reserved for Apple users only but with the new iOS 15, you can now invite anyone to join you in a FaceTime call, even friends who don’t have an Apple device can now join one-on-one and Group FaceTime calls right from their browser instantly — no login necessary. Apple said users with non-Apple devices can “join using the latest version of Chrome or Edge. Users can now invite their friends into a FaceTime call using a web link you can share anywhere.
- New Integrations for Messages
Apple messages have a new integration “shared with you”. Now the links, images, and other content shared with you in Messages will be featured in a new Shared with You section in the corresponding app. Users can reply from the corresponding app without going back to Messages. For example, if someone sends a link to music it will show up in the Apple Music app in a section called “Shared with You”. Shared with You is built into Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app.
- New Memoji
Users can now choose outfits for their Memoji and express themselves with new stickers. Users can represent their look and style with multicolour headwear. Accessibility customizations now include cochlear implants, oxygen tubes, and soft helmets.
- Focus Mode
Focus just like “Do not Disturb” helps you stay in the moment when you need to concentrate or step away. Apple has added more upgrades to this feature. Focus now lets you pre-approve notifications from select contacts. If someone is texting a user who is in Focus Mode, they’ll receive an away message. Users can create multiple Focus profiles for different situations, such as work, play, and sleep. When a user turns on Focus, a status will be automatically displayed in Messages and other communication apps you allow.
- Maps Upgrade
Maps now show step-by-step directions you can view in augmented reality, custom-designed landmarks, and a nighttime mode with moonlit glow. Maps will also feature more detail such as the location of turn lanes and where crosswalks are spotted to help spot traffic conditions more easily and figure out the right lane to join. Maps will also feature new real-time alerts that tell users when they need to get off the bus, train, or subway before they miss their stop.
- Privacy Protections
iOS 15 provides increased visibility into how apps access your data, protects you from unwanted data collection, and gives you more control over what you choose to share. App Privacy Report will show you how often an app accessed your microphone or location over the last seven days.