What’s New in iOS 15?

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Daniel M. '24, Writer, STEM

As is usual, along with the release of the new iPhone for the next year, Apple released a new software update, iOS 15. Given how most students at MA use iPhones, you might have a notification from System Preferences telling you to update your phone to iOS 15, or maybe you have already. There are many features that come with this new version of iOS, here’s a rundown of each of them:

FaceTime

With the introduction of SharePlay, you can now share any video, audio, or photo content on FaceTime as if you’re on a Zoom call. And that’s not the only new feature that emulates Zoom, as you can now schedule meetings on FaceTime via the Calendar app, just like how you might through Zoom. Unlike Zoom, they added a special audio function to FaceTime so now you can have the voices of your friends spaced out like you’re in an actual conversation on your phone (to a degree, you’re still on a phone). To top it all off, while this last improvement won’t matter to most individuals, you can now FaceTime anybody through a web link, meaning that your friend on an Android phone can finally join your FaceTime calls and so can people from a computer running Windows and even Linux.

Messages

Firstly, yes there are new Memojis so there’s no need to panic. On a slightly more serious note though, links shared now pop up as larger previews for any application ranging from Apple Music to Spotify to Apple News to Safari to Photos. Photos now show up as stacks or collages when sent in Messages, which is a relief compared to having to deal with multiple images, as one would have to do previously.

Focus and Messages

With this update, Apple completely overhauled its notification system. Their notifications are now larger and you can get a summary of them each morning, but the Do Not Disturb function is missing which has been replaced by Apple’s focus system. You can set custom focus settings for eating, driving, sleeping, gaming, and more, and you can customize how notifications work for each individual focus. You can even share your focus with others automatically—so maybe your friend who always calls you at 11 pm will know that you’re sleeping.

Maps

While the changes for maps might be glossed over, they’re very significant. Firstly, Maps now has better integration with public transportation regarding routes and times, making it easier to be on time. Moreover, your phone will notify you when it’s time to disembark so you no longer have to look up to make sure that it’s the correct stop to get off. When you zoom in on Maps now, there are significantly more details about landmarks and road features, such as crosswalks, bike lanes, and turn lanes. Moreover, traffic updates have gotten better, so you will know if you’re getting a tardy or not before you leave your home.

Other:

Here are some other minor changes:

  • Safari now has voice search functionality along with a redo of gestures, tab grouping, and the placement of the address bar at the bottom

  • Your phone can now work with ID cards and keycards for hotels and homes

  • You can now grab text from a photo directly and even translate it

  • If you tap on something of significance in photos, Siri will present you with information about what you tapped on

  • Spotlight got enhanced with more artists, tv shows, celebrities, and your contacts

  • The memories interface in photos was redone and you can now add music from Apple Music to your memories

  • The health app can better notify you and others about conditions and dangers to your health

  • Siri requests are processed on your phone for added privacy

  • You can now get an app privacy report for all of your apps

  • The email app can hide your IP address

  • Siri can share on screen items

  • Find My iPhone now has contiguous updates

  • There are more widgets

  • The weather app was redone

  • You can translate more things in the translate app

  • There are more accessibility options

  • You can tag notes in the notes app

  • It’s easier to reset your Apple ID

Given the features of this update, you may be wondering if your phone is eligible for the update. Any phone including and after the iPhone 6S is eligible for iOS 15. Hopefully, now you know what you’re getting when you press the “Download and Install” option in the Settings app.