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  • Lawrence Ng

8 Things To Know About the New Apple iOS 15

If you haven't heard, iOS 15 just launched and it offers new features for communication, productivity, health and more. Though there are many changes that are a part of the latest Apple operating system, eight stood out to us.

1. Health App

Credit: Apple

As the pandemic has made health our top priority, Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said that the company rolled out functionalities that allow users to actively look out for their well-being. With the Health app, you can do that as it allows you to securely send medical data to family members and caregivers. Here, you can completely control which information you will share and with whom. If you're the recipient of such data, then you can view important insights and trends highlighted from the data that was given to you.

Speaking of trends, the app offers trend analysis for 20 types of data, including cardio fitness, sleep and more. This lets users keep track of certain aspects of their personal wellness. The information is presented in an easy to understand manner. Once optional notifications are enabled, Trends can highlight long-term health changes.

The tool can also let you check your progress with wellness goals such as those related to running distance and mindful minutes.

2. Focus

Credit: Apple

As studying or working from home has become the new normal, it can be hard to separate our work and personal life. This is where Focus can help us eliminate distractions as we finish deliverables, complete assignments, exercise and take wellness breaks. There are various Focus modes that let you do this. For one, activating Work Focus allows you to only receive notifications from coworkers and work-related apps. Meanwhile, the Personal Focus mode is best for moments when you need me time. When you use Fitness Focus, you can complete a workout without being distracted by alerts from your phone.

If you can't find a preset mode that is suitable for your needs, then you can create a custom Focus. Users can also make Home Screen pages dedicated to a specific Focus mode and include relevant apps and widgets there.

3. FaceTime Calls

Credit: Apple

At a time when catching up with loved ones and attending lectures or meetings are all done online, videoconferencing has become an integral part of our lives. With Apple updating FaceTime's audio and video capabilities to make calls feel more natural, it's possible that our online communication experiences will improve.

Spatial audio in Group FaceTime calls lets you hear sound from the direction in which the person is positioned on-screen. On the other hand, Voice Isolation reduces background noise and puts the user's voice at the focus. Another microphone mode called Wide Spectrum leaves background sounds unfiltered for everyone in the call to hear.

As for video changes, FaceTime's Portrait mode blurs backgrounds and brings users to the foreground. You can use this feature as well as Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum on third-party apps like Zoom and WhatsApp. In Group FaceTime, you can opt to display participants in same-size tiles as well.

4. Messages

Credit: Apple

If you're the type of person who prefers texting over calling, then you might like the revamped Messages. A section called Shared with You appearing in Photos, Safari, the Apple TV app, Apple News, Music and Apple Podcasts shows content that has been shared by your contacts. It also indicates who sent the content and lets you easily view and reply to the message.

Aside from that, you can also enjoy more customised Memoji, which now allows users to display cochlear implants, oxygen tubes and soft helmets. Multicoloured headwear and more glasses styles are a part of the Memoji upgrade.

Memoji stickers offer new poses like those displaying a hand wave and a shaka as well.

5. Notifications with larger icons for apps

Credit: Apple

With the Notification redesign, contact photos will now be added to notifications from people and alerts will feature bigger app icons. To stay on top of alerts, you can check out a notification summary that is automatically arranged by priority, allowing you to see the most relevant notifications first. When it comes to time-sensitive notifications, these will be shown immediately to prevent you from missing important messages.

6. Safari

Credit: Apple

Safari was also reconfigured, with the tab bar being relocated to the bottom of the screen. The browser includes new Tab Groups that let users organise tabs and access them across different Apple devices. A customisable start page and iOS web extensions are a part of Safari as well, allowing for a more personalised experience.

7. Live Text

Credit: Apple

iOS 15 provides new possibilities with Live Text, which recognises texts in photos and lets you copy, paste, search and translate the text. Tapping a picture of a phone number allows you to place a call, while pressing an image of a web address results in Safari directing you to that site. The Camera app can quickly recognise and copy text as well.

Making the most out of Live Text, the Spotlight search tool can look up text and handwriting in photos.

8. Apple Maps

Credit: Apple

If you're travelling from one place to another, then you might need help from Apple Maps to reach your destination. The app now provides detailed graphics of neighbourhoods, commercial districts, buildings and even custom-designed landmarks. When night-time mode is enabled, a moonlit glow will be included in the maps.

Navigation also features a three-dimensional driving view that displays road details, facilitating the identification of turn lanes, medians, crosswalks and sidewalks. As of now, the enhanced map has been rolled out in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. It will be available in other places in the future.

If you want to know what else iOS 15 has in store for you, then you can check out more about iOS 15 on Apple's website here. Some of the features mentioned in this article may not be available in all regions or languages.


Written by Sophia Lopez


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