Apple has officially unveiled iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the newest iterations of its iPhone and iPad operating systems.
Competing with rival Google’s Android 12, and announced at World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) today, iOS 15 brings a number of improvements to the platform across areas such as FaceTime and notifications.
In a bid to compete with platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Apple for the first time is making FaceTime calls available through a web interface to PC and Android users. Additionally, SharePlay will allow music from Apple Music, as well as video from Apple TV, to be shared on FaceTime.
Notifications have been overhauled, including larger app icons, and contact photos for people; on-device intelligence will arrange notifications by priority, with urgent messages being delivered immediately and non-urgent notifications being collected in a summary for more opportune times such as morning and evening.
Additionally, the new Focus feature will allow users to filter notifications and apps depending on what they want to focus on, with suggested areas of Focus including Personal, Work, Sleep, and Do Not Disturb; a user’s current Focus will extend across all their Apple devices.
According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, the changes, as well as updates to Maps, on-device intelligence, and other areas such as Notes, Weather, and iCloud, add to iPhone’s “indispensability”.
“iOS 15 helps users stay connected while sharing experiences in real time, gives them new tools to help reduce distraction and find focus, uses intelligence to enhance the photos experience, and, with huge upgrades to Maps, brings new ways to explore the world. We can’t wait for customers to experience it,” he said.
Also announced at WWDC was iPadOS 15, which finally adds widgets – a long-time feature on rival Android tablets – as well as other features including improved multitasking, overhauled FaceTime as seen in iOS 15, the Focus feature, and the App Library as seen in iOS 14 – to iPad tablets.
Federighi has hailed iPad OS 15 as a big improvement to the iPad experience.
“With more intuitive multitasking, a new Home Screen design with integrated widgets and the App Library, system-wide note-taking with Quick Note, Translate designed for iPad, SharePlay, a redesigned Safari experience, new tools to stay focused and more, users can now be even more productive,” he said.
iOS 15 will be available this spring to all iPhone 6s and later models, while iPadOS 15 will come to iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad (5th generation) and later, and all iPad Pro models.