Apple held its regular early summer developer conference last night compared to a year earlier, this time the company didn’t make any major announcements at WWDC. Neither iOS, iPadOS 15 nor watchOS 8 are making major changes. With the new major releases coming this fall, Apple will be introducing more modest, but in many cases undoubtedly useful innovations.
Apple’s most popular operating system, iOS, has grown into a huge and versatile platform, and as usual, Apple’s annual update touches on the operating system and some of its default apps at several points.
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Among the latter, FaceTime, Apple’s video and audio calling service, remains a top priority. Because of remote work and remote education introduced due to the pandemic, the app’s popularity has skyrocketed, so it’s no wonder the main focus developers have drawn in part from semi-competitor products (such as Zoom). Without a doubt, the biggest innovation in FaceTime is that non-Apple parties can be invited to chat, all you need is a web link and a compatible browser (Chrome or Edge) to connect.
SharePlay lets you listen to music, watch music, or watch a movie together, as well as the opportunity to share a screen that developers repay for an old gift. Spatial sound appears associated with the sound, which can be used to activate certain sound effects in calls. Among other things, you can hear the sounds of other parties from the direction you are on the screen, filter out background noise or even highlight it (white spectrum mode). In addition, new views appeared (grid view and portrait mode).
Improvements to the Messages app also partially improve the quality of communications. Thanks to innovations, various shared content, images or links to chats can now be displayed systematically in one package. All this information is also displayed in the contact list under each contact.
IOS 15 keeps wrinkling notifications. Notifications change the design, and more emphasis is placed on icons and images than ever before in a more compact and streamlined format. An interesting and hopefully helpful innovation is the notification digest, which prioritizes individual notifications on the lock screen based on our habits. Focus is the Focus Assistra hair introduced in Windows 10, which allows you to filter different notifications by activity (such as work or sleep) and time of day. The other party involved in the message exchange can also be notified of the current active status, thus facilitating communication.
Filling in the blank is that your camera or photo app is equipped with text recognition capability. Thanks to the feature that communicates as direct text, it will be enough to take a better picture of a post so that it can be easily edited or quickly forwarded as a message at any time. In addition, iOS 15 will perform text recognition on all existing images, so that they can be filtered by another criterion.
The area of privacy that has recently become staggeringly important to Apple is also evolving. You can see when each app gave us access to various iOS resources and services, and when the apps last accessed them. Part of the data protection is that voice commands issued to Sirins are now processed on the user’s device, which will be faster as a result. (By agreement, the virtual assistant can now be accessed by other vendors, so in the future it won’t just come back from Apple devices.)
One of the most useful and convenient developments for Find My is that even devices that are turned off will be able to move their location, as long as the battery capacity allows it. This increases the chances of finding abandoned or stolen iPhones. In addition, it is possible to set an alarm if an associated device (such as AirPods and AirTag) is outside the device’s wireless range, reducing the risk of abandonment.
In line with good practice, Mapset has also been improved in Cupertino, giving some of the highlights and buildings a 3D model. At the same time, the quality of navigation has been improved, whether by car, pedestrian or even public transport.
Since the release of Apple Pay, Wallet, which is becoming increasingly popular in Hungary, has grown with new capabilities, although some of them are aimed primarily at America. In some US states, a driver’s license can also be loaded into the wallet, which will be accepted by the relevant authorities in this digital form. In addition, room keys for some hotels, as well as keys for some smart locks and vehicles, can be included in the application, even based on UWB (Ultra Wideband) radio technology.
Thanks to the sensors built into the device, the Health app can now monitor not only the number of steps, but also the stability of the gait and warn if necessary. In addition, you can issue alerts based on changes to several basic vital parameters in the built-in application. This data can already be shared and stored within the family.
The small surprise is that iOS 15 is compatible with exactly the same hardware as iOS 14, so by about 2015 all iPhones (and the seventh generation iPod touch) will be able to run the operating system that will be released in the fall.
IPadOS, which is based on iOS, gets most of the innovations mentioned above, complete with some improvements to the tablet user interface. This made it easy to set up and use the split screen mode. It is more convenient to exchange individual applications, or it is possible to temporarily open a third window, which can be arranged in the middle, for example, to read a newly received email or any message without exiting the multitasking. In addition, switching applications has become easier, and split-screen mode is also available from the application switching interface, just drag an application to another.
A small but also useful innovation is that we can now place widgets anywhere on the screen, as iPadOS 15 introduces several new tools, such as the Mail app. The good news for note users is the Quick Note feature, which allows you to drag a smaller, quick note-taking interface from the right corner of the screen that can, for example, remember or attach the address of an open webpage in the background.
The good news for iPad owners and app developers is that thanks to the Swift Playgrounds app, you can now build iPhone and iPad apps on Xcode-compatible Apple tablets, ensuring interoperability.
More modest innovations appear in Apple’s next major release of the smart streaming platform, watchOS 8. The list is practically expanding, so in addition to some relaxation exercises, Pilates and tai chi will also be supported. In parallel, the somewhat rigorous sleep monitoring released with the flagship version 7 has been improved, as well as improved photo management for the watch as well with the release of watchOS 8 in the fall.