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FaceTime and SharePlay

Courtesy of Apple

Apple’s video-calling app is receiving some of the largest upgrades this year that turn it more into videoconferencing services like Zoom and Google Meet. For starters, there’s a grid view for multi-person chats that works like Zoom’s conference calls. There’s a Portrait mode—like the similar feature in the Camera app, it keeps your face in focus but blurs out your messy room in the background. You can also create FaceTime links to share and invite others to a video chat, and these can be added to your calendar. Those with the link can join these calls through Google Chrome or Microsoft’s Edge browser even if they’re using an Android phone or a Windows laptop, and the calls are still end-to-end encrypted. 

Live Text, Photo Memories, and Better Safari

Courtesy of Apple

One of the coolest features in iOS 15 is Live Text, and it’s tied to upgrades in Apple’s computer vision technology. Point your camera app at anything with text, and it will highlight the text, making it ready for you to easily copy it and paste it to another app. This works for images with text in your Photos library too—just swipe your finger across any line of text to copy it. And if there’s a phone number in the photo or an address, Live Text will turn it into a link so you can tap it. Phone numbers seamlessly launch in the phone dialer and address launch in Maps.

Perhaps a little stranger is an integration between Apple Music and the Photos app. When you open the Photos app, you’ll be greeted to a new version of Memories—this feature automatically generates a mini-movie of specific trips or events and automatically chooses a relevant song from Apple Music. You can customize the movie as you view it by changing up the pace, switching songs, changing filters, or swapping images. It’s not far off from a Google Photos feature introduced in 2018, but Apple gives you far greater control with music integration here.

Safari is now easier to use with one hand. The URL bar is now situated on the bottom, and it hides away when you scroll to maximize your screen’s real estate. You’ll notice Safari looks a lot more similar to the interface on macOS or your iPad on the new tab page—there’s your favorite websites, reading list, and content shared with you.  You can swipe through tabs easily and group them together. And finally, for the first time, Safari extensions are coming to iOS. These will be available through the App Store.

New Ways to Focus

Courtesy of Apple

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the endless list of notifications on your iPhone, well, worry no longer. In iOS 15, notifications have a new look and some new ways to manage them. There are contact photos for your messages, larger icons for notifications that come from apps, and a new Do Not Disturb mode to silence all notifications. 

A new Notification Summary function lets you check unimportant alerts at specific times of day, like in the morning or evening. The latter function is powered by on-device machine learning that identifies your phone usage patterns and parses what notifications should fall under the summary and when it should deliver them to you. Don’t fret—your Messages and missed phone calls won’t fall into Summary. That said, if you don’t want to be disturbed, your friends and family will see when you have Do Not Disturb turned on in Messages, exactly like a status update. If they really need to reach you, they can send a message through, similar to Do Not Disturb in Slack.

Perhaps the best new feature is a way to organize your entire iPhone’s home screen to match your mood. You can choose between profiles like Work, Personal, and Sleep, (or create up to 10 Focuses) and your home screen will show apps and widgets related to the respective mode. So if it’s 9 am and you switch to work, you can customize your home screen to show work apps, widgets, and messages from coworkers only. These modes can be turned on for an hour, start when you leave or enter a location, or can be timed to your calendar events. 

There are tons of minor improvements across the iOS. Stay Tuned for more updates, Like, Share and Subscribe Guys. See you next time.

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  1. Pingback: What are your thoughts on Android vs iPhone - Curious Monk

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