Apple officially previewed iOS 15 at its WWDC event today, previewing major updates to FaceTime, new Focus features to reduce distraction, enhanced on-device intelligence to discover information, and more ways to explore the world using Maps, Weather, and Wallet.
“For many customers, iPhone has become indispensable, and this year we’ve created even more ways it can enhance our daily lives,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
Below are some of the top new iOS 15 features announced today:
Shared Experiences with SharePlay
Users can now share experiences with SharePlay while connecting with friends on FaceTime, including listening to songs together with Apple Music, watching a TV show or movie in sync, or sharing their screen to view apps together.
Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch, and many others are integrating SharePlay into their app.
FaceTime for Android and Windows Devices
FaceTime calls now extend beyond Apple devices with the ability to create a link from iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and share it through Messages, Calendar, Mail, or third-party apps, so anyone can join a FaceTime call from their web browser on Android and Windows devices.
Tools to Find Focus
iOS 15 delivers powerful tools that help users focus and reduce distraction. Focus is a new feature that filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on
Focus suggestions are based on users’ context, like during their work hours or while they’re winding down for bed, and when Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to their other Apple devices.
Users can create Home Screen pages with apps and widgets that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation.
On-Device Intelligence Powers Live Text, and More
Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in a photo and allow users to take action. For example, users can search for and locate the picture of a handwritten family recipe, or capture a phone number from a storefront with the option to place a call.
Redesigned Browsing Experience with Safari
Safari gets a new design that makes controls easier to reach with one hand and puts content front and center. The new tab bar is compact and lightweight, and floats at the bottom of the screen, so users can easily swipe between tabs.
New features, such as the customizable start page and web extensions on iOS, make Safari even more personal and powerful.
Redesigned Weather and Notes Apps
Updated Weather app includes more graphical displays of weather data, full-screen maps, and dynamic layouts that change based on conditions. Redesigned animated backgrounds more accurately reflect the sun’s position and precipitation.
Notes adds user-created tags that make it easy to quickly categorize notes, and mentions allow members of shared notes to notify one another of important updates. An all-new Activity view shows the recent history of a shared note.
The developer preview of iOS 15 is now available to download for Apple Developer Program members starting today, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month.