As WWDC 2021 kicks off today, and it began with the official unveiling of iOS 15, which is Apple's operating system for the iPhones. Apple just showed off what's new in iOS 15. Though the full version of iOS 15 won't ship until later this year, WWDC offers us the chance to see what big features Apple has planned for the software that powers its smartphones, including the iPhone 13 models.
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Apple has brought new features to FaceTime in iOS 15, with a focus on being more comfortable. The popular video chat is getting spatial audio to make sound feel more natural. Voice isolation now focuses on your voice only, and blocks out any other ambient noise.
Spatial audio is coming to FaceTime, so you’ll be able to hear the recipients from the direction of your Apple device when you’re using a compatible AirPods headphones. Audio quality will be improved for clearer voice sound, and background noise reduction should help you focus better on the person talking.
Spatial audio was showcased working with a group FaceTime call, and each friend will sound like they are coming from a different direction, to make for a more immersive video call. There’s also a new Grid View for FaceTime that shows all the participants in the call.
Then there's SharePlay. This lets you use listen or watch content with other FaceTime participants. You can share any Apple TV+ or Apple Music track over a FaceTime call.
Several brands are already on-board including Hulu, HBO Max, TikTok, Paramount+, Pluto TV, ESPN+, NBA, Master Class, and Disney+.
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Shared links and videos in group chats will now have their own tab in the News app. This way, content that friends wanted to show you doesn’t get lost in the group chat, and the News app will remind you who shared it.
Notifications gets a design overhaul and a few new features. Appearance of notifications will be tweaked for better visibility like a larger contact icon and iOS notifications will be more granular. You can set “Focus” profiles that filter the priority notifications while you’re working, for instance.
Also, you will be notified in iMessage if your friend’s device is set to DND. You will still be able to force a notification to come through (though silently) if it's an urgent matter.
Apple Wallet gets support for new types of keys, like House and Hotel room keys. Apple has partnered with Hyatt Hotels, letting Apple Wallet store a hotel key and use it to enter a room. The Hotel can choose when to activate the key.
Apple iOS 15 is available to developers today with a public beta coming next month. The final software will get released this Fall.
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