Inside The Brand New iOS 15, iPad OS 15, and Mac OS Monterey
Isadora Teich wrote this article
This week Apple released its anticipated yearly iPhone software update, as well as an iPad update. While they do release smaller updates as needed throughout the year, the annual update always has the most profound changes.
There are some big changes for iPhone and iPad users of course. However, we are still waiting on macOS Monterey. These updates include AI-enhanced photo identification and more user control over notifications.
Also, there is good news for people with older iPhones. This update will work on phones dating all the way back to the iPhone 6S, which was released in 2015.
Let’s take a look.
Now Almost Anyone Can FaceTime
FaceTime is Apple’s video conferencing software, which many people use as a stand-in verb and noun for video chat as a whole.
It used to be reserved solely for Apple products.
However, starting with these iOS 15 updates, anyone with an Apple computer will be able to create a link for a FaceTime chat that they can send to Apple, Windows, and Android users.
Users will need to be admitted into the chat, however.
iMessage to Apple Messages
Formerly called iMessage, Apple Messages will have some new changes.
A big one revolves around how the links will be organized that are sent via Apple Messages.
Some users get messaged many links throughout the day, but don’t have the time to check them out. Now, Apple Messages will share the links that you receive with other apps.
For example, say a user sends a friend a link to a song on Apple Music. That song will show up in the Apple Music app in a section called “Shared With You.” This will work similarly across numerous apps with different media and links.
You can do this with content from Apple News, Apple Photos, Safari, and more.
AI That Can Accurately Look At Photos
Apple has been slowly improving its photo recognition capabilities in Apple Photos over the years.
With this update, it has largely focused on improving the ability of AI to recognize what is actually in photos. Now, Apple’s software can identify and provide more info about animals, landmarks, and even plants.
Also, there are some very interesting updates when it comes to how users can interact with and use the text in photos. If a photo contains text, you can search that text. Users can now even copy and paste text from a photo into a document.
This updated AI runs on an iPhone, rather than utilizing the cloud to work on a remote server. This means that what you identify or the text that you copy from photos won’t be sent back to Apple.
If you want a more in-depth look specifically at how Apple is using iOS 15 to take on notification fatigue, check out our blog post.
However, to keep it short and sweet, iOS 15 comes with a big update called “Focus.” Focus empowers users to limit and mute notifications with customizable do not disturb modes.
When users enable Focus, they will only be able to receive notifications from others and apps that they have pre-approved.
If you text someone who has Focus mode enabled and you are not pre-approved, you will get an away message. Users will be able to create multiple Focus profiles for different situations. For example, a parent might use Focus mode overnight to block all notifications when they sleep, except those from their children.
iPadOS 15 Gets A Widgets Update and App Library Screen
This has been a long-awaited update amongst iPad users, as iPhone users have had access to it since iOS 14 was released last year.
With the current update, iPad users can place widgets right on the home screen. As iPads have a larger screen than iPhones, apps now support an even larger widget format.
It appears that this update was quite focused on bringing iPads up to speed with iPhones, as they will now have an App Library screen like iPhones have. IPad users can now manage all of their apps in one streamlined place.
Users can still hide home screen pages that they don’t need while accessing the App Library easily with a special icon on the dock.
Multitasking And Improvements to Other Apps
A common complaint amongst iPad users for years has been that multitasking is confusing.
The controls can be hard to spot and wrap your head around. Apple has sought to solve this issue with the iPadOS 15. A new multitasking tool is clearly visible at the top of the screen. When opened, all users have to do is tap on icons that indicate Slide Over, Split View, or a new center window mode.
The Translate app is now also available for iPad.
This includes an auto-translate mode and the ability to practice writing in another language via iPencil. With Swift Playgrounds, users can now build iPhone and iPad apps directly on their iPad or iPhone too. Previously, this could only be done on Macs.
iPadOS 15 will also benefit from many of the numerous Safari, Apple Messages, FaceTime, Maps, and Notes updates that the iPhone is getting.
A Quick Look At MacOS Monterey
While iPhone and iPad updates were released on September 20, 2021, MacOS Monterey was not.
Apple has not announced a release date for it yet, but it’s very likely that we will see it in Fall 2021. It will have a bunch of updates to its built-in apps. This will be similar to what we have seen already in terms of iPad and iPhone updates. This includes updates to Messages, Notes, Maps, and Safari, as well as the implementation of the new Focus feature.
One interesting new feature that will apply to all Apple products including Macs is Universal Control.
Using this new feature, users of iPads and macs will be able to use a single keyboard and mouse to control multiple devices. You will also be able to set devices next to each other and seamlessly drag and drop files and images across their screens.
These are just some of the many many updates already available to iPhone and iPad users, and coming up in the future for mac users. All-in-all it looks like Apple has really focused on making the user experience more equal across devices. They are also going to make all of their devices even more compatible with each other.
What do you think? Do you already have the big update? How is it working for you so far?
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