There are tons of new features in iOS 15, and it can be a little overwhelming trying to sort through them all. We've put together a list of 10 of the most interesting new features included in the iOS 15 update you may not be aware of if you're wondering whether it's worth upgrading.
- Android and Web-Based FaceTime
The features of FaceTime are now available on Android and PC devices, enabling users from those platforms to participate in FaceTime calls.
You can make a FaceTime "room" on your Apple device by opening up the FaceTime app and selecting the "Create Link" option to allow others to join from their Android, PC, or any other compatible device. If you're already on a FaceTime call, you can also create a link.
When someone receives the link, they will be directed to enter their name before they can join the chat. You can use text messages, emails, and other ways to send the link. Unless they are approved by the FaceTime creator, no one can join the meeting without their permission. It only takes a web browser and a device with a camera and microphone to make a FaceTime call.
While Android and PC users can join FaceTime calls, an iPhone, iPad, or Mac is required to create the initial FaceTime link and to approve participants.
- Summarizing the notification
You could receive hundreds of notifications a day, many of which are not urgent, depending on how many apps you have installed and how many notification permissions you have set.
It is possible to schedule unimportant notifications to be delivered at specific times throughout the day, such as the morning and the evening, so that you are not constantly interrupted. Notification Summary bypasses time-sensitive notifications, but you can save things like Instagram likes, game pop-ups, and news alerts for later.
Within the Settings app, go to the Notifications tab to manage and enable Notification Summary. During the summary, you can pick when apps will appear in the summary and what apps will be included.
- Tabular groups
The new Safari design has created quite a stir, but Apple toned it down over the course of beta testing and even left the option to stick with iOS 14's design.
As much attention as the design has gotten, it's easy to overlook other useful Safari features, such as Tab Groups. The Tab Groups feature makes it possible to save all of your open tabs into a folder and then open them again later.
If you need to save the menus of your favorite restaurants, plan a trip, use a few websites often for work, or just want to organize your favorite websites, Tab Groups is for you.
You can save your open tabs into a Tab Group or open one of your saved Tab Groups if you open the tiled tab view in Safari (icon in the far right corner). All of your Apple devices are able to access Tab Groups because they sync across iOS and Mac.
Also, whenever you want to refresh a website, pull it down because that's a quick and easy way to do it.
- Apple's Siri on-device and offline
The majority of Siri requests are now handled locally instead of being sent back to Apple's servers, making Siri faster and more secure.
As a device is used over time, Siri also acquires a better understanding of commands, becoming familiar with the contacts you speak to, the words you type, and the topics you like, all of which are kept on the device.
Apple's iPhone and iPad models are equipped with A12 Bionic chips or later support on-device Siri through the Neural Engine.
Most Siri commands now work offline since they are handled by the device. No connectivity is required to launch apps, set timers and alarms, control audio playback, and access Settings.
- Live Texting
You should be able to see the text in the pictures whether you're viewing them in Photos, previewing them with the Camera app, or looking at them on the web. Whenever text is recognized, you will see a little box with three lines of text, and you can tap it to see all of the text highlighted.
To select, copy, lookup, translate or share the highlighted text in an image, simply long-press the highlighted text. Live Text works across all of your devices, so you can embed it everywhere you see an image. Use it for copying notes, keeping track of receipts, and more.
You can also use the Photos app to identify plants, animals, landmarks, and more with its Visual Lookup feature. You'll see what Apple thinks you're seeing, and similar web images will appear.
- System-Wide Translation
Translate is now system-wide, so any text that you select anywhere in iOS can be translated to or from another language. Supported languages include Arabic, Chinese, English (UK and US), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
- Trends in health apps
Using the new Trends section, you'll be able to stay on top of all your health trends over time, such as if you're exercising less, if your heart rate shifts, or if your oxygen levels decrease.
Using the Health app, you can see Trends, and you can opt to receive notifications when Trends change. In addition to sharing features, the Health app has a Health Checklist to make sure you're getting the most from the health features available on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
- Erase and shut down devices
iOS 15's Find My app can locate turned-off or erased devices through the Find My Network, which will make it easier to find lost devices and harder for thieves to hide stolen devices.
In the event that a stolen device has been turned off or if its battery has been depleted and it has died, it can still be tracked when it's near another Apple device that is still functioning.
Similar to stolen iPhones, iPhones that have been erased will still appear in the Find My app and will continue to be trackable even when they have been wiped, something that wasn't possible in previous versions of iOS.
Find My Network must be enabled in order for these features to function. The option is on by default, but you can double-check by going to your profile, tapping on Find My, selecting Find My iPhone, and then making sure "Find My network" is enabled.
- Using drag and drop
Drag and drop in iOS 15 allow users to move images, links, highlighted text excerpts, files, and more from one app to another with a single finger.
For example, if you want to share a Safari link, you can long-press on it and drag it with your finger. With that finger on the display, you can swipe to open another app, such as Messages, where you can drop the link and it will be sent to the recipient.
You can drag any type of file - and if you want to drag multiple items, simply drag a single item, then tap the items with another finger to stack them. You can then drag the stack into another app.
With iOS 15, cross-app drag and drop is available for the iPhone for the first time but has been available for iPads for quite some time.
- An integrated authentication system
Two-factor verification codes can now be saved right alongside usernames and passwords in the Settings app's Passwords section, so you no longer need a secondary app like Google Authenticator.
As with any other authentication app, setup requires a QR code or a setup key. When you add a password to the Password section, you get a code when you log in, and it automatically fills when logged in using Safari.