Apple WWDC 2021: iOS15 announced with massive upgrades for FaceTime

Apple introduced the new iOS 15 for iPhones during its WWDC 2021 event on Monday. iOS 15 will be launching for non-beta users later this year. With Apple emphasizing on “staying connected, focusing without distraction, using intelligence and exploring the world,” the update packs tons of new features including spatial audio in FaceTime.

“For many of us, our iPhones have become indispensable,” SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said. “Our new release is iOS 15. It’s packed with features that make the iOS experience adapt to and complement the way you use iPhone, whether it’s staying connected with those who matter to you most, finding the space to focus without distraction, using intelligence to discover the information you need, or exploring the world around you.”


The very first feature to get an upgrade in the iOS 15 system is FaceTime, with spatial audio, portrait background and even links for FaceTime calls that can be accessed by other platforms like Android for end-to-end encrypted video calls. With spatial audio, the voices of the attendees will spread out like they are sitting around you. For example, if someone appears on the left, it’ll sound like they’re on the left in your ears. It will also detect background noises and based on machine learning, the noises will be suppressed thereby enhancing the voice of the person speaking.

Portrait Background in FaceTime is similar to portrait mode in a photograph. It will blur out your background. In the event that you need to use FaceTime for work conferences, you would now be able to create a FaceTime link and add it to a calendar invite. FaceTime will likewise work in an internet browser, which implies that individuals without an Apple Device can join a FaceTime call.

Next up, Apple announced SharePlay. SharePlay will let users play movies or TV shows from Apple TV+ and Apple Music to their FaceTime calls. This isn’t just compatible with videos in the Apple TV app. Apple said there will be an API to make videos compatible with SharePlay. Partners include Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Twitch, TikTok, and more. Somebody on the consider begins a video and it begins your friends’ phone or tablet. It is likewise compatible with AirPlay, picture-in-picture, and all that you’d anticipate from recordings on iOS.

Apple messages have an upgrade as well, The app is improving mix with other Apple apps like News, Photos, and Music. Things shared via Messages appear in those applications. All in all, Messages (and iMessage) is going about as the social layer on top of Apple’s applications.

The Notification shade in iOS 15 has also been upgraded. Users will be able to set up a dedicated mode, ‘Do not disturb’, When you silence notifications, your iMessage contacts will see that you have activated it. It also has a secondary feature of Focus mode, with which, users will be able to pick which apps will be able to show notifications and alerts during the set duration. Focus mode will also automatically set up other linked Apple devices.

The camera in iOS 15 has been outfitted with ‘Live Text’, a component that will permit users to scan and copy the content in a picture, like Google Lens. This element will recognize seven languages and can be utilized on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Apple Wallet has been now developed to act as a digital ID method, which can be used at TSA checkpoints at airports. It is still in beta and only available in participating states, so the complete rollout may take some time. It also works as a digital key to locks at supported hotels. Apple will be partnering with Hyatt to allow users to use this feature at the latter’s properties.

Coming to the Weather App, the UI has been upgraded and is similar to ‘Dark Sky’, a company Apple acquired. you can expect more design upgrades by the fall of this year.

The Apple Maps got one of the best updates, it now features a complete 3D view of the surroundings. Apple is still rolling it out in Europe. Apple has detailed some cities, such as San Francisco. You can see bus and taxi lanes, crosswalks, bike lanes, etc. On highways, you see complex interchanges in 3D. All of this is also coming to Car Play at the fall of this year.