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New Features Coming to iOS 15

By Nick Epson on September 20, 2021

Roughly every year, a major update is released for iOS that packages new features for users and tools for developers to leverage these services in the apps they develop – soon, iOS 15 will be available for the masses of iPhone users. This means useful new tricks for users and for businesses, this means new opportunities and specific challenges are on the horizon. And for Android folks, it’s a chance for us to patronize iPhone users and scoff at the features we’ve been using for the last year or so 🙂

As with every update, some features will end up becoming core to the overall user experience (UX) across apps – when they’re well-received by users at least – while others will prove to be helpful for certain niche processes. Of course, there’s usually new hardware that offers minor improvements (and major) price tags but that’s another story. with Less useful features will often linger for a time until they’re either improved or deprecated. By knowing what’s on the horizon, businesses can better prepare to deliver an optimal UX and have an edge up on the competition by being an early adopter of certain trends and features.

New features coming to iOS 15

Apple is something of a “fast-follower” which we discussed during a webinar on digital transformation in fitness earlier this year in March. Most of the entirely new features we’ll be seeing are already present elsewhere while some of the more meta updates offer expected functionality, in most cases, functions that should have already been present.

Though there’s a bit of a negative connotation with the idea, the nice part about their less aggressive efforts in innovation means more attention to processes and features that users want. This means features are better vetted through testing and feedback before they’re officially rolled out as (mostly) polished features in major OS releases.

Without further ado, let’s take a peek at a handful of new features that will be coming with iOS 15 in just a few days!

More sharing with FaceTime

The well-loved FaceTime app will be getting an overhaul that will allow users to pull in content from different sources (like Apple Music and other connected services) in real-time. It will essentially work like a screen-in-screen solution (with other select view options) that will enable users to enjoy the same piece of media without being in the same room. Each will come with its own unique label, for example, SharePlay: Watch is for sharing movies, SharePlay: Listen for music, and so on.

Increased interoperability between most Apple apps 

Products like iMessage, Maps, Safari, and many other products will become more collaborative with the notion of “sharing” extending far beyond just FaceTime. For example, Messages will take on a new feature similar to what we see in Facebook Messenger which will consolidate and organize items shared in a conversation in their own area, making things like links, images, files, and more, much more accessible. We’ll also see things that have been shared between two users start to populate in their applicable apps like links in Safari, locations in Apple Maps, select data in Health (a significant story on its own), and much more.

Notifications will offer more controls

Taking cues from Android, notifications will be getting an overhaul (and new look) in iOS 15 with more options for altering or muting notifications. Notifications will now offer a new section that archives everything that comes your way on any given day which is helpful for those of us who find ourselves too trigger-happy when clearing notifications and might dismiss something useful.

Note that this is an excellent example of why Apple is considered a “fast follower” these days as this concept first arrived as a native feature in Android 11 and before that, as the main offering in many third-party apps that are designed specifically for notification management like Notisave or Notification Saver and Organiser, among others.

Wallet can store more useful stuff

Apple Wallet is getting a big upgrade, mirror much of what we see in apps like the Samsung Pay App with features to securely store digital information beyond debit cards and payment services like PayPal and other popular providers. Users will now be able to store information like digital car keys, home keys (for use with HomeKit), hotel keys, your driver’s license, and much more. On the car key front, Apple looks to be ahead of the game as their service looks like it will be more compatible than other leaders in this space like Samsung.

Better privacy throughout

Apple does well at addressing security matters without any direction from the rest of the market, seeing as how products like Sign in with Apple still offer a major advantage over many other third-party login services. The main benefit is that Apple masks your email with a fake email that works as a proxy which thwarts unwanted communication, especially with some third parties that somehow manage to open a digital portal to marketing Hell when they get ahold of your information.

Now, iCloud+ will do the same and there will even be an option to use a similar feature that will allow a user to configure random email addresses that will forward messages to a personal inbox – think Craiglist and how they will mask a user’s email by default with a random email address that will forward any emails received to a connected email, thus preventing unwanted contact.

Users will also be able to review an app privacy report in iOS 15 that details permissions allotted to installed apps. Another great privacy-minded feature is a secure paste that keeps content copied to the device’s “clipboard” invisible to apps outside of where it’s copied unless the user chooses otherwise.

There’s quite a bit more than we covered here so check out Apple’s announcement for a comprehensive list of all the little changes that are coming to the platform like some of the neat changes coming to how Siri works and beyond.

We build around the latest-and-greatest

Well-thought-out new features that come to major OS releases are often critical for businesses as they tend to strongly influence what users will come to expect in an app. When it makes sense, it’s important to either incorporate these features into your app or find a way your service can maximize efforts by leveraging some function.

At Blue Label Labs, we stay on top of changes so we can build valuable products around solid strategies with the best tools available. To learn more or talk about your idea for a digital product, get in touch with us here.