Though it wasn't announced during last week's keynote, rumors pointed at Apple debuting iOS 15 shortly after the event. And, as usual, they weren't far off. Apple rolled out the update on September 20, bringing with it all kinds of new features for its smartphones, from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 6s.
All kinda new stuff is inside this update, from clothes and sticker poses for your Memoji to Notes tags to a wholly revamped Weather app, which now boasts animated backgrounds and full-screen maps.
The highlight of the update is probably the Focus suite of tools, designed to "help users reduce distraction." It's a far-reaching initiative but, basically, Focus is aimed at getting users to spend less time on the phone and more time, well, focusing. You can customize and set different Focus modes — Work Focus, Fitness Focus, Personal Focus — that temporarily hide notifications from unrelated and potentially intrusive apps.
No more random Twitter notifications during the day! Focus will also automatically set a status for you in supported apps, like Slack, to let others know that you're trying to concetrate. Put down the phone and get into the zone — or at least deeper into dinnertime conversations.
Otherwise, iOS 15 has some updates for Apple Maps — 3D detail, night-time mode — and FaceTime. The latter now sports heightened audio, voice isolation, portrait mode, and even support for friends with Androids and Windows devices. Yep, use your iPhone to create a FaceTime link and then share with non-Apple pals to enjoy video chat with anyone and everyone.
Given the proliferation of post-pandemic Zoom and Google Meet chats, this seems like a feature long in the making.
iCloud+ also debuts with iOS 15, granting users new accessibility features like Hide My Email for an instant generic email handle and Secure Video for home security video footage.
Finally, Apple is boosting the Camera app's functionality. Now, it can recognize and copy text in images — grabbing cafe wi-fi passwords has never been easier. Camera has also been infused with Visual Look Up, an in-app tool that allows the viewer to search up more info about the artwork, landmark, animal, book, or even plant in their photos.