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Apple Unveils iOS 15 at WWDC

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The next incarnation of iOS is on the way.

If you were watching the World-Wide Developers Conference yesterday in the hopes of some new Apple hardware to rub your fingers over this year, then you were probably a little disappointed. But what the presentation lacked in tactile creations, it more than made up for with more abstract ones. If new iPhones are coming at some point, they’re gonna need a fresh new operating system, and that’s exactly what Apple gave us yesterday. Brace yourselves, it’s the dawn of iOS 15.

iOS 15 will feature some major overhauls of several existing iOS mainstays. One of those overhauls is FaceTime, which is being updated to make its video calls feel a little more natural; more like you’re actually in a room with someone, and less like you’re staring at them in a plastic rectangle. The new FaceTime features include spatial audio and background audio filtering, as well as SharePlay, which allows you to share music and TV with your call companions for streaming parties.

The messaging systems are also receiving a perk-up. The Messages app will receive a new “Shared with You” function that organizes links and articles that have been sent to you so you don’t have to go hunting through chat logs to find them. This same feature is also coming to Photos so you can quickly find photos of yourself. iOS 15’s Notification system will function slightly differently, featuring clearer, more visible alerts and badges and scheduled Do Not Disturb periods.

Finally, one of the biggest new additions to iOS 15 is Live Text, a camera function that allows you to copy text from a photograph via an iPhone/iPad camera and paste it into a text box. You can also use this function to identify objects, landmarks, and animals, not unlike Android’s Google Lens.

There’s no concrete release date for iOS 15 just yet, though it’s projected to roll out alongside the predicted new iPhone models some time this fall.