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From iOS 15 to iPadOS 15, here’s everything cool and crazy from the Apple WWDC 2021 event last night.

Apple’s memoji-packed WWDC event was absolutely loaded with announcements and surprises. It gave us our first look at what Apple has in store for us this year, at least from the software front. While they introduced the new macOS Monterey and some highly innovative features for the WatchOS 15, we think the iOS 15 and the iPadOS 15 stole the show. Connectivity was undoubtedly the theme of the year, and we see this across the board.

Here are some of our favourite iOS 15 and iPad OS 15 features.

ios 15

When it comes to iOS 15, Facetime stands centre stage and right under the spotlight. We’re pleasantly surprised as to how much they’ve updated the video-calling app this year. While Facetime was an Apple exclusive commodity, it’s now open to the world. Facetime can now be used on Android and Windows phones via a link and browser. Yes, all the user has to do is simply share an invite link with the recipient.

Apple understands that group calls can often be very chaotic, leaving the user unsure of who’s talking when and which window to pay attention to. Apple came up with a pretty cool solution to this: Spatial Audio. Say you have five of your friends on a call with you, each having their own video window. Facetime now focuses the audio based on who’s talking and where their window is positioned on the screen, making it seem like voices coming from various corners of the room.

ios 15

More so, they’ve also introduced Voice Isolation, which is a great tool to cut off unnecessary background noises. On the other hand, they also have a special new setting that enhances background audio. When it comes to the video department for Facetime, Apple has also introduced a new video mode. Much like the camera’s Portrait Mode but now, used in Facetime.

ios 15 shareplay

You might think the Facetime party is over just yet, but no. Take a look at Shareplay, a new feature that lets you stream content from your favourite OTT platforms and Apple music on your Facetime call. This way, anyone on-call can share music and stream a Netflix show for all to listen and watch together while also talking and interreacting on your Facetime call.

One of the coolest and perhaps a futuristic spec they’re launching this year across all platforms is Live Text. What does Live Text let you do? Well, you simply whip out your iPhone or iPad camera and focus on any text. The AI will transcribe that text and let you copy it for later use. More so, you can even look it up on Safari. Say you find a cool-looking café and you want to know the reviews, point your camera at their board and you’ll have all the restaurant information you need. Talking about cafes and new places, Apple Maps are going 3D and oh boy, it does look good. Unfortunately, this may take a while to reach India.

Lastly, Focus. This essentially allows you to focus on and control apps depending on your activity. For example, if you’re working out, only a set of apps would be allowed to work. Same with work, or sleep or entertainment. It’s completely customisable. More so, you can set timings for your notifications. Say you want to see your notifications only 30 mins after you wake up? Yes, that can be set.

iPadOS 15

Moving on to iPadOS 15. Since space is the plus point here, Apple wants to ensure they do the best with it and we do the most with it. I’m going to start off with the one that impressed us most — Universal Touches. If you’re working on an illustration on your Macbook and need it transferred to your iPad, just place them both right next to each other. Drag the file to the corner of the Macbook screen, and you’ll see it pointing out on the iPad’s screen. 

They’ve also introduced Shelf Mode so you can switch between apps quicker without completely closing them. On the home screen, to help you make the most of that extra-wide screen, they’ve updated the widgets functions and added more dimensions to it.

And lastly, Swift Playgrounds. Apple will now allow users to code, design and test out their own apps on the iPad itself. It’s certainly interesting to give the user this kind of power and creative freedom, I must say.

All images: Courtesy brand

Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.