Apple announced iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 at its WWDC 2021 keynote earlier this week. The new operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Macs, and Apple Watch will be available in autumn 2021. There are dozens of new features here, including upgraded FaceTime, improved Focus modes, and better use of on-device intelligence that allows for offline Siri, and Live Text, which is similar to Google Lens. macOS Monterey brings Universal Control that allows you to drag and drop in combination with iPadOS 15. And watchOS 8 rebrands the Breathe app as Mindfulness, and bumps up what you can do with the Wallet app.
Host Akhil Arora speaks with Gadgets 360 reviews editor Jamshed Avari and deputy reviews editor Roydon Cerejo on this week’s podcast episode of Orbital to find out what’s most interesting about iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 — apart from a slew of privacy announcements, chiefly with iCloud+.
Instead of giving any prominent interface-level changes unlike iOS 14, Apple seems to have designed iOS 15 more like a follow-up. FaceTime now comes with spatial audio, support for Portrait bokeh-style blur mode, and allows users on Android and Windows to join video calls as well. There is also a feature called SharePlay to let users share videos, music, and even their screen with friends over FaceTime. You can watch Apple TV+, Disney+, and Twitch with your friends for instance.
Aside from the new FaceTime experience, Apple has introduced an improved Photos app with Memories. Additionally, there’s Share with You that works across the system to highlight content such as articles, music, and photos shared in message conversations. The aim here is also to take on the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp by giving an enhanced integration with the native Messages app.
iOS 15 also has a better Focus feature to filter out notifications and apps that are not useful at a particular point of time. You can customise multiple Focus modes and Apple will learn from your behaviour to make suggestions too. Outside of the machine learning part, the experience is somewhat similar to how some old Nokia phones allowed users to set distinctive notification alerts for their contacts or set particular profiles for different sets of people.
Apple also showcased features such as widgets and quick notes on iPadOS 15 to bring newer productivity experiences for iPad users. With Universal Control, available on macOS Monterey, users can use the same keyboard and mouse setup simultaneously and seamlessly across their MacBook or iMac as well as an iPad.
Outside of all that, Siri now has offline support to give a better fight to Google Assistant. Speaking of a better fight, Apple also gave us a glimpse of how it is planning to grow its voice assistant apart from its in-house hardware and bring it to third-party connected devices via HomePod.
We discuss all this and much more from everything Apple announced at WWDC 2021. So, don’t forget to listen to the full discussion by hitting the play button above. Follow the Gadgets 360 podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate us, and leave a review.
Write to us at [email protected] with your feedback, questions, or comments. New Orbital episodes drop every Friday.