Apple today released the Release Candidate build of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 to developers and public beta testers. This is the last developer release from Apple as a part of its iOS 15 beta testing channel.
Until and unless some major bugs and issues are reported with the Release Candidate of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, they will be released to the public on iPhone and iPad users on September 20.
iOS 15 Features
FaceTime is getting a major upgrade in iOS 15. With video calls surging in popularity over the last year due to COVID-19, Apple is making some important changes to make FaceTime calls more natural. FaceTime calls will now support spatial audio to make it sound like they are sitting in the room with you. Voice isolation uses machine learning to block all ambient noise and focus on just your voice.
FaceTime is getting grid view support to make group video calls easier, making it easier to view multiple callers at once. To make the video calling experience better, FaceTime is getting a portrait mode as well, which will blur the background. You can also schedule FaceTime calls using FaceTime links, which you can share with your friends or family ahead of time. Apple is also allowing Android and Windows users to join FaceTime calls using the web browser.
iOS 15 also brings SharePlay to FaceTime. This allows you to listen to the same music or video while on a FaceTime call. Apple is also introducing a SharePlay API so that other apps and streaming services can also hook into it. However, Apple has confirmed SharePlay won’t be available in the initial releases of iOS 15.
You can get an overview of all the new FaceTime features in iOS 15 here.
Sharing Becomes Easier in Messages
The updated Messages app in iOS 15 now has a new design for group photos. Any links shared with you in the Messages app will also show up in the Shared With You section of Apple News. This allows you to read any content at a later date easily.
You can also pick up on the conversation right from within the Apple News app. Similar functionality will also be making its way to Apple Music, Safari, Podcast, Apple TV, Photos, and more. You can find everything that’s new in the Messages app in iOS 15 here.
Redesigned Notifications and Focus
Apple is redesigning notifications in iOS 15, with contact photos and icons now visible in the notifications. It is also adding a Notification Summary that gives you a summary of all your unread notifications. Impressively, if you have Do Not Disturb enabled, the other party sending you a message will inform you about this.
iOS 15 also debuts Focus profiles so that you can set different profiles for app notifications and home screen layout. For example, you can select the work apps from which you want notification alerts when at work. You can also set different home screen layouts for each profile. Any Focus profile you set will also be synced to your other devices.
Here’s a roundup of everything that’s new with notifications in iOS 15.
iOS 15 is compatible with the same set of iPhones as iOS 14. This means the original iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and all newer iPhones are supported by it. Similarly, iPadOS 15 also does not drop support for any of the older iPads. If you are on the iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 beta channel, you can download the Golden Master build on your device by going to Settings -> General -> Software Update.