Apple iOS 15: Big Updates For Better Productivity

iOS 15 Notes isn't the flashiest update, but there are still notable changes to look out for.
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Apple iOS 15: Big Updates For Better Productivity
Photo: Mac Rumors

Changes to benefit Photographers

While the marquee iOS 15 features include the ability to watch entertainment together on FaceTime and have a digital version of your driver’s ID honored, for photographers, there are many new features to look forward to.

Memories

If you’re like most folks, you love shooting videos and photos on your smartphone, but you never get around to the bother of sitting down to edit them. Apple knows this and has gone to great lengths to create automatically produced sizzle reels of our trips, friends, and family that if you’re like me, you rarely look at. So with the new iOS, Apple has upgraded its transitions, animated cards, and collage styles for “a cinematic feel.” You can soon add licensed songs from your Apple Music subscription for the soundtrack or continue using tunes from Apple’s canned library.

The new Memories do look way better, and unlike in previous iOS versions, they are easier to share on social media and via email. Best of all, you can now do slight edits on the videos as well, switching out the automatically selected song suggestions and deleting photos you don’t want to be shown that Apple has added to your production, according to Peta Pixel.

Text photos

The most useful feature is so simple. How much do you hate the bother of trying to save photos that are texted to you?

The old way: put your finger on the photos and wait for the Save button to appear. Then hope it makes it to the camera roll in the Photos app. New way: there’s a share tab right next to the photo in the iMessages app, and a new “shared with you” album in your camera roll of texted photos.

Apple has added the ability to copy text from a photo and send the words to an e-mail or document, which is incredibly useful if you take pictures of recipes or the like.

EXIF

More importantly, for photographers, we finally get EXIF information listed in the Camera Roll, which tells us which of the iPhone lenses we used, what our automatic exposure was, and this is fantastic, the file name of the photo. This basic info hasn’t been available in previous iOS editions and it really helps when I want to search for the photo on my computer. Knowing what it’s called is a lot more useful than just looking for that photo of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Apple iOS 15: Big Updates For Better Productivity
Photo: Techadvisor

New features added to Notes

The number of changes to Notes may not be that many, but they had some important new organizational features. The end result is a much better tool for jotting down ideas, lists, and research, should you use Notes as your note-taking app of choice.

Tags

Up until iOS 15, organization tools in Notes began and ended with folders. But the iOS 15 update adds a new tool aimed at helping you find specific notes much easier: Tags, according to Tomguide.

The feature is exactly what the name implies. You tag an article with a keyword, and all your notes with the same tag will be grouped together. If you've spent any time on Twitter or Instagram, you'll be familiar with how tags works — just use the hashtag symbol (#) followed by the keyword of your choosing. I append any grocery lists or recipe notes with "#groceries," while any planning documents for a podcast I appear on get tagged with "#magnum."

If you're using Notes for iPadOS 15 with an Apple Pencil, there's an even cooler trick. Just draw a hashtag and write your keyword next to it - the app will give the option to convert that handwritten tag into text.

Smart folders

There's one other Tag-related addition to iOS 15 Notes, and it involves Smart Folders. Now when you create a new folder, whether on iCloud or on your iPhone itself, you'll have the option of creating a Smart Folder. For a Smart Folder, you designate which Tags you want to appear in that collection. Assuming you're creating a folder that looks for multiple tags, only the Notes with every one of those Tags will appear in your Smart Folder.

For a Smart Folder, you designate which Tags you want to appear in that collection. Assuming you're creating a folder that looks for multiple tags, only the Notes with every one of those Tags will appear in your Smart Folder.

Changes to shared notes

Sharing notes with other people is an old hat if you're a power Notes user. It's a great way to share information with family members, coworkers, or anyone with whom you collaborate. iOS 15 Notes introduces some improvements to sharing that make it easier who's added what. Specifically, it's possible to now drill down and see which person made which changes to a shared Note.

Shared notes now feature Mentions as well, where you can leave messages for specific people with whom you're sharing the note. Just type the at symbol (@) and their name, and they'll be notified of any update you make to the note.

Apple iOS 15: Big Updates For Better Productivity
Photo: Mac Rumors

Other changes

Focus is a new feature that can filter notifications and apps based on what a user wishes to focus on at a certain time. When a user's Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status will be displayed to others in Messages. iOS will suggest a Focus for different occasions, such as work hours or winding down for bed, using on-device intelligence, but users can also create a custom Focus. When a Focus is set on one Apple device, it automatically applies to other Apple devices.

Safari features a completely new design. Controls are now easier to reach with one hand and give more focus to a webpage's content. There is a new, compact tab bar that floats at the bottom of the screen so users can easily swipe between tabs. Tab Groups allow users to save tabs and easily access them at any time across devices. There is also a customizable start page and web extensions for the first time.

The Maps app now offers a new 3D view in cities with significantly enhanced details, showing buildings, pedestrian crosswalks, bike lanes, and more. There is a new city-driving experience with added road details and improved Transit features, such as pinned favorite lines, notifications to disembark, and AR walking directions.

iOS 15 brings voice isolation and Spatial Audio to FaceTime calls so that voices sound as if they are coming from where the person is located on the screen. FaceTime also supports Portrait mode and offers a new grid view to see more faces at the same time.

Apple iOS 15: Big Updates For Better Productivity
Photo: Mac Rumors

How to Download and Install iOS 15?

iOS 15 is currently only available as a preview beta release for developers and public beta testers. Registered developers can download the profile for the iOS 15 beta from the Apple Developer Center, and once the profile is installed, beta updates will be available over the air. A public beta of iOS 15 is available for testing at beta.apple.com.

It is preferable to install iOS 15 on a secondary device because this is early release software that could have bugs or issues.

Over the course of iOS 15's testing period, which will last several months, Apple will refine the operating system's new features and fix bugs ahead of its release. Developers will also be able to use this beta testing period to support the new operating system and build new iOS 15 features into their apps. iOS 15 will be released to all users with compatible devices starting in the fall.

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22:37 | 08/12/2022
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