It has been said that the COVID pandemic that swept across the world beginning last year significantly changed the way people lived their everyday lives. Beyond the health and safety measures to prevent infection that may have become habit with many, the changes were also reflected in the technology and software they utilized. For instance, the editions of iOS and iPadOS (14) that were released by Apple in the middle of 2020 were noted to have been optimized for remote-first activities. And it appears that their successors coming this year are of the same mold.
As The Verge puts it, Apple’s next-version mobile operating systems, the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, began their public beta test period at the end of June, after being introduced earlier last month at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This is interesting as Apple tends to bunch up its major software updates in near-strict once-yearly changes, with every new version number. Now, the previous iOS and iPadOS 14 were geared for working Apple gadgets when the pandemic forced people to keep apart, at home, and communicate electronically. This was reflected in features like classifying “personal” and “work” notifications and more functionality for FaceTime, among others.
For iOS and iPadOS 15, the changes and improvements are a tad more subdued, with nothing that pops out or breaks ground that much. It is probably because Apple was developing these MOS with the notion that their release in 2021 would be in a world that has moved past from COVID. As can be attested, the present is far from that optimistic outlook. So the changes are incremental: FaceTime gets SharePlay, where one can share media (movies, TV shows) to watch/listen with family/friends using Apple devices remotely. That sounds very pandemic-oriented, though Apple has to twist screws in that your buddies can only SharePlay if they all subscribe to iTunes or Apple TV Plus.
More tweaks in the notifications camp comes with Focus, which fine-tunes the Do Not Disturb feature by allowing users to select specific times and triggers for when either mobile apps or phone contacts can get their notifications through. That offers even more flexibility for filtering messages and notifications only for work or when off-work. Next, Safari has a redesign to optimize one-handed operation. For iPadOS 15, there are some great new additions such as the App Library and home screen widgets, making the UI feel even more laptop/desktop than ever.
The Apple iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 will be released officially later this year, the former supporting iPhones from 6 to 12 (plus variants) and gen-7 iPod Touch, while the latter will support iPad gen-5 to 8,iPad Air 2 to 4, iPad Mini 4-5, and iPad Pro up to gen-5.
Image courtesy of MacRumors