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Apple (AAPL) Releases iOS 15: Here's What You Need to Know

Apple (AAPL) releases iOS 15 that offers updates to FaceTime, Focus, Live Text use leveraging on-device intelligence to search useful information, Map...

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Apple AAPL released its much-anticipated iOS 15 software update for users of iPhone 6 and later models on Sep 20. The latest update includes FaceTime, Focus, Live Text use leveraging on-device intelligence to search useful information, Map, redesigned Safari among others.

Let’s check out these latest updates in detail:

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New Updates to Make FaceTime Calls Livelier

Apple released a plethora of updates for FaceTime to make calls feel livelier and more natural. The Voice Isolation, which is a new microphone mode, leverages machine learning to remove background noise and highlight users’ voice. On the other hand, Wide Spectrum allows every bit of background sound to come through.

Thanks to Spatial audio technology, voices in a Group FaceTime call sound like they’re coming from the direction in which the person is positioned on the screen.

Portrait mode in FaceTime blurs a user’s background and puts them in focus.

The three features - Voice Isolation, Wide Spectrum, and Portrait mode – are compatible with third-party applications like Cisco’s CSCO Webex, Zoom ZM and Facebook’s FB WhatsApp. Moreover, users of Android and Windows devices can now join FaceTime calls (which are end-to-end encrypted on the web) from their web browsers.


Apple Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Apple Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Apple Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Apple Inc. Quote


The upcoming SharePlay feature (set for a late-fall release) will allow friends and family on FaceTime calls to share experiences like listening to songs together, watching a TV show or movie, completing a workout together, or sharing their screens to view apps.

SharePlay will be compatible with apps like Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Fitness+, as well as Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, SoundCloud, TikTok, Twitch and many more.

Focus Removes Distraction, iOS 15 Redesigns Notification

Focus is a feature that helps users reduce distraction by filtering notifications. Apart from the already provided list of Focus, like Fitness, Reading or Driving, users can create their own customized Focus that leverages on-device intelligence to suggest which notifications from people and apps are allowed.

At the time of using a particular Focus, a user's status is automatically displayed to contacts in Messages and supported third-party communication apps like Slack, so contacts know not to interrupt.

Apple also redesigned Notifications by adding contact photos for people and larger icons for apps that make them easier to identify. iOS 15 leverages on-device intelligence to prioritize notifications in terms of relevance. Time-sensitive notifications, messages and phone calls will be delivered immediately, thus users will not be missing timely alerts.

The Live Text feature leverages on-device intelligence to recognize text in photos across the entire system, including the web. It allows users to copy and paste, look up information, and translate. By tapping an image of a phone number or of a web address, users can make calls or open a page in Safari, respectively.

Powered by the Neural Engine, the Camera app can quickly recognize and copy texts instantly. Users can use the Visual Look Up feature to learn more about popular art, landmarks, and books, plants and flowers found in nature, and breeds of pets.

Moreover, by using Live Text Spotlight, users can find texts and handwritings in photos.

iOS 15 Presents Enhanced Apple Maps

Apple Maps got an upgrade in iOS 15, and it is now equipped to offer detailed pictures of neighborhoods, commercial districts, buildings, as well as custom-designed landmarks, and also has a new night-time mode with a moonlit glow. The enhanced map is currently available in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

With the help of Augmented Reality, iPhone users can now receive detailed walking directions in Apple Maps. Transit riders can get one-tap access to all departures near them and riders can keep track of the transit route on Apple Watch.

Other Notable iOS 15 Updates

Apple has redesigned Weather with full-screen maps, graphical displays of weather data and dynamic layouts that change based on conditions.

iOS 15 also introduces a redesigned Safari browser that makes controls easier to reach. An important feature – Tab Groups – now allows users to organize tabs and easily access them at any time across iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Keeping privacy a priority, iOS 15 offers features like Mail Privacy Protection that boosts transparency and user control over data they provide to apps. With on-device speech recognition, users’ audio requests to Siri are now processed entirely on device by default, enabling more personalization, offline requests and faster performance.

iOS 15 Features to Aid iPhone Sales

Apple unveiled four new iPhone models – iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max – at its virtual product launch event on Sep 14.

This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has been riding on strong demand for the 5G-supported iPhone 12, the revamped iPad, the healthcare-focused Apple Watch and an expanding App Store ecosystem. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

However, the company’s share price has dipped in recent times, primarily attributable to an adverse ruling in the Epic Games lawsuit, which now prohibits Apple from banning alternative payment system offerings by app developers. The spyware attack, for which Apple had to rush to publish a quick update, along with growing supply chain issues, also hurts sentiments.

Apple’s shares have returned 7.7% year to date, underperforming the S&P 500 composite’s return of 19.3%.

Undoubtedly, Apple will benefit from the timely launch of iPhone 13 ahead of the holiday season. Per a latest report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, cited by 9TO5 Mac, pre-orders for the iPhone 13 series “are higher than those for the iPhone 12 series,” and pre-order demand for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is significantly higher than that for the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13.

Moreover, iOS 15’s attractive updates are expected to further drive iPhone shipment, thereby driving top-line growth. In third-quarter fiscal 2021, iPhone sales increased 49.8% from the year-ago quarter to $39.57 billion and accounted for 48.6% of total sales.

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