iOS 15: What’s New?

iOS 15: What’s New?

Last Monday, Apple released an update, iOS 15, which introduced many new features for iPhone users, including features for FaceTime and users’ Apple Wallets, while also adding some extra security updates. 

For a long time, it was difficult for iPhone users to connect with their Android-using friends. But iOS 15 adds a long-awaited feature that allows iPhone users to FaceTime Android devices, as it is now available on the Google Play Store. In addition, FaceTime has added some new internal features. Participants can now use the SharePlay feature to stream movies, listen to music together, or laugh at TikToks with friends.1

Apple has also provided some everyday features to the Apple Wallet. It can now gain access to essentials, allowing you to unlock your house or car straight from the app. This update also introduces the new focus feature, which allows users to only allow notifications from certain apps and people. 2

Mary Beth Hertz, Director of Educational Technology, has reason to believe that the focus feature will have a big effect on students’ lives. She says, “When I did a multitasking and focus unit with freshmen at my previous school, they were stunned at how much time they were spending throughout the day on apps like Netflix and Instagram.”

After a large data breach in early September, Apple also has tightened the iPhone’s security. Apple has implemented Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)-scanning. This helps Apple check users’ photos for harmful child material, which might sound helpful, but has been seen as a controversial move in the tech world.

Steve Greenbaum, Associate Director of Educational Technology, is one of the critics of this update, saying “ it is a huge invasion of privacy issue”. He went on to say “critics like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has ridiculed Apple for building a ‘kind of ‘backdoor’ into user data.”

However, there are many people who don’t believe it is a breach of privacy. One of these people is John Gruber, Founder of the Daring Fireball Blog. He compared the scan to a fingerprint, stating “The fingerprint of a photo tells you nothing about what’s in a photo, any more than a person’s literal fingerprint tells what that person looks like. It’s just an ID value”.