Apple is working on new upgrades for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, which include changes to notifications, redesigned iPad home screen, updated lock screen, and privacy improvements.
iPadOS 15 and iOS 15 could see iMessage receive social networking features
As per a report by Bloomberg, Apple is currently planning major updates for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, which will be announced during WWDC21 this summer for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The software updates are codenamed Sky, and will be released to consumers later in the year, just in time for the launch of iPhone 13.
Although not a lot is shared in the report, it makes it clear that the new updates will focus on a few specific areas, namely notifications, iPad home screen, and lock screen. iOS 15 will allow users to configure how they receive different notifications from various apps. For example, if users are working, they can select which notifications can alert them, or if they are sleeping or driving, they can choose only specific apps to notify them. The menu for this new feature will be accessible from the lock screen and Control Center.
Users will also be able to set automatic responses for messages, depending on their status. Apple already has an auto-reply feature but it is limited to Do Not Disturb while driving.
For iPad, which did not receive a lot of changes with iPadOS 14, Apple is planning major changes to the home screen. Apple will be allowing users to place widgets anywhere on the home screen, similar to how it is currently possible on iPhone with iOS 14. Bloomberg says that users will be to replace the entire app grid on their iPad home screen with widgets. Whether these widgets will be more functional than their current versions is yet to be seen, as right now, they do not feature any interactive controls.
Apple is also going to introduce new privacy improvements. A new menu will be included in iOS 15 which will show users which apps are collecting their data. This sounds similar to Safari’s privacy report which actively informs users about data tracking by websites.
The biggest feature, in our opinion, seems to be Apple’s focus on adding features to iMessage to make it into a social network. The company wants to introduce features that help it compete against WhatsApp. With a billion devices and users, Apple is in a good position to introduce social networking features for iMessage, while maintaining privacy.
It goes without saying, these plans could change by the time iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are announced at WWDC21.