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Some of iOS 15’s most exciting new features were revealed by a top leaker

Published Apr 22nd, 2021 10:33AM EDT
iOS 15 Features
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple’s highly anticipated spring event is now over, and various new products will soon be available to order. Apple finally launched the AirTag, the new iPad Pro, and the long-awaited M1 iMac earlier this week. The iPhone 12 got a new color, and the last iOS 14.5 public beta was just released, with the public version of the new software update set to arrive in a few days.

The “Spring Loaded” event confirmed many of the recent Apple rumors as well, showing once again that Apple can’t find a way to stop its new products from leaking ahead of time. Then, a fresh set of rumors arrived hot on the heels of the virtual press conference concerning Apple’s plans for future hardware and software products. Hackers might have compromised an Apple supplier, stealing schematics for unreleased MacBooks in the process. Even more interesting, however, is a new iOS 15 leak that describes some of the main changes Apple has planned for iOS and iPadOS this year.

WWDC 2021 is where Apple will unveil iOS 15 alongside software updates for its other products. iOS 15 is always the main attraction of the show, considering iOS and iPadOS power hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads. We already have a date for the main virtual keynote. Apple will introduce iOS 15 and demo the new features on June 7th. That’s still pretty far off, but we won’t have to wait another six weeks to get an idea of what to expect from iOS 15.

A top Apple leaker at Bloomberg has revealed some of the iOS 15 features that are currently in development. 
The iPhone will receive a major software revamp with iOS 15, the report notes. Apple is working on changes to notifications, a new lock screen, a new iPad home screen in iPadOS 15, and new privacy features.

The notifications experience on iOS still isn’t ideal, and Apple plans to improve it in iOS 15 by allowing users to further customize the way notifications appear. Bloomberg says users will have access to different notification preferences, depending on their status. A new menu that will appear in Control Center and the updated lock screen will let users choose whether they are driving, working, or sleeping. Custom categories can be added as well. Depending on the selected mode, notifications will play sounds or remain silent. Apple will also enable automatic replies to messages based on these statuses. These are all features that have been available on smartphones for decades, but they’ll still be welcome additions for iPhone owners.

iMessage is reportedly going to get upgrades “with the eventual goal of acting as more of a social network and better competing with Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp.” The report says those features are early in development and might come later.

Apple’s “most significant update” is apparently coming to the iPad’s home screen in iPadOS 15. Apple plans to let users place widgets on the home screen, which is a big deal for iPad users since it’s something people have been asking for since the tablet first debuted.

Finally, Apple will further improve user privacy in iOS 15. A new feature that’s currently in the works will reportedly inform users about the apps that are silently collecting data about them. iOS 14.5 aims to make it impossible for developers to track users without asking for permission first. iOS 15 might go beyond that, informing users of tracking attempts that attempt to circumvent Apple’s new rules.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.