iOS 15 at WWDC21: FaceTime on Android and new notification features – CNET

Apple WWDC 2021

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

iOS 15 has officially arrived. Monday during an online keynote for WWDC, Apple’s annual app developer conference, the company presented a preview iOS 15, the next major version software for the iPhone. It’s a follow-up to last year’s iOS 14 and will launch in full this fall and likely debut on the heavily rumored iPhone 13. iOS 15 brings improvements to four major themes: staying connected, finding focus, using intelligence and exploring the world.

iOS 15 brings FaceTime support for Windows and Android

One of the biggest updates comes to FaceTime, Apple’s app for video and audio calls. Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said that the goal was to make FaceTime feel more natural and comfortable to use. iOS 15 adds the ability to schedule FaceTime calls and create links in-advance. FaceTime links can be accessed on Apple devices or via a browser on Android phones and Windows computers.

Just like there is portrait mode on your iPhone that can separate you from you background, FaceTime gets portrait mode for video calls. It turns your background into a nice artistic blur. 

There are also new tools to improve audio. FaceTime in iOS 15 supports spatial audio during a call and makes your friends and family sound more natural and gives the effect that they are in the room with you. Your microphone gets smarter and can isolate your voice or widen its pickup to capture all the details in your environment. 

A developer version of iOS 15 will be available to download today, with a public beta launching this summer.

The announcement of iOS 15 comes with a celebratory atmosphere filled with excitement. However beyond the scope of Apple’s marketing and showmanship lurks a much more sobering reality around iOS and Apple’s App Store. Over the past year, Apple responded to inquiries about its App Store from lawmakers and regulators at home and abroad. The company launched iOS 14.5 which brought new levels of user privacy and new controls over ad-tracking which led to a mini-corporate battle royale with Facebook. Apple also awaits judgment in a lawsuit by Epic Games one of the biggest app developers for iOS.

This is a developing story.

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