Apple today announced new automotive features to be available in the next iOS update, iOS15, due this fall.
Apple will expand its phone as key feature. Through its Wallet app, users can keep their phone in their pocket or purse, but unlock the car door over ultra-wideband (UWB). Then the phone can also function as the key to drive the car. BMW supports the feature on many new models. Apple said BMW and other car makers will make announcements on the feature later this year.
Phone as key will also unlock your home and it will work in 1000 Hyatt hotel locations to unlock your hotel room. Apple is also partnering with the TSA, so you can input your driver’s license information and then use Apple Wallet to tap through an airport security check. Many other companies are working with Apple to support the feature, it said.
New Apple Maps features will be available in CarPlay later this year including more details on highway interchanges, which will soon appear in 3D so you can see traffic and realistic lane views. Also, city driving is improved with the ability to see turn lanes, medians, bus and taxi lanes, crosswalk and bike lanes.
Some other cool new features for iOS15 that aren’t automotive related include better ability to search through your photos. If you took a screenshot with text in it or a photo of a handwritten note, the text now becomes live. You can search it, copy and paste it. Also elements of your photos become searchable through a “powerful neural network.” iOS15 can recognize objects and scenes like dogs or flowers that are searchable. This applies to older as well as new photos.
FaceTime gets a major overhaul. It becomes more like Zoom. It now works with Android and Windows users, shows multiple users in a grid format and allows group sharing of music, movies and information.
There’s a new Focus feature that more intelligently lets you tune out personal calls and notifications while you are working, or conversely, texts from co-workers while you are with family. Texters will see a notice that says “Focus is activated” so they know you are out of pocket at the moment.