David Bowie once sang "Turn and face the strange, Ch-ch-changes." He could have been singing about iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 both of which Apple will discuss virtually on June 7th during its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC 2021). According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is working on changes to the software that will improve how users deal with notifications and more.
Changes coming to notifications in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
Citing people familiar with the matter, Gurman mentions that Apple will redesign the iPad Home Screen, update the Lock Screen, and add more privacy protection for its flagship smartphone and tablet models. The sources wished to remain anonymous since they were discussing information that has yet to be released officially by the tech giant. Additionally, with approximately six and a half weeks until WWDC, there is still time for Apple to dump some of the changes it has been testing.
In iOS 14, Apple added Android-style widgets to the iPhone Home Screen. These widgets will be allowed anywhere on the iPad screen in iPadOS 15. And following up on the new privacy features that Apple has already introduced, or is about to do so, a new feature will show users which apps are quietly collecting data on them.
Late last year Apple started sharing privacy labels supplied by app developers on App Store listings. As Apple says "Our privacy labels are designed to help you understand how apps handle your data, including apps we develop at Apple." And with the next update to iOS 14.5, the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature will launch.
With ATT, iOS users who want to continue being tracked by apps so that they can keep receiving online ads will have to opt-in to do so. The remaining users will automatically opt-out and will not be tracked by third-party apps.
One of the most exciting possible changes deal with notifications as this has been a sore spot for iPhone users. It starts with a new status menu that will be found on a device's Lock Screen and on the Control Center and will allow users to select whether they are driving, working, or sleeping. A custom category can also be selected.
Depending on the status of the user, he or she will be able make certain changes to the notification system on his/her device. For example, the user will be able to set the iPhone to make noise or to be silent when a notification pops up. Automatic replies to messages can be sent depending on the user's status instead of only when he/she is driving, which is how the system works now.
Apple also plans on making changes to its popular iMessage app with the goal to make it more of a social network similar to Facebook's WhatsApp. In the report, Gurman said that this change is still early in development and might be released after the release of iOS 15. That launch should take place in September around the same time that Apple introduces the 2021 iPhone 13 series.