Safari is now easier to use with one hand. The URL bar is now located at the bottom, and hides as you scroll to maximize your screen’s real estate. You’ll notice that Safari looks a lot more like the interface of macOS or your iPad on the new tab page – there are your favorite websites, playlists, and content shared with you. You can easily drag and drop the cards together. And finally, for the first time, Safari extensions are coming to iOS. These will be available through the App Store.
Digital Portfolio and Improved Maps
Apple continues its search to reclaim your physical wallet. Last year allowed you add car keys, but in iOS 15, you can add additional keys. Add a home key if you use a smart lock, an access card you can use to enter your office, or a hotel room key – Apple says Hyatt will turn this feature into 1,000 properties worldwide, and yes, you can touch your Apple Watch to enter your room.
Even better, you can scan your driver’s license with your iPhone’s camera and add it to the Wallet app, even if it’s only available in participating states. One of the first places you can use your digital ID is the airport; Apple says transportation security management allows checkpoints that support the feature.
Speaking of travel, the improved version of Apple Maps that the company introduced last year is now in four new countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy and Australia. Apple’s map data is becoming more detailed in iOS 15. You’ll find more details at street level in shopping districts, altitude information in cities, as well as custom designs for landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge. During the guide, Maps will now show highway interchanges in 3D, so you have a better idea of which lane you should be on. These features will come to CarPlay later this year.
If you’re in public transit, Maps will tell you when to get off your stop, and if you don’t know which way to go once you’re off the bus or out of the subway station, just point your phone at the buildings in front of you to have Apple’s augmented reality point the way. It is similar to AR Live View in Google Maps.
As every year, iPadOS, the operating system for Apple tablets, networks almost all the same new features available in iOS. It’s no different here, but of course, iPadOS gets a few new tricks. The most visual? You can place widgets anywhere on the home screen as you can on your iPhone. There are larger widgets to use the more copious screen real estate, and Apple has also brought the App Library so you won’t be left dealing with dozens of home pages. You can access the App Library from the iPad dock.