iOS 15 is very obviously not a major enterprise release. Recently, I discussed Declarative Device Management ushering in a new generation of Apple Device Management. The question is why am I bothering to write about the other features then? Am I crazy? Perhaps there are things that are worth being excited about? That is the question that I will answer today when I discuss the 6 things that bring me joy in iOS 15.
OCR is often an area of great excitement. We are seeing so much going on now in the world of AI with Natural Language Generation and so many other capabilities. Apple’s new “Live Text” feature is a very neat one. With Live Text, you can either pop your camera open or leverage the typical copy/paste menus to scan text from photos and pull them directly into your Apple apps like Notes and Mail to name a few.
Demo on Live Text
Over the last few years, Apple has been trying so hard to close the gap between Notes and OneNote/Evernote. I’m a huge fan of the new tagging capabilities similar to what you could see in financial systems. You hash-tag your notes, which groups them together so nicely. You will then be able to view your notes at the tag level. Such a great move by Apple:
Notes Tagging Demo
Hide My Email
If you can argue that iOS 15 has a single trend, it is PRIVACY. Hide My Email is a great idea, which I think could become something even more amazing if they evolve it in the future.
Let’s discuss how it works:
- You use “Hide My Email” to create a unique and randomized iCloud address
- You set what email address you want to forward it to
- When messages are sent to your randomized address the following happens:
- Apple scans the headers of your message to process/evaluate spam
- Message is sent to your real address
- Message is deleted off the iCloud servers
You can see that through its simplicity that this email relay technology has great potential despite the inadequacy of the Apple mail app itself, which could earn some loyalty and shift back toward the native mail application.
Hide My Email Demo
iOS 15 Safari Enhancements
A number of great Safari enhancements are really exciting. Apple is delivering some nice user experience improvements like:
- Swipe Gestures
- Pull to Refresh
- Shared with You
- iCloud Private Relay
We will cover a demo on the 3 new Safari features below. We can all agree that smooth gestures that let you work with Safari faster than ever before. Safari continues to do a nice job to grow, but at this point in iOS 15 it appears the privacy enhancements are causing major stability issues.
Safari User Experience Demo
iCloud Private Relay
Private Relay is interesting. The idea is that Private Relay is an internet privacy service that is VPN-adjacent and lets you browse more securely and anonymously that ever before. This technology protects web traffic, DNS queries, and insecure website access. Let’s talk about how it works.
iCloud Private Relay uses an innovative multi-hop architecture leveraging two separate internet relays that are not related. The IP address is replaced by an IP address for that private relay located in the same area. The IP address “coarsely” represents the correct location of the user so location information is relevant.
The lifeblood of this new technology relies on a new network protocol called QUIC. The UDP connections use TLS 1.3. Microsoft explains it best:
UIC uses UDP for ports and connectionless transport, then adds the resiliency of TCP, the security of TLS 1.3, sprinkles in a dash of commands and version control from protocols like SMB, and then mixes in a set of new protocol concepts and efficiencies to create something entirely unique in the protocol world.
Apple will validate that each connection is from an Apple device and the device/user has a valid iCloud+ membership. This level of trust helps to ensure that only trusted entities are using the relay. I strongly suggest Apple’s WWDC video on it.
Apple Files Enhancements
Apple is introducing a few nice features as well that are exciting:
- Files Groups
- Progress Indicator
- Marque Tool
- Drag and Drop
- NTFS USB Support
I was a bit on the fence around what the 6th and final item would be and I settled on Focus. I think you can sort of look at Focus like an elevated version of Do Not Disturb. They support various focus modes like Driving, Personal, Sleep, Work, Mindfulness, and Reading.
You can essentially configure a profile where you say who and what can notify you so your focus can be laser sharp!
Work Focus Setup Demo
Every release of iOS offers varying features that may or may not build upon your user experience story. Obviously every list like this is highly subjective. Everyone should think about what story they are trying to tell and layer in technologies and features that support that journey.