Apple

iOS 15: The Ultimate Software Update For Business Productivity.

It seems that business users were at the forefront of Apple’s mind during the creation of iOS 15. These nine features are guaranteed to increase your productivity levels. 

 

We’ve taken a look into the latest features of Apple’s operating system, and wow, could this be the best software update for business users yet? It’s a bold statement we know, but by the end of this article, we think you might agree. 

Before we dive into the best features of iOS 15 for business productivity, let’s go over what we know so far. iOS 15 is expected to launch around the 20th of September, and it will be compatible with the 6S device and above (although some features will be unavailable for some models, Macworld has a great article with more information on this). The software can be installed with less than 500MB of storage available, a game-changer for anyone who has previously had to sacrifice apps/images/messages over new software. 

Share Play

After however long it has been since we’ve been working remotely, attending meetings via Zoom, Google Meet and Teams, Apple has finally improved FaceTime capabilities. They’ve introduced Share Play, allowing you to share your screen with everyone on your FaceTime, making it easier to collaborate on documents, share ideas and presentations quickly on the go. Additionally, to help with presenting on the go, voice isolation helps to minimise any background noise and places your voice front and centre.

Black iPhone 12 showing imagery of a person wearing an orange jumper on FaceTime. The Large FaceTime screen features a page listing for a 1 bedroom apartment in Nashville.

Image Credit: Apple

Possibly the best update, and one that has been a long time coming, is the ability to FaceTime with people not using an Apple Device. With the new iOS 15 updates, you can organise and schedule a FaceTime for a later date and share using a link (just as we’ve been used to with Meet, Teams and Zoom), meaning you can invite anyone to join (not just those on Apple devices). The calls will remain end-to-end encrypted, so calls with other devices will remain private and secure – great for those important business calls.  

A Black iPhone 12 next to a Black Android phone. Both screens show images of 4 people on FaceTime together.

Image Credit: Apple

The only downside is that this might not come with the initial iOS 15 launch, but it will be added later in the year. 

BONUS HOW-TO!

How to share screen on FaceTime: 

  1. Launch FaceTime and jump on a call with whoever it may be.
  2. Once the call is on, tap the Share Play button at the top right-hand corner of the screen in the new control panel for FaceTime.
  3. Tap share my screen – there will be a 3-second countdown, then screen sharing will start; an icon will appear in the top left-hand corner of the screen to indicate that FaceTime screen sharing is active (tapping this will reveal the FaceTime control panel).

Focus

The ultimate productivity inducing update, do not disturb but better. Focus is a more streamlined, more customisable version of the current do not disturb feature.

A Black iPhone 12 showing options for the new Focus feature. The page title says "What do you want to focus on?" with a subheading of "Choose a Focus to get started". Below that there are 5 different focus options which are: Custom, Driving, Fitness,  Gaming and Reading.

Image Credit: Apple

We all know and love the notification silencing feature but, we have previously experienced an all or nothing type of situation, where we have ultimate concentration but risk missing important calls and messages. But not for much longer, with the ‘focus’ update, you can create customisable settings where you will be able to select which notifications you still want to receive during this time of silence. This feature is great for increasing productivity and reducing distractions, especially for those who use their personal mobile/devices for work. 

BONUS HOW-TO!

How to create a custom focus: 

  1. Launch control centre and select focus.
  2. Tap new focus (the plus sign at the bottom). 
  3. Select custom.
  4. Add a name and choose an icon/colour to make it recognisable, then select next.
  5. Add person = allows you to select who you want to still receive notifications from when in focus mode (you can also select everyone, no one, favourites or all contacts). 
  6. Select allow {x} person or allow none.
  7. Add app – select the apps you want to receive notifications from. 
  8. Select all {x} apps or allow none.
  9. Choose whether to allow time-sensitive notification or select not now to decide later.
  10. Select done to finish making the custom focus.

Additional Notes:

  • These settings can be changed at any time by going to settings > focus.
  • Smart activation uses signals such as your location, app usage and more to turn on custom focus settings automatically.  
  • Like do not disturb, focus can be turned on at any time from the control centre, simply launch the control centre, tap the focus you want to turn on (you can also set this for an hour, until the evening or until the location has been left) to turn it off, just tap again.

Safari

A Black iPhone 12 open on Safari. Showing 6 tabs as rectangle icons.

Image Credit: Apple

Safari has received a bit of a facelift for the new software update. One of the first updates is the tab bar, which has been redesigned to maximise screen space and to stay out of the way as you scroll. Although it’s a relatively small change, it is ideal for those who have smaller screen sizes, improving usability amongst the smaller, more budget-friendly iPhone models. 

Apple has also introduced tap groups, which will allow you to save and organise your open tabs in a way that makes it easier than ever to browse and switch between them. This update is perfect for those who use Safari day-to-day and have multiple tabs open for many projects at once. Additionally, tab groups can be synced across devices, so you will always have access to them no matter where you are. 

Possibly the most helpful safari update is the addition of extensions, just as you would expect to use on mac, you can now install extensions on your phone. Great for those of us who use Grammarly (and even ad blocker). 

Despite not being majorly different, these slight changes to Safari are all about improving the way you organise your digital workspace. And we all know that organisation is often the key to increasing productivity.

Live Text

Three Black iPhone 12's in a row. The first phone is showing a website with an image of another iPhone, the text in this image is highlighted to bring up the copy/look up/translate and share tab. The second iPhone is showing an image of a for sale sign, the text on this sign is highlighted to bring up options to call, iMessage, FaceTime, add to contacts and copy. The Final iPhone is showing an email with an attached image of a business card, the text on the business card is an email address - this is highlighted and is the same email address that is in the to: bar of the email.

Image Credit: Apple

We all know and love the notification silencing feature but, we have previously experienced an all or nothing type of

In our opinion, live text could be one of the most exciting features of the update. Using the phone camera, your device will intelligently unlock rich and meaningful information from pictures. Making it possible to make calls, send an email or look up directions with a simple tap. Not only does it make it quicker for you and your team to contact people, but it also makes it quicker for people to access your business too. 

But that isn’t the only benefit of this update; imagine you’re in a brainstorming session and you want to digitise handwritten notes. Instead of spending time typing up your notes, all you have to do is open your camera app, point it at your notes, swipe across the text (as you would if you were copying anything from an iPhone) and then simply press “copy”. Additionally, you can take a picture and go back to it later to copy the text from within it. 

Finally, the live text feature also translates any language automatically, ideal for those overseas business trips.

BONUS HOW-TO!

How to Use Live Text:

  1. Launch photo app. 
  2. Find a photo with words on display. 
  3. If the text is small, pinch to zoom. 
  4. Press and hold on the words, then drag the ends of the selection tool to highlight the text you want to copy. 
  5. Remove finger from the screen, select Copy from the pop-up menu. 
  6. Switch to an app where you can type, press and hold and then select paste.

Privacy

Privacy does not correlate directly to business productivity, but we all know how important privacy is, especially for businesses. iOS 15 gives you that peace of mind and makes sure that you and your team’s business mobile are protected and secure. The new software provides increased visibility into how apps are accessing your data, and it will protect your device against unwanted data collection, giving you more control over what you choose to share. Notably, the mail app has updated privacy protection which hides your IP address meaning senders can’t link it to other online activity or determine your location.

Notes

A black iPhone 12 with the notes app open. The note says "Monday Morning Meeting. Public Art Networking Group" with #Policy #Housing highlighted in red.

Image Credit: Apple

From what it seems, notes have had a pretty extensive list of changes made, particularly in how you organise and collaborate within them. 

The addition of tags is a fast and flexible way to categorise and organise your notes in a way that suits you best. All you need to do is directly type one or more ‘tags’ into the note, for example “#todo #meeting #q3”, this will then categorise your note in the tag browser where you can quickly view your tagged notes. You will also be able to collect these notes in one place using tags to create custom smart folders. 

Apple has made collaboration a key focus of their note upgrades. One of which is the activity view feature. Using this, you can see what others have added to the note whilst you have been away. It will also provide summaries of updates and day-to-day lists of activities from each collaborator since the last time you viewed the note. This feature will allow you to stay on top of team-based projects, making sure each contributor has played their part in collaborative documents. Highlights allow you to see these changes but with highlighted text colours linked to collaborators within the note, which will hold people accountable for their contributions and encourage more productive collaboration. Finally, you will be able to make the collaborations in shared notes and folders more social, direct and contextual through the addition of mentions. By typing an @ symbol with the name of the collaborator anywhere in the note, you will notify them of important updates and link them back to the key points within the note. Saving you time from having to explain minor details by allowing them to see contextually. 

5G

Privacy does not correlate directly to business productivity, but we all know how important privacy is, especially for

Technically this one isn’t an iOS 15 update, but, more apps and system experiences will be enhanced by faster 5G, which should increase their running speed, allowing you to do more, quicker. 

Additionally, the iPhone 12 mini/pro/max will automatically prioritise 5G when Wi-Fi connectivity on networks you visit is slow or insecure so you can have faster and safer connectivity.

Drag & Drop

Drag and drop across apps will allow you to quickly (and easily) pick up images, documents and files and drop them into another app. This feature will make it much easier for you and your team to work remotely and on the go with just their mobiles; you might even convince desktop lovers to try it out too.

Reminders

Similarly to notes, reminders have had an upgrade that allows you to become your most organised self. Reminders have also taken on the tag capabilities allowing you to add one or more tags (e.g. #todo), to make it easier for you to search and filter across reminder lists. Game-changing stuff for those who have multiple reminders and lists on the go at once. 

Another new feature of reminders is custom smart lists. With this feature, you can create your own lists that will automatically include reminders that matter the most by selecting tags, dates, times, locations, flags and priority; so you can increase your productivity levels and task management. More than one tag can be selected and combined.

A Final Thought…

This is by no means an extensive list of the updates coming in iOS 15, but these are the features that we think will help increase business productivity the most. Of course, every business is different, your employees will have different methods of working and organising themselves. However, we know these features will play a crucial part in how we use our business mobile phones and other iOS devices. Whether that is the new addition of Share play or the ability to extract text straight from images, there is bound to be something in this list that gets you excited. Let us know in the comments what feature you think will be most productivity inducing, and if there are any features you can’t believe we’ve left out!

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