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Sep 28, 2021

iOS 15 - Cool and Great New Features for Travel

iOS 15 - Cool and Great New Features for Travels

The newest software update, iOS15, for Apple is out. There are some updates for photos, Wallet, and security that are good to know for all iPhone owners and some are especially helpful for travelers.

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Digital IDs and Passports

Apple is launching digital IDs, allowing travelers to upload their driver's licenses or state IDs to their iPhones or Apple Watches via Apple Wallet. Best of all, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has already approved these digital ID cards to be accepted at airport security.

To upload an ID, users will have to take a photo of their card, then complete a series of head movements to capture their likeness. This is very similar to how you use Face ID so the phone recognizes you to open itself or apps.

Per Apple, "Customers’ identity data is encrypted and protected against tampering and theft. Biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID ensures that only the person who added the ID to the device can view or present their ID or license in Wallet."

There are only a few states that have signed on to the new ID tech for now. Arizona and Georgia are leading the pack, then Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah will follow. However, should these beta test well, there will likely be a country-wide rollout thereafter.

Additionally, Apple recently released an emergency software update 14.8 to fix a major flaw. Security researchers uncovered a flaw that allows highly invasive spyware to infect anyone’s iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac computer without so much as a click.

So if you are considering if you should update your phone to iOS 15, you should. Or at the least have 14.8 on it. If you hold out to iOS 15, the patch should be part of that software version.

Here’s how to update your iPhone:
  1.  Go to Settings. 
  2.  Click General. 
  3.  Click Software Update. 
  4.  Click Install Now to update to iOS 15

Photos app update

There is a significant change in Photos. The big change to your photo library is that you can now search for text in your photos. The photo will be scanned by the OS to find text and make it available for search. This is a significant change for those with thousands of photos on their phone such as travelers. Not only can the Photos app tell what the image looks like but it can also find based on text in it. If you took a picture of a sign, receipt, or similar, you will now be able to find it via a typed-in search. 

Additionally, you can now point your camera at text and select text from there. It is incredibly convenient if you’re looking for the restaurant address on the menu and want to share it with a friend or if you’re traveling and you want to translate some text.

Siri and speech recognition update

iOS 15 switches the phone, ie Siri, to the use of on-device speech recognition, which means you can dictate text much faster. But that’s not all, iOS processes some Siri requests on your device directly, which means that you can start a timer, set an alarm, or change the music instantly. It has changed the way I use Siri.


ios 15 siri

With the update, you can use FaceTime for group conversations and screen shares. Most importantly, people that are not on iOS and/or don't have FaceTime can still join the chat.

Now, when you start a FaceTime call from an iPhone, you can invite people using other gadgets, like a Windows computer or an Android phone. All you do is send them a link that they can open in a web browser to join the call. It means you and your family don’t have to pick a different app if you have a mix of people using different software.

How to start FaceTime call:
  • Install iOS 15 if you haven’t already.
  • Open FaceTime on your iPhone (or iPad).
  • Tap the “Create Link” button on the top left.
  • Choose how you want to send the link. You can send it via a text message, email or through any third-party messaging apps.
  • Send the link.
  • Tap “FaceTime Link” on the left to start the call from your iPhone or iPad.
  • Tap “Join.”
  • Now anyone who has the link can click it, enter their name and request to join the conversation.
  • As the host, you’ll approve anyone who wants to join by tapping a green check mark button.

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