We did not notice how iOS 15 hastened the end of the iPhone

iPhone 12

While there are plenty of features in iOS 15 that will make our iPhones better, there are also a few things that will keep Apple going after the inevitable demise of the iPhone—and maybe even help it do so.

FaceTime for Android and Windows

If the main theme of iOS 14 was the transformation of the main screen using widgets, then almost the main character in iOS 15 is FaceTime. Apple has made a major update to its service with new features including spatial audio, a new avatar grid, portrait mode, and the ability to customize chats with Android and Windows users.

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Apple takes FaceTime outside of its own ecosystem for the first time

At first glance, it looks like the FaceTime update in iOS 15 is a belated response to the pandemic. Apple, like everyone else, was not ready for when the whole world began to work and communicate remotely, and Zoom absorbed most of the group meetings with more flexible settings and interface.

But Apple’s FaceTime is more than just a response to the pandemic. It is the main communication tool for millions of Apple users.

The most obvious is Windows and Android support. While this works in a very limited way at the moment – you need to invite someone to a scheduled meeting through the browser, there is a chance that a dedicated app and additional features will appear in future updates that will make FaceTime more versatile.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a line of HomePod smart speakers with screens that could support FaceTime. With the foundation laid in iOS 15, it could be a standalone device that works as a standalone device rather than an iPhone accessory.

Apple Augmented Reality

Within seconds of the iOS 15 presentation, Apple showed off its new walking routes in the Maps app, which uses your iPhone’s camera to scan the world around you and overlay the walking directions onto the streets as you walk along them.

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Immersive hiking trails would look even better with augmented reality glasses

While these features require an iPhone with an A12 Bionic processor, it’s easy to see how the new walking trails are a precursor to Apple’s next big thing: smart glasses. A pair of Apple AR glasses may well require an iPhone for the first few years, but in a few generations they could very well become a standalone device.

Keys in the Wallet app

watchOS 8 doesn’t have as many new features as iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, but even that system is gearing up for a post-iPhone world. For example, there are new smart home controls as well as enhanced Find My integration, but the most interesting feature is something much more mundane: keys.


Your Apple Watch will soon become your keys

The Apple Watch Wallet app is nothing new, but Apple has improved it in watchOS 8. Wallet in watchOS 8 now lets you store a digital key to your home or office that can unlock certain HomeKit-enabled smart locks and more. This eliminates the need to carry a bunch of keys with you. Apple is also integrating digital keys into Family Sharing so that all family members can use the key at once.

Of course, all features are available in iOS 15 and on the iPhone, but this is another step towards a future in which iPhone becomes unnecessary. Digital keys and AR apps may not be ubiquitous now, but they will be in a few years. It won’t be long before our cars, hotel rooms, offices and, of course, our homes can be opened with an Apple Watch or get route changes in Apple Glasses.

The future hasn’t arrived yet, but iOS 15 brings us even closer to a world where the iPhone is no longer needed.

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