Image: Apple

On Monday afternoon, Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The multi-day event is scheduled to run through June 11. Historically, the event showcases a wide range of product unveilings, operating systems updates and more. During the first day of the event, Apple announced a series of upgrades to iOS 15. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the standout iOS 15 features for business pros.

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Apple WWDC 2021: iOS 15 features

Video calling

Over the last year, people have used video conferencing platforms to work and socialize amid COVID-19. During the event keynote, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi announced a series of FaceTime features including screen sharing capabilities and more. A FaceTime grid view will allow people to view all participants in a single view and a portrait mode to block a speaker’s background similar to Zoom’s blurred background option.

New FaceTime links will help professionals readily share meeting details via messages and email, and sync these events in their calendars. The presentation also detailed spatial audio capabilities to disperse audio and deliver this sound based on a speaker’s position as well as machine learning-enabled voice isolation to block background noise.

Virtual collaboration

Following an office whiteboard session, many professionals snap a photo to save this information for future reference. The Apple keynote showcased new capabilities to enhance the way people traditionally save and share meeting notes. This includes the ability to use the phone’s camera to capture a whiteboard session and copy and share text directly from an image.

Image: Apple

Work-life balance

In the age of remote work and distance learning, the home has pulled double-duty as a virtual office, learning center and private residence for many people. The Apple keynote also highlighted new capabilities to help people find a healthier work-life balance as the line between the professional and private space blurs. This includes new Do-Not-Disturb features. For example, once a person sets do not disturb, this status will be listed in their messages to inform others, according to Apple.

Other announced capabilities include the ability to set designated notification profiles for personal and work lives so people can choose to be notified by coworkers or friends depending on the time of day. A notification summary feature will also help people schedule delivery of their recent notifications so they can concisely peruse these updates depending on their schedules and preferences.

Keys abound

At WWDC 2020, Apple unveiled a new car key to allow users to unlock their cars using their smartphones. This year, Apple expanded these concepts to a host of environments. The presentation made note of wallet key capabilities that would allow people to gain entry to their homes, apartments, hotel rooms and even function as corporate work badges for the workplace.

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The daily commute

In recent weeks, a number of companies have started to bring employees back to the traditional office. Apple also announced new capabilities to assist professionals during their daily commutes with features to help mass transit commuters track their connections with augmented reality 3D mapping features available in select cities.