San Francisco, Jun 7 (EFE).- Apple on Monday unveiled its new iOS 15 operating system for iPhones for which it has updated its FaceTime videocalling service to make it accessible for Android and Windows users, like Zoom, the most popular platform of this kind since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
The new FaceTime introduces the possibility of creating links for the calls that can be shared with other users, which allows access via the Web to people who are not using Apple devices, something that has not been possible until now.
In addition, it adds a “grid” visualization system whereby all participants in the videocall appear with the same dimensions next to one another and the portrait method whereby the background is automatically blurred.
The tech giant based in Cupertino, California, made its announcement at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will last until Thursday but this year is being held virtually due to pandemic gathering restrictions.
Another of the improvements to FaceTime is the inclusion of spatial audio, such that on a videocall with several participants the voice of each person will come through as if it were coming from the spot on the screen where the person’s face appears – whether that’s the top right corner, lower left corner, and so on.
Also regarding the sound feature, Apple’s updated version of the platform for videocalls is able to detect and eliminate background noises such as household work or vacuum cleaners so that the conversation can be heard with the greatest possible clarity.
The firm headed by Tim Cook over the past year has seen FaceTime competitors like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams gaining more and more market share during the course of the pandemic, and it has focused its efforts on updating its service with all the elements and features incorporated into the competition.
Thus, the new version also includes SharePlay, a tool for listening to music or watching movies and television simultaneously with the rest of the users during a videocall, a move to take advantage of the growing popularity of this kind of activity during the pandemic.
Apple also announced another tool – called “Live Text” – for the iOS 15 operating system that automatically recognizes and transcribes text in photos ranging from phone numbers (on a business card, for instance) to text on signs in selfies to a whiteboard filled with notes. The new feature does not require the user to perform any special prompting, but rather automatically digitalizes text in photos, thus allowing users to interact with them.
Live Text, which operates using artificial intelligence and will be able to be used in seven different languages, is similar to what other tech firms already offer – including Google and Samsung – but now it will be available to the hundreds of millions of users of iPhones and iPads around the world.
Once the text in the photo has been transcribed, it can be copied into a new document.