May 18, 2021

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Bloomberg: iOS 15 to Bring Redesigned iPad Home Screen, Updated Lock Screen, New Notification and Privacy Options

Apple will introduce several new features and enhancements in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 later this year, including a redesigned Home Screen for iPad, an updated Lock Screen, and new notification preferences for users, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

iOS 15 icon mock banner


From the report:

Apple Inc. is readying a major revamp of its mobile software that will include an upgrade to how users handle notifications, a redesigned ‌iPad‌ ‌Home Screen‌, an updated Lock Screen, and additional privacy protections for its flagship devices, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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The company is planning a new feature that will allow users to set different notification preferences, such as if the phone makes a sound or not, depending on their current status. The enhancement will come in the form of a new menu that lets users select if they are driving, working, sleeping or custom categories of their choosing. The menu will be shown on the updated Lock Screen and in Control Center, the iPhone and ‌iPad‌’s menu for quickly accessing settings.

There will also be an option to set automatic replies to messages depending on their status. That will be an improvement over the current auto-reply feature, which is only currently available while driving. Apple has added some unique notifications features such as Do Not Disturb and Sleep Mode, but this will mark the first time the company offers a systemwide feature for changing notifications depending on a user’s status.

According to the report, Apple is working to bring parity to the ‌iPad‌ ‌Home Screen‌, by allowing users to place widgets in any part of the screen, iPhone-style, rather than the current setup that limits placement to the Today View column on the left-hand side. The company also plans to allow users to replace the entire app grid with only ‌widgets‌, for additional customization.

Codenamed “Sky,” Apple’s planned software updates otherwise read like selective enhancements rather than major changes. For example, today’s report indicates that Apple is working on upgrades to iMessage, with the eventual goal of acting as more of a social network that is in a better position to compete with WhatsApp, although details are scant on what those changes could be.

Elsewhere, Apple is said to be working on introducing a new privacy menu that will show users which apps are silently collecting data about them. The move sounds like an additional bulwark against apps which attempt to skirt protections that Apple is introducing in iOS 14.5, such as its App Tracking Transparency rules.

According to Gurman, Apple is planning a more minor update to macOS after its redesign last year with macOS 11 Big Sur, alongside updates to watchOS and tvOS.

Apple typically releases new versions of iOS and iPadOS around September, near to the launch of new iPhones, but the company likes to preview upcoming software features during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.