iOS 15 launched today, and Google has taken the opportunity to announce some updates and improvements they have made to the iPhone and iPad apps so they take better advantage of the new operating system.

Focus Mode

Animated gif showing different Time Sensitive notifications for Google Maps, Google Tasks, Google Calendar and Google Home.

Google has announced that their notifications will now work with focus mode, with important notifications coming though, but most other notifications being suppressed.

For example, if you’re navigating somewhere with Google Maps, the app will still let you know when you need to make a turn or if there are changes to your route — like road closures or unexpected traffic. Focus mode won’t silence these helpful, timely reminders.

Similarly, the Google Home app will let you know if there’s an unfamiliar face at your door. And if you set a reminder in Google Tasks that’s linked to a specific time, like “take the cupcakes out of the oven at 11:45,” Tasks will still notify you.

But notifications that aren’t as urgent or don’t require immediate action will go right to the Notifications Center, where you can check them whenever is most convenient for you.

The improvements will start rolling out in the coming weeks across Gmail, Meet, Tasks, Maps, Home and many other Google apps.

Bigger widgets for iPad

Animated gif of XL iPad widgets featuring a surfer at sunset in Google Photos and a “Dance Hits” playlist in YouTube Music.

In the coming weeks, Google Photos and YouTube Music will roll out extra large versions of their popular widgets so you can easily access some of your best Memories and favorite music on your iPad Home Screen.

Easier access to Google on iOS

Animated gif showing a search for musician Tate McRae in Spotlight Search and tapping on the result to open YouTube Music.

Starting today, if you search for your favourite song in Spotlight, you can start playing it directly in YouTube Music.

Of course, to access these new features you need to be running iOS 15, which should be rolling out to your handset today.

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