New Apple iOS 15 update includes vital privacy feature you will not live to see

iPhones will get major changes later this year (Image: Gary Burchell)

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Apple has introduced a new function as part of its forthcoming iOS 15 update, which allows you to nominate people who can have access to your digital legacy when you die.

The update allows you to designate people as “legacy contacts” so they can access your account and personal information in the event of your death.

Apple Cloud Services vice-president Mike Abbott said this week: “We don’t often think about it, but it’s important that we can easily pass down information to family members or friends when we pass away.

“You’ll now be able to add people to your account as legacy contacts so when you’re gone, they can simply request access and your information can be passed along, quickly and easily.”

Apple's major iOS 15 updates also include more 'natural' FaceTime and ability to watch the same TV show as your friends
(Image: Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference)

In the past, Apple has usually required a court order and a grant of probate to allow access to its cloud storage in the UK.

To prevent the need for this, lawyers advise making “digital wills” that identify executors who can manage your digital estate.

Some platforms, such as Facebook and Google, already allow users to nominate someone who can access their account after their death, known as legacy contacts or trusted contacts.

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Thanks to this system twiddle, users will need to provide a copy of a death certificate and an access key to gain access to the account – but this will not include payment information or subscriptions.

It will also not allow access to a passcode-locked device, so this should be included in a digital will if you want someone to inherit your tech hardware.

The feature is one of a range of new additions that will transform the way Apple products work once iOS 15 arrives.

Other big revamps include:

  • More 'natural' FaceTime calls thanks to new audio and microphone settings which separate the user's voice from background sound
  • SharePlay experiences so friends and family can listen to music together or watch films and TV shows at the same time
  • Tools enabling users to set their 'Focus', blocking out other incoming notifications and displaying messages to others that they're not currently reachable
  • New look online browsing with a redesigned version of Safari
  • Ability to locate an image from the text it features or look up more information about things like landmarks and pets

  • Discover detailed walking directions via augmented reality in Apple Maps

The new iOS 15 operating system is expected to be available later this year.

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