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Apple quietly promoted an excellent iPhone feature I never knew existed


And his phone tells him where they are.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/ZDNET

When you buy a new phone, do you pore over every new feature within it? Or do you instantly start to use it in the very same way you used your previous phone?

I tend toward the latter.

Occasionally, there’ll be a new feature that makes me smile — in admiration or mere gratitude.

Also: Three iPhone 16 features that would win me over from Android

Most of the time, however, I’ll realize that the new phone’s camera takes (perhaps) very slightly better pictures than the previous one did.

But I’m feeling oddly moved by a new feature Apple has only just decided to promote. With a quite arresting and surprisingly long ad.

The feature is called Precision Finding and it’s an iPhone 15 thing.

The idea is that when you’re in a crowded environment you can use your phone to discover precisely where your friends are.

In this particular ad, someone is heading to a Star Wars convention. Naturally, they’ve decided to dress up — as a Mandalorian.

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We know he’s a big Star Wars fan because his cat is called Leia.

He makes his journey to the convention on foot. Coincidentally, this allows Apple to create scenes featuring the phone’s water-resistant quality and its ability to offer Apple Pay.

But I knew about all these.

What I didn’t know was that it could help you veer through hordes of the behomaged to commune with fellow Mandalorians.

It’s a blessedly simple feature. You go to the Find My app, tap on the People tab, and tell the app to do its job and find the people you need to see.

If you’re within a reasonable distance of said friend, they’ll get a notification that you’re looking for them. Even more helpful, an arrow on your iPhone 15 screen will guide you in their precise direction. It’ll even tell you how far away they are.

I imagine many people will have been in precisely such a situation once or twice in their lives.

Also: How to find out if an AirTag is tracking you

You’re at a concert or a ballgame. Perhaps you’ve gone to the restroom after the show and suddenly can’t find your wife/lover/lovely person you’ve only just met.

How absurdly helpful that your phone can guide you to them, as if you’re on a leash.

No, I never knew about this. Somehow, Apple’s marketing of iPhone 15 seems to focus on yet another improved camera, which made me feel the phone itself wasn’t much improved.

The question, though, is whether such a small feature could, even now, persuade someone to buy an iPhone 15.

iPhone 16 is coming. It may, or may not, have some sparkling feature that makes the phone entirely irresistible.

Also: The best iPhone models you can buy right now (including the iPhone 15)

I tend to lean toward the “may not” side of that one, so any sort of charming ad might just entice me to settle for an iPhone 15 when it’s time to upgrade from my iPhone 12.

Can I find a friend to agree with me on that?

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