On the very first day of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (or WWDC) being held from 22 Jun-26 Jun 2020, virtually, the company has announced several new features for its devices. The virtual event which can be accessed from any place in the world helped in Cupertino, California. In this event, Apple’s announcement included iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS, watchOS 7, macOS 10.16, and lastly of Apple’s future for its Mac laptops and desktops.
The event also featured the company’s big annual keynote where the company shows off all of their new updates coming soon to iOS, macOS, and other in-house build software. So, here is a quick rundown of all the highlights:
Let’s start with iOS 14:
The next version of iOS rolled out in preview mode to the developers with a public beta. It is expected to arrive sometime in July. The company announced several Interface changes, which includes:
– Siri: The interface of Siri has been rebuild in such a way that it can no longer take over the fullscreen. Also, it will be able to do speech-to-text transcription on the device for the sake of both efficiency and privacy.
– Messages: Users will be able to pin their most crucial conversations on the top of the message list. They can also set up notifications on noisy group messages to alert them only when their name is mentioned. Lastly, the keynote has been specially centric due to the 40% increase in emoji usage. The company has added several features to emoji including the one where they can wear masks.
– Widgets: Users will be able to add widgets live on their home-screen alongside your app icons. They will be no more buried away on Today’s screen.
– Maps: The new maps by Apple will be rolling out later this year in the UK, Canada, and Ireland. They will be soon getting cycling directions in areas including NYC, LA, SF Bay Area, Beijing, and Shanghai. These maps will also consider several things such as bike lanes and hills for the directions of electric vehicle owners.
– Picture-in-picture: Similar to iPad which has a picture-in-picture video playback since iOS 9 has been introduced to iPhones by the company. Users can switch apps when playing a video and it will continue to play in a small box. Users can also use it while having a video chat and can drag around the screen.
– App Library: The company has added a new home screen page that will show up after a user has swipe past the final page of the apps. The app will automatically sort and categorizes all the apps on the phone. It will also highlight apps that are mostly used.
– CarPlay: It will now have new wallpaper options with a handful of new built-in apps. These apps will focus on several things such as charging, parking, and food ordering.
– App Clips: The new tiny, lightweight, and fast, Applets will pop-up on demand. These will not require any manual installation or anything.
Next is iPad OS:
iPad OS is going to get most of the features alongside iOS 14. The OS will be getting news features of its own. Such as:
– Apple Pencil/Scribble: Apple Pencil now recognizes handwriting works on any text field. It allows users to write a quick note without the need to put the pencil down and type. Users will now be able to draw rough shapes such as octagons, stars, and arrows. The feature can then automatically convert to a proper computer-drawn shape.
– Universal Search: Apple has successfully refreshed the iPad search UI. It will now be able to dig deeper into apps such as Messages, Keynote, Files, and Mail.
– Face Sharing: A user will now be able to share their current watch face setup with others through Mail, Messages, and Safari.
– Multiple complications per app: From now on users will get multiple different watch face complications on the watchOS app.
– Sleep tracking: From now on, Apple’s smartwatch will be able to automatically detect if the user is sleeping. It will record this data and help them track their sleeping schedule.
– Handwashing detection: With the view of ongoing coronavirus crises, the company has launched a new feature for its apple watch. It will now be able to detect if the users have washed their hands. It will use an accelerometer to detect relevant motions and microphones to listen to the sounds of scrubbing. Additionally, once it detects the action of scrubbing, the watch will automatically start a countdown timer to help them ensure that they have done it for a full twenty seconds.
– Automatic device switching: AirPods can now be able to automatically detect and switch between different devices. For instance, a user can be playing a video on their iPad and they’ll automatically hear its audio from their AirPods. In case someone calls on your iPhone then they can automatically switch over accordingly.
– Spatial Audio: The pods will now have simulated surround sound. However, this feature will only be compatible with AirPods Pro. The feature utilizes AirPod’s built-in accelerometers to take the position of things around the user’s head to make it seem like the audio is fixed as per the real world.
– Adaptive lighting: From now on, Homekit will be able to automatically adjust the brightness and temperature of connected smart bulbs. This will allow things like cooler lights during working hours and warmer temperatures.
– Face recognition: The doorbell cameras will now be able to recognize faces that are known to let users know who is at their door via notifications on Homepod or AppleTV.
– Activity Zones: Apple users that have security camera setup through the HomeKit can now limit alerts. These alerts can be limited to specific sections of the video stream and motion alerts when something enters their backyard.
– Simplified privacy polices: Now, all the app developers will need to provide simplified highlights of the user data they are tracking and sharing with other third parties. The summary of this data will then be shown to the user before they download it in the iOS/macOS app stores.
– Approximate location: Users will now have the option to allow an app to roughly know your location but not exactly. They will be able to grant apps access to only their approximate location.
– Mic/Camera indicator: From now on iOS will show an on-screen indicator whenever an app is accessing their camera or microphone.
There has been rumored of this news for months now. Apple has finally announced that it will be switching from Intel to it’s in-house designed custom ARM-based CPUs. It has used them for years across its iPhone/iPad/Watch lineup. They will also bring a unique new level of performance while consuming less power. They will allow for other things such as Apple’s Secure Enclave to come to the Mac. The developers will require updating their applications to enable them to run natively on the new chipsets.
MacOS Big Sur:
Big Sur, the next build of macOS will include several small changes to make it look and feel a bit more like iOS. One of the changes includes rounded square icons across the App suite.
– Notification Center: Notifications and widgets can now be viewed into one unified view. To make it easier for users to clear out lots of notifications at once.
– Control center: MacOS will now have a dropdown option, similar to iOS, in the upper right area of the screen. It will provide one-click access which will display volume, brightness, WiFi controls, dark mode, and more options.
– New maps: The new design of Maps on macOS will support things such as guides, in-door maps, favorite locations, and others.
– Safari: The app will now monitor saved passwords and keep an eye for those that might’ve been exposed. Meanwhile, the Privacy Report button will break down what kind of data is being tracked by the site users is visiting.
– Overhauled extensions: The app’s extensions system is getting refreshed. It is focused on conveying and limiting data extension which developers can access. In case an extension is requesting the ability to do something such as access browsing history. They can be granted for a limited period. This is true for both specific sites or across all sites.