Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference began with sneak peeks at iOS 15, MacOS Monterey, WatchOS 8, and other new products.
Apple revealed updates to many of its operating systems, including iOS 15, during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. macOS Monterey, formerly known as MacOS 12, was also revealed, together with WatchOS 8 and iPadOS 15. (However, the rumored HomeOS failed to make a debut.)
All Apple OS upgrades have developer betas accessible now, but the general public will have to wait for public betas, which are expected to arrive this fall.
With CEO Tim Cook at the helm, Apple introduced several new features for established products like FaceTime, iMessage, and Apple Maps, as well as a bevvy of new health features, Siri and AirPods improvements, and a new iCloud Plus service with stronger privacy controls.
For the second year in a row, the conference is entirely virtual and runs from June 7 to June 11. Meanwhile, here’s everything Apple announced on the first day of WWDC 21.
Make sure you’re ready for the Apple betas.
Apple’s iOS 15, iPadOS 15, WatchOS 8, and MacOS Monterey are all available to developers today, continuing the company’s practise of making new software available to developers as soon as it is announced.
The public beta will be accessible in July, with a full release scheduled for the fall.
Apple has released a new Portraits watch face for the Apple Watch.
- Apple Health will track the danger of falling and improve the sharing of health data.
- At WWDC 2021, Apple will make Siri available to third-party gadget makers.
- Users of Apple AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will be able to use the Find My Headphones feature.
Apple: Don’t forget about all of our hard work.
Apple has been under a lot of scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers concerned about its expanding financial and business influence over the last year. In a legal battle with Epic Games, Apple was obliged to defend its App Store and the up to 30% commission it charges on many in-app purchases.
We weren’t expecting Apple to openly reply to everything that’s been going on, but at its WWDC keynote on Monday, the firm did take a few minutes to remind users of all the technology it makes available to developers. Sound isolation, scanning technologies, and the Swift programming language are all part of this.
Apple’s head of developer relations, Susan Prescott, said, “We invented Swift and all of these other technologies and frameworks for one reason: to help you build the best possible apps and the best location to discover those apps.”
Apple also announced new App Store features, including a new “in-app events” feature that would appear on the App Store homepage. In-app events will also be included in App Store search, a new App Store widget for iPhones and iPads, and the product page for an app in the store, according to Apple.
Finally, Apple revealed Xcode Cloud, a new capability that allows developers to test programmes across many devices. Once a developer uploads their code to Apple’s servers, it will be instantly evaluated across many devices and made easily available to beta testers, according to the company.
Even though Apple claims it is speedier and has greater battery life than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s on-Mac web browser has always been a distant second.
Apple said it’s revamping Safari in MacOS Monterey, making it sleeker to look at and providing more device sync options. Apple claims that tabs synchronise between devices.
On the iPhone, Apple said that the tab bar will be moved to the bottom of the page rather than the top. This, according to Apple, makes it easier to find and utilise.
Safari’s desktop software extensions will also be available on the iPhone and iPad, according to Apple. Extensions, according to Apple, can share code across an iPhone, iPad, and desktop, making them easier to develop.
The next major update for MacOS is Monterey
Many of the features listed for Apple’s next big Mac software update are the ones you heard about on iOS 15, which may sound like a broken record at this point. For instance, consider the new FaceTime features and quick share. Of course, Apple’s new Focus feature is included.
Apple’s Macs will also get a new “Universal Operate” tool to assist control its iPads. It’ll function in a straightforward manner; simply move the mouse cursor to the side of the screen, and it’ll begin operating the other device. Apple stated that cut/copy/paste works as well, so you can transfer files from one Mac to another.
More Siri, more destinations
Apple’s voice assistant has previously only been available on the company’s iPhones, iPads, Macs, and HomePods. Apple has now announced that it will collaborate with third-party companies to make Siri available on their devices as well. If your smart thermostat, for example, has a microphone and speaker, the firm will be able to integrate Siri into it.
Apple added a feature to the Apple Watch a few years ago that allows you to call for help if you fall. The Health app will now determine your chances of falling in the future, according to the company. Apple claims that the new “steadiness” data item is scientifically confirmed and is based on how you walk throughout the day. If your chances of falling increase, Apple says it will send you an alarm.
Other elements in Apple’s Health app are being developed to aid in the decoding of health data. The business says it’s adding “trends” to its Health app, which will display how active you are (or aren’t). It’s also beefing up the laboratories portion of its Health app with additional useful data.
Apple is also introducing a feature that allows you to share your health data with your family. People will now be able to share health data with other iPhone users and grant them access to any data they desire, according to the business. Apple claims that this will be especially useful for households with senior members and children.
iCloud Plus for privacy
Apple is expanding its service offerings, this time focusing on privacy. The new iCloud Plus is intended to help you hide your data from the internet.
For example, it will now generate obfuscated email addresses for you in order to prevent spammers from contacting you. It’s also developing a “relay” system that masks your information while you browse the web.
Privacy, privacy, privacy
Apple has been emphasising privacy as a means to differentiate itself from its competitors. Apple announced in iOS 15 that it will begin masking users’ IP addresses, which means that corporations won’t be able to identify and track you based on your internet address.
Apple has stated that IP obfuscation will be available in the Mail App and Safari, but it’s safe to assume that this will be expanded.
Create iPad applications
Swift Playgrounds was created by Apple as a tool to teach people how to code. Apple, on the other hand, is now allowing developers to create apps.
Within Swift Playgrounds, users will be able to write code, test it, and even submit apps to the App Store, according to Apple.
Apple hasn’t yet taken the next step of bringing its Xcode developer tools to the iPad, but this is a step in the right direction. It will be fascinating to observe how developers react to it.
Apple revamps iPad multitasking with shelves
The iPad has become more computer-like as its processing power has increased. However, it still favours the iPhone over the Mac.
Apple is changing the way multitasking works on the iPad, albeit it isn’t bringing it closer to the Mac. Apple announced that iPadOS 15 will include a “shelves” feature that will display open “windows” within an app. So the shelves in an email app may contain your open emails or draught messages.
Widgets for iPad are getting a makeover
Apple included widgets to its iPhone homepages with iOS 14 last year. Apple is doing the same thing with the iPad this year.
Of course, the iPad-based widgets have a distinct feel. Apple claims that its newest widgets will be larger, making interaction with them easier.
The iPad will also get Apple’s “App Library” functionality. However, unlike the iPhone, which requires multiple swipes to the right to get there, Apple is adding a “App Library” to the bottom dock.
Find My AirPods
Apple’s AirTags provided a new way to track gadgets, but the company is taking it a step further with Apple’s own accessories. AirPods will now send out a “bluetooth beacon” so that Find My Network devices can help you find them if you’re not near them, according to Apple.
And, just like with AirTags, the Find My app will help you determine the location of your AirPods Pro.
Apple also announced that the AirPods will have a “separation alarm,” which will send a notification to your phone if you forget your AirPods. There’s no news yet on whether they’ll make puppy dog eyes if you leave the AirPods at home alone for the evening.
Apple Maps has been attempting to compete with Google Maps and its Waze software since its inception in 2012. Apple Maps is getting a makeover this year, with more vivid visuals and additional detail, such as showing pedestrian walkways and turn lanes in the map while driving.
Apple is also incorporating augmented reality into its Apple Maps walking directions. This is something Google has been offering for a few years, but it’s yet another way Apple is attempting to catch up.
Apple’s Wallet software has long seemed more like a pipe dream than a reality. Apple is extending its Wallet app even further with iOS 15, adding corporate keycards and driver’s licences to the app. You can carry your ID in your iPhone, that’s correct. It’s up to you whether you want to use it or not, but Apple claims it’ll be encrypted and the TSA in the United States is already working on methods to accept it in airports.
In iOS 15, Apple is extending its artificial intelligence technologies in a big manner, with a feature called “Live Text.” When you click on text on the web or hold up the camera on a white board, it immediately recognises what you want to do with it.
Live Text, according to Apple, also works with its Photos app, tying its automatically created photo captions to the device’s spotlight search capability. So, instead of just showing photographs in the pictures app, you can search for “beach” in Spotlight and it will show you photographs there as well.
Many of us are drowning in notifications on our phones, and Apple claims to be working on a solution. The most significant update is “focus,” which lets you choose which apps can send you notifications at specified times. You may even make a home screen to match it.
FaceTime is now available to non-iPhone users
FaceTime is already a popular feature on Apple devices, thanks in part to the fact that it comes pre-installed. It also provides end-to-end encryption, which distinguishes it from SMS. Apple has a slew of updates planned for iOS 15 this year.
The greatest change is that FaceTime will now work on the web, allowing non-Apple users to engage in video conferences.