WWDC 2021

WWDC

This week Apple is holding their annual developers’ conference WWDC, and the keynote (where they make most of the significant consumer announcements) was on Monday. They announced details about this year’s versions of each of their OSs and a few other things during the keynote.

iOS

FaceTime

The thing that got the most attention during the iOS section of the keynote was FaceTime. IOS 15 FaceTime will start looking like a more conventional video communication platform because of features such as grid view and the ability to generate links to and schedule calls. The most prominent FaceTime feature announced was SharePlay. SharePlay will allow sharing of content in your Apple library, Apple Music and, TV+. It’ll also support apps that use the SharePlay API. SharePlay will also have a whiteboard and standard screen sharing.

These are all the apps that have SharePlay support:

SharePlay

iMessage also got a few updates, but there wasn’t anything huge. All photos collect sent in a thread will be contained in a gallery for easy viewing of photos, and all of Apple’s apps will get a shared with you section for content that people sent you in messages.

Notifications are another thing that got new features in iOS 15. The size of the app logo in notifications is being increased and notification priories. But the most prominent feature announced when it comes to notifications is focus mode. Focus Mode will allow you to set profiles and set notification profiles and your home screen configuration based on conditions like time and location.

There were also a bunch of if minor features added to IOS 15. Apple Maps will now show landmarks and elevation gradients on the main map view and show bike and bus lanes. The Wallet app will support hotel keys and state ID cards (ID cards will be supported by the TSA later this year).

iPadOS

Quick Notes

Quick Notes

Widgets on Home Screen

iPadOS got much less attention, but that doesn’t mean that there were no announcements. First off, Notes now allows @mentions to alert another person to a specific part of a note. Like some Android tablets, iPadOS Quick Notes will enable you to create notes from any app.

Privacy & iCloud

As usual at WWDC this year, Apple announced updates regarding privacy on Apple Devices and OSs’. The first privacy-related feature announced was Mail Privacy in Apple Mail which blocks tackers embed into emails. However, the most important element in IOS 15 is App Privacy reports similar to the App Nutrition Labels, but for apps you already have. Also, Siri can now do more on-device processing.

iCloud got a few updates, too; Digital Legacy will now let you add an authorized person who can access your account when you die. Apple also announced an additional feature that will be added to iCloud subscriptions under the branding iCloud+. iCloud+ includes Private Relay (which is essentially a VPN redirecting through TOR), unlimited HomeKit camera storage, and private email (like what you get when you use Sign in With Apple.

MacOS

First off, Apple announced that the new version of macOS would be named macOS Monterey. The coolest (macOS) feature announced at WWDC was Universal Control which allows you to control multiple iPad or Mac devices with one keyboard and mouse. A few minor additions include the ability to AirPlay to iMacs, a Safari redesign, and Shortcuts is getting ported to Mac.

WatchOS & HomeKit

The health app will now measure your gate and balance and alert you if there are any profound changes. It’ll also generate trend reports about your ongoing health and summarize and simplify labs sent into the health app. You’ll also be able to share your health data in the app with your doctor or family members.

Odds and Ends

In this section I’ll list off smaller changes and links to places where you can read more about WWDC.

  • AirPods will now be compatible with Find My and support Dolby Atmos.
  • WatchOS 8 will have a new Tai chi workout in Fitness+, a new mindfulness app, measure respiratory rate and get a bunch of messaging related updates
  • dev betas out now
  • public betas come out in July
  • coming this fall

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