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WWDC 2021: Apple’s Annual Developer Conference Summarized
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 updates have developer betas accessible now, but the general public will have to wait for public betas expected to arrive this fall.
With CEO Tim Cook in the lead, Apple introduced new features for current products like FaceTime, iMessage, and Apple Maps and a raft of new health features and Siri improvements during its major keynote talk.
Here are all the major announcements at the WWDC summarized.
Apple beta release for iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, and macOS
Apple's iOS 15, iPadOS 15, WatchOS 8, and macOS Monterey are all available to developers today, continuing the company's practice of making new software accessible to developers as soon as it is announced.
The public beta will be accessible in July, with a full release scheduled for the fall.
Safari Web Browser Redesigned
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 secondary consideration.
Apple says it's revamping Safari in macOS Monterey, making it sleeker to look at and providing more device sync options. Apple claims that tabs synchronize between devices.
On the iPhone, Apple said that the tab bar would be moved to the bottom of the page rather than the top. This, according to Apple, makes it easier to find and utilize.
Safari's desktop software extensions will also be available on the iPhone and iPad, according to Apple. Extensions, according to Apple, may share code across an iPhone, iPad, and PC, making them easier to build.
macOS Monterey, with new features
When you look at the list of improvements for Apple's next major Mac software update, you'll see that many of them are similar to what you heard about iOS 15. For instance, consider the new FaceTime capabilities and quick sharing. Of course, Apple's new Focus feature is included too.
Apple's Macs will also get a new "Universal Operate" tool to assist control its iPads. It'll function straightforwardly; move the mouse pointer to the side of the screen, and it'll begin operating the other device. Apple stated that cut/copy/paste works, so you may transfer files from one Mac to another.
Apple said Universal Control works across multiple devices so that you can drag an image across an iPad, MacBook, and to an iMac all on the same desk, if you want.
Siri extended to more devices
Apple's voice assistant had previously only been accessible on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and HomePods. Apple has now announced that it will collaborate with third-party firms to make Siri available on their devices. If your smart thermostat, for example, does have a microphone and speaker, the firm will be able to integrate Siri into it.
Apple has stated that all Siri interactions would occur within your house, eliminating the need for an internet connection.
New features in the Health app
Apple added a function 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 give you an alarm.
Other elements in Apple's Health app are being developed to aid in the decoding of health data. The company 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 lab’s portion of its Health app with additional useful data.
The Health app, for example, will explain what each data point means and if it's within anticipated ranges the next time you undergo a blood test.
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.
Apple claims that all of this information is encrypted and cannot be accessed by the company.
iCloud Plus with privacy features
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 instance, it will now generate obfuscated email addresses for you to prevent firms from spamming you. It's also developing a "relay" system that masks your information as you browse the web. When you use Apple's relay system, your internet traffic will be routed via two relay systems, disguising your data even from Apple.
According to Apple, these functionalities will be included in iCloud at the same pricing as they are today. As a result, many users will have it pre-installed when it comes later this year.
App building on the iPad
Apple created Swift Playgrounds as a tool to educate people on how to code. Apple, on the other hand, is now allowing developers to create apps.
According to Apple, within Swift Playgrounds, users will be able to develop code, test it, and even submit apps to the App Store.
Apple hasn't yet taken the next step of bringing its Xcode development tools on the iPad, but this is a step in the right direction. It will be fascinating to observe how developers react to it.
iPad multitasking with shelves
The iPad has become more computer-like as its processing power has increased. However, it still more like the iPhone over the Mac.
Apple is changing how multitasking works on the iPad, albeit it isn't bringing it closer to the Mac. Apple said that iPadOS 15 would have a "shelves" feature that would display open "windows" within an app. So the shelves in an email app may contain your open emails or draft messages.
Apple claims that this will make multitasking on the iPad much simpler.
Find my AirPods
Apple's AirTags provided a new way to track gadgets, but the firm 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, much as with AirTags, the Find My app will help you determine the whereabouts of your AirPods Pro.
Apple also announced that the AirPods would include a "separation alarm," which will send a warning to your phone if you forget your AirPods.
Many of us are drowning in alerts on our phones, and Apple claims to be working on a solution. The most significant update is "focus," which lets you choose which applications can give you alerts at specified times. You may even make a home screen to match it.
A "work focus," for example, would allow email and messaging applications to send you notifications while keeping Facebook silent.
Apple's chief of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said, "Focus is a new method to fit your device to your present attitude with focus." "All you need to do now is decide what you want to concentrate on. You may schedule business or personal activities into your day."
FaceTime for non-iPhone users
FaceTime is already a popular feature on Apple devices because 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.
FaceTime will now operate on the web, allowing individuals to engage in video calls even if they don't have an Apple device. FaceTime users may send a link to their friends, who can then click on it to be sent to a site that appears like the FaceTime program on an iPhone.
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