Amidst pandemic and the world largely shifting from its conventional patterns, Apple is one of the companies which decided to shift its conference to the online platform. I must say, the session was great and neatly executed. Anyways, let’s get on to things disclosed at the Event.
With Tim Cook opening the event as always, talked about Racism and how the unjust act which resulted in the death of George Floyd and affected the whole world.
The event was divided into the OS platforms which come under Apple ecosystem:
The other categories which were discussed:
Let’s start with iOS 14!
Apple has finally decided to introduce a few important things with the new update, including App Library, and Picture-In-Picture mode, along with improvisation in existing native apps.
App Library: Organize Apps As You Go
With storage space availability increasing, we have gotten the freedom to install the apps for your choice. With numerous apps installed on the iPhone, we get several app pages, due to which we tend to forget what is beyond the first few pages. This year, Apple has thought of a solution for the same, i.e. App Library.
With the App Library, you get to organize your apps in one simple and neat view. It is considered to be the easiest way to hide app pages. To organize, go to jiggle mode> tap the dots at the bottom>you can see a zoomed-out view of my app pages> tap on the checkmark at the bottom of the page to hide the pages you don’t need. This will make accessing App Library easy, a neat collection of the apps installed, sorted from A to Z.
The upper left section covers Suggestions, which includes the apps that you might need next by using on-device intelligence. On the right-hand side, you get Recently Added, the apps which you have recently installed from the App Store. Below them, you get an intelligently curated category of apps installed on your phone.
Widgets: Useful More Than Ever
Widgets give you a sneak preview of information. However, they have been the same for a while. Therefore, Apple decided to make a few changes by allowing you to get widgets in a variety of sizes. Now with iOS 14, you get the freedom to move the widgets to Home Screen and placed them between installed apps.
To do the same, go to Today’s view and tap and hold a widget and drag it to the Home Screen. If you want to add more, tap on + icon on the upper left corner of the screen and get the Widgets Gallery. Select drag and drop the desired widget.
With Smart Stack option, Apple has made widgets accessible more than ever. You can choose the Smart Stack and swipe through change the widgets as per your preferences.
Picture in Picture Mode: Finally Making Its Way In
Finally, PiP has made its way on the iPhone. iPhone users have been waiting for this for a long time. Now, you can access apps on iPhone while watching a video; then you don’t need to pause it. The video will enter the Picture in Picture mode as soon as you get to Home screen. So, now launch other applications or move between them, the video will stay right on the screen. You can drag it to any part of the screen or pinch to zoom it to make it bigger. Also, the audio keeps playing while the video is off-screen and you get to have controls to get back to full-screen playback.
Updates On Core Elements Of iOS
Siri: Compact and Robust Than Ever
Earlier, while using Siri, your iPhone switched to full-screen UI, which hid the current screen. iOS 14 changes that. Now Siri comes in with the new compact design, making launching apps, asking for weather updates seamless. You can get to the website of your choice with ease plus can get weather updates like normal notifications.
Moreover, you can now send an audio message via Siri. With the help of the neural engine’s power, now dictation on-device is possible. , making it accurate and ensuring privacy.
Translate: Conversations Easier Than Before
Siri will be able to help more if you deal with multilingual people, as in iOS 14, Apple will introduce an app Translate. This application is targeted at making conversations easier than ever. One of the best things is the app can be used offline, which ensures privacy.
Apple has used on-device machine learning and a robust Neural Engine to ensure you can translate your text as well as a voice between any combinations of 11 languages. Including English. Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian.
Just tap on the microphone and speak your query or question, it will convert into the desired language almost instantly. You can get to conversation mode by turning the phone in landscape, making the conversation easy to understand. With a single microphone button and intuitive interface, the app is one of the best additions to iOS this year.
Messages: Pin Conversations, Inline Replies, and New Memoji Stickers
Messages also got a few additional features introduced, mainly to improvise the way we communicate. From pinning important conversations on top, inline replies and mentions in Group messages to new memojis stickers are few things added for more interactive conversations.
You can pin your important messages and can always track your messages with awesome animation on the pin. In iOS 14 Memoji comes with 20 new hair and headwear styles to define your profession, hobby and personality. Along with it comes face coverings and age options.
Maps: Guides, Cycling, & EV Routing
In iOS 14, Maps will come with Guides for places to shop, eat, travel, and explore the cities you are in. Save these guides and access them later. Furthermore, whenever new places are added, the guides are updated automatically.
This year, Maps gets Cycling option, which enables you to ride your bike with easy navigation to paths, roads and bike lanes. It also shows you if the path ahead is elevated, or has stairs, steep passage or a flat one. You can check whether the road is busy or quiet.
EV Routing is now an option for electric car owners. With this feature enabled, Maps will show you the route including charging stops compatible to your car, taking into consideration the elevation and weather.
Additionally, Apple is adding congestion and green zones, indicating air quality and traffic of the place.
CarPlay: Bye-Bye Car Keys
With CarPlay, you don’t need to worry about keeping the car keys with you, as you can unlock your car by tapping your iPhone via NFC. Moreover, you get security benefits as well, as they stay in Secure element of iPhone, you can control them remotely via iCloud. You can also share your digital keys with people you entrust via iMessage. Also, you can limit the permission from “Restricted Driving Access” to “Unlock To Drive” as per your preference. As of now, this feature comes with the 2021 BMW 5 Series.
This feature will be available in iOS 13 as well so that you can get benefitted by the feature soon.
App Store: App Clips: Shorter Version Of Apps, Less than 10 MB
Another great feature which we must be excited to use is App Clips. App Clips are light and fast version of the app and are easily accessible. App Clips denotes speed; they start with a card popping up and with a single tap, you can launch App Clip. If you are making payments, you don’t need to enter your card details, all you need to do is click the ApplePay button. Also, don’t need to sign in, just use Sign-in with Apple.
Apple promises that App Clips won’t clutter your home screen and can be accessed via App Library. You can launch App Clips from Safari, Messages, Maps, QR codes and App Clip code.
Read Also: Tips For Making FaceTime Group Calls Better
Apart from things added to iOS, such as Maps, Siri, Widgets and Messages, this year iPadOS has more to offer. Let’s know what it is:
Improvement In Apps
Sidebar: A Whole New Way To Customise Your Apps
You can browse and organize photos with ease with the introduction of the sidebar. This brings the main functionality of the app in a single location. To organize your collection, drag a photo to the sidebar and drop it to the desired location.
This sidebar is available in Apple Music, Notes, Files which opens a whole new way to access your folder. Also, the toolbars are streamlined with the addition of new drop-down menus and a button to access a lot of functions.
Calls: No More Overpowering The Screen
Earlier calls used to obscure from the content you are viewing on your device as the call takes the screen over completely. However, with iPadOS 14, the incoming call will appear as a compact notification on the top of the screen if your device is unlocked. You can tap to answer or flick it away to dismiss. This will come to iPhones as well.
Search: Rediscovering Search
Search is one of the useful features; however, just like Siri and Incoming calls, it takes your whole screen and takes you out of context, not now. With iPadOS 14, Search comes with a new, compact design and the changes brought to it will make you feel it as brand-new.
Now search on the iPad will be a single destination to initiate all your searches. With all-new redefined search, you get a better app launcher, best to find contacts to message, can search in apps such as Messages, Mail, Keynotes and Files. Also, you can start web searches from here.
Apple Pencil: Handwriting Gets Prettier
No matter how incredible it is to work with Apple Pencil is but when it comes to making changes to handwriting. However, with iPadOS 14, you get Scribble, which makes handwriting as powerful as typed text. Scribble allows you to handwrite into any text field, be it notes, reminders, or address bar on Safari. It also recognizes if you write down a phone number or address.
Furthermore, you can select your handwriting and select copy as text option from Callout bar and paste to another location with ease.
Automatic Switching: Seamless Device Connectivity
This year, Apple introduces a new feature which allows AirPods to be used seamlessly between devices, without you manually switching in between.
Spatial Audio: AirPods Pro Only
With advanced Spatial Audio Algorithms for AirPods Pro, AirPods can now deliver movie theatre-like experience. By applying directional audio filters and adjusting frequencies each ear receives, Apple claims to create immersive surround sound. AirPods Pro also comes with accelerometer and gyroscopes to track your head’s motion to maintain the sound quality and better experience.
You can share your Audio on Apple TV using AirPods and would notify you when you need to charge your AirPods.
macOS: Big Sur; Replicating iOS
Look and Feel Of macOS: Drop Dead Gorgeous
With macOS Big Sur, Mac interface will be clearer than ever, since all the icons are redesigned and are inline with the Apple ecosystem. With sidebar and toolbar, Finder, Mail and other native apps have become more accessible than ever. The menu bar is revamped and is now translucent and takes on the color of the desktop picture. This all will bring focused, the fresh and less complex feel of the interface.
Control Centre is brought to Mac as well and takes control right on the menubar. You can change the display settings, sound settings, turn to the dark mode and widgets.
Just like iOS 14, Mac also comes with new Maps and Messages’ features. Moreover, you can route maps on Mac and send them to the iPhone where it is needed.
Safari: Better Tab Management
Now users can use more tabs on screen and can identify tabs with favicons. Users can also get a preview of the tab if you hover their mouse over it. Safari also allows you to customize Safari start page, background image, iCloud tabs, a reading list. Safari also comes with inbuilt translation; it will identify if the website is not in your native language; it will add translations icons in the smart search field; you can change it.
Now Safari comes with Privacy Report feature to display every cross-site tracker being blocked. This year user may experience better performance, better page loading of Safari than ever. Apple claims Safari to be 50% faster than Google Chrome when loading frequently visited websites. Apple is adding support for web extensions API, for the seamless integration of extensions on Safari. In Safari, you can choose which sites each extension can use, work with and allow them to access it for a day, just for the website or allow it on every website.
Watch Face: Customize & Share Watch Face
With watchOS 7, developers get a chance to introduce multiple complications. Therefore, you can customize the watch face as per your preferences and apps that you use. You can also share a personalized watch face.
Maps: Cycling Directions
With Cycling directions, you get a variety of routes with information such as distance, time and bike lanes, same as iPadOS 14 and iOS 14. This will make travelling on your bike super easy, especially when you have a Cellular variant.
Workout: Dance Away Your Calories
With watchOS 7, the Workout app now tracks dance workouts and records accurate calories via data from accelerometer & heart rate sensor. Also, Activity app on the iPhone, which allows you to track your progress, is completely redesigned for watchOS 7 and now named as Fitness.
Sleep Tracking: Sound Sleep Or Not
Another feature which should have made its way to the Apple ecosystem a long time ago is Sleep Tracking. Apple Watch will use a machine learning model to detect movement and track your sleep. Moreover, it will also help you achieve the ideal sleep goal via notifications and dimming the light of your Apple Watch or Apple iPhone. You will get a report in the morning telling you about the percentage of battery and weather updates.
Handwashing: Need Of The Hour
One of the best features added to Apple Watch is hand washing. As soon as you start the handwashing movement, Apple Watch automatically detects it and senses how long you wash. It shows a countdown of 20s with bubble graphic, and if you don’t wash them till the desired time, your Apple Watch will send you a gentle reminder for the same.
tvOS: Another Original Show Foundation, Multi-User Support & Picture-in-Picture
tvOS is coming with multi-user support so that you can seamlessly switch between profiles so that you can resume your games, right where you left off. Apple will also introduce support for Xbox Adaptive Controller and Xbox Elite 2 wireless controller. Just like iOS 14, you can use Picture-in-Picture mode in tvOS 14 as well.
Smart Home: Alliance With Google, Amazon & Others
Apple has broadened its vision to what a smart home must look like with Home-Kit compatible devices. Therefore it has joined hands with Google, Amazon and other companies to do the same. This will make adding new devices to your smart home ecosystem easier than ever.
Just add an accessory and get suggestions for useful automation so that you use it to set the device as per your requirements.
Lights: Adaptive Lighting
iOS 14 comes with adaptive lighting, which changes the color of temperature light throughout the day.
Cameras: Activity Zones, Facial Recognition and Richer Notifications
HomeKit cameras and video doorbells allow you to define Activity Zones, which alerts you when someone sets foot in the important areas defined. Other ones are Facial Recognition and Richer Notifications telling you who’s on the door if that’s someone tagged in your Photos apps.
You might remember the migration of Mac from PowerPC to MacOS X to Intel. Now it is up for a significant change again. This year it is shifting to Apple Silicon. Now the Mac machines about to launch in 2020 will come with Apple-designed custom chips.
With the changes in Xcode 12 framework and Universal 2 app binaries, the transition from Intel to Silicon will not be difficult for App developers. Also, with the use of Rosetta 2 translation tech, users will be able to use current Mac apps on Apple silicon-based machines without any altercations. Another announcement indicated that you could run Linux on the new version of Mac with ease.
Location Data & Recording Indicator: : Take Control Back
Don’t want to share your precise location, share your approximate location with apps
Whenever you are being recorded, you will get to know. If an app is using your mic or camera, you will get an indication in the status bar.
Tracking Protection: ISP Comes To Apps
Safari already comes with Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which is quite useful, and it will now help with tracking in apps as well. With new upgrades, App Store policy will include apps will need permission before tracking you across websites and apps by other companies.
App Privacy: Overview Of Privacy Practice An App Follows
Apple introduced labels for app permissions to let people know what data apps collect before downloading. The feature shows you these labels under two categories “Data Linked To You” and “Data Used To Track You” This information will be available on the App Store under the highlights of their privacy information.
So, these are some of the bittersweet additions that can be seen in the new version of iOS, macOS, iPadOS and other platforms of Apple ecosystem. What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments section below