For the first time ever, Apple held its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) exclusively online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As usual, the tech giant showed off all the latest updates to iOS, macOS, and other software in the big keynote. One thing missing, however, was hardware. This year, Apple didn’t have any new Mac or gadgets to unveil but it did announce something that’s just as big.
In case you don’t want to rewatch the whole WWDC 2020 stream online, here’s a rundown of the highlights from the event.
The latest OS update for iPhones will be arriving later this year. It also introduces new features such as customizing widgets on the home screen, a new App Library for organizing apps, and Picture-in-picture for watching videos while using other apps.
More customization options for Memojis are also coming with the update. Users will be able to choose more age options, accessories like face masks, and emotions.
Siri gets a new look, too, in iOS 14. The virtual assistant will no longer take up the whole screen when summoned. In addition, Siri will come with new translation features. which works with the new Translate app.
iPadOS will be getting most of the features iOS 14 will be bringing, but it gets a few specific upgrades of its own. First, there’s going to be a new “universal search” for iPad so users won’t have to open different apps to find what they’re looking for.
Another update is a feature called Scribble, which is basically handwriting recognition with the Apple Pencil. It will automatically convert scribbling in any field to text.
AirPods can now automatically switch between multiple devices to whichever device starts playing audio. Users won’t have to manually select the source or go through their device’s settings.
Meanwhile, AirPods Pro gets a new Spatial Audio feature, which simulates surround sound.
WatchOS 7 is getting a slew of new features, including Face Swapping so you can share current watch faces with others. You can easily add watch faces to your Apple Watch, too, through social media.
For fitness, the Apple Watch will soon be able to track dancing with its gyroscope and accelerometer. Additionally, it will introduce Sleep Tracking, which automatically detects when you’re sleeping.
The watch will also have a relevant handwashing detection feature. Using machine learning and the watch’s mic, it will listen for sounds of splashing water to confirm that you are washing your hands. A countdown timer will appear to make sure you’re doing it for 20 seconds.
macOS Big Sur
The next major desktop software update, named macOS Big Sur, sees a big design change, making it look a lot like iOS and iPadOS. The update gets similar features, too, such as widgets, grouping messages, pinned conversations, improved Maps, and editing Memojis on desktop.
Apple’s own in-house processors for Macs
Apple is switching from Intel to custom ARM-based CPUs. The company says this will bring a “whole new level of performance” for its computers. This is a big change in terms of hardware as it is for software. The Apple-built chips will allow Macs to run iPhone and iPad apps, which is a huge deal.
Visit www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/06/wwdc20-highlights to learn more.