WWDC 2021 takes place today, and as always, Apple has a lot of news to announce at the event.
Without the hardware to announce, it’s not the most exciting WWDC of all time. But this is the best we’ve learned from the company’s virtual meetings.
iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
Today Apple released iOS and iPadOS 15, a big surprise!
This update brings useful new features. These include text-in-picture recognition, new AR features in Apple Maps, improved notifications, official ID integration, FaceTime background blur, and more.
The changes to iPadOS may seem a little more interesting, making the iPad more reliable as a ‘real’ computer. Apple announced improvements to multitasking and widgets. Translation of ‘Quick Notes’ on-screen text that can be accessed from any app. and even the ability to code apps with Swift Playgrounds and publish them directly to the App Store.
iOS and iPadOS 15 are available to developers today. There will be a public beta to follow before the software is officially released in the fall.
You can read more about everything Apple announced with iOS 15 here, and a roundup of Apple’s iPad OS updates here, but it’s worth highlighting a few key features…
Video call with people on Android and Windows.
Finally, you can use FaceTime with people outside the Apple ecosystem. iOS 15 lets you create links to FaceTime calls, meaning anyone with the link can join through a browser.
It seems that Apple has no intention of releasing the FaceTime app for other platforms. And it’s not clear if you can initiate a call from your browser. (Which seems improbable), but it’s still nice to see Apple reach out a little further. hardware ecosystem
Your iPhone can be your ID.
Apple is working with the TSA to let you use your iPhone as an ID at some US airports. scan your driver’s license And your data is encrypted and stored on your phone. which you can present the next time you travel around the country.
This feature appears to be in its infancy. But it can be a paradise for frequent travelers. especially if it is used internationally. The company also works with hotels to make your phone (or Apple Watch) work as a room key. Which is fine because I always lose these things.
Privacy and iCloud+ updates
Apple Announces Massive Privacy Updates As well as hiding your IP address by default with Safari and Apple Mail, Siri now performs most of the audio processing on your device for basic commands. So your data is on your phone.
The company says one of the main concerns about using a voice assistant is uploading your data online. And this update should ease some of those fears.
The company also announced iCloud+, which includes some privacy-focused features. Most notably, there are VPN services called Private Relay and Hide My Email, which basically let you set up multiple burner email addresses that will forward messages to your primary address.
Siri can work on third-party devices. (But you need a HomePod)
Apple shows off Siri voice control working on third-party devices This includes the Ecobee thermostat. These devices will route audio through the HomePod to ensure your data is sent securely. You’ll need a HomePod.
Sharing health information with family members
Apple is making it easier for family members to monitor each other’s health metrics. The company announced today that iOS 15 will allow users to share their health data privately with trusted people.
The company gave some examples that might be helpful, such as “Elderly parents who share activities or heart health information with family members. Selected spouses share insights on fertility. or people with Parkinson’s disease who want to share movement data with a physical therapist.”
Users can decide what information can be shared.
The company also announced a feature New ‘Walking Stability’ that allows users with mobility issues to track their movements. and assess their balance and stability to help reduce the risk of falling
MacOS Monterey Brings Seamless Multi-Monitor Setup With ‘Universal Control’
The next version of Monterey of macOS adds a new feature called Universal Control that lets users use a single mouse and keyboard on Mac and iPad and seamlessly switch between multiple devices.
Apple shows how you can move your mouse to the edge of your MacBook screen for a few seconds and automatically associate it with your iPad. You can drag and drop photos and files between devices this way.
AirPlay to Mac
MacOS Monterey and iOS 15 let you use AirPlay to stream content from your phone or iPad to your Mac or MacBook. But we expect it to be very useful.
Safari gets a new modern design and extension for mobile devices.
Safari is getting a whole new look that can automatically change colors depending on the site you’re visiting. sweet new design
Apple has also added support for web extensions on iOS and iPad, allowing you to greatly expand the capabilities of the mobile browser. You can also define the sites that the extension works on as well.
No M2 MacBook Pros
One of the most famous rumors in this WWDC is that Apple will announce a new MacBook Pro alongside an updated and more powerful M2 processor. no such luck Although this hardware will arrive sometimes. But chances are this hardware won’t happen until the summer.
If you want to see all events We’ve embedded it below, or you can watch it on YouTube here.
Alternatively, Apple also made a 3-minute video recap:
Did you know we have a consumer technology newsletter? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe here.