Apple WWDC 2021: the 15 biggest announcements

Apple just wrapped up its WWDC 2021 keynote, and it was jam-packed with news and announcements, including our first looks at iOS 15, the new macOS Monterey, big improvements to FaceTime, and more.

Our live blog has moment-by-moment commentary on what Apple announced from Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn. But if you just want to know the big-ticket items from the show, we’ve got you covered right here.

iOS 15 brings big improvements to FaceTime, updates to notifications, and more

Apple announced iOS 15, which brings improvements to FaceTime such as spatial audio, a new “SharePlay” feature that lets you share media with people on FaceTime virtually, updates to Messages, a new look for notifications, the ability to set different “Focus” statuses, updates to Memories in Photos, a redesign to the weather app, and much more.

Apple is building video and music sharing into FaceTime

Apple’s new SharePlay feature will let you watch or listen to content with others virtually. Apple is also introducing a SharePlay API so that other developers can build apps that support the feature.

Apple is going to use AI to read all the text in your photos

Apple’s new Live Text will digitize text in your photos, which can let you copy and paste text from a photo, for example, or call a phone number that’s in a photo. Apple says it uses “on-device intelligence” for the feature.

You’ll soon be able to use your iPhone as your ID at the airport

Image: Apple

Apple’s Wallet will soon let you store your ID in a digital form (in participating US states), which you’ll then use as identification in US airports.

iPadOS 15 lets you drop widgets on the homescreen and brings changes to multitasking

With iPadOS 15, Apple will let you add widgets to the homescreen and access to the app library, which debuted last year on iPhone with iOS 14. Apple is also introducing improvements to multitasking, with new controls that make it easier to manage your apps, and you’ll be able to build apps with Swift Playgrounds.

Apple adds welcome privacy features to Mail, Safari

Apple announced new privacy-focused features at WWDC, including that Apple Mail will block tracking pixels with Mail Privacy Protection and that Safari will hide IPs. Apple is also introducing a new section in settings called the “App Privacy Report.”

Apple’s Siri will finally work without an internet connection with on-device speech recognition

Apple will let Siri process voice requests on device, meaning audio won’t be sent over the web, and Siri can accept many requests while offline.

Apple lets users see family members’ Health data

Apple is introducing a number of new health-focused features, such as the ability to share health data with your families and with healthcare providers.

Apple is making AirPods easier to hear with and find

Apple is making some new changes to AirPods, such as making it easier to find them on the Find My network and the ability to announce your notifications.

Apple’s iCloud Plus bundles a VPN, private email, and HomeKit camera storage

Apple’s iCloud is getting a new private relay service and the ability to create burner emails called “Hide My Email.” These will be part of a new iCloud Plus subscription, which will be offered at no additional price to current iCloud paid users.

Apple announces watchOS 8 with new health features

Apple’s upcoming watchOS 8 has new health features, including a new Mindfulness app, improvements to the Photos watchface, and more.

Siri is coming to third-party accessories

Apple will let third-party accessory makers add Siri to their devices, Apple announced during WWDC. The company showed it on an Ecobee thermostat in its presentation.

macOS Monterey lets you use the same cursor and keyboard across Macs and iPads

Apple’s next big macOS release is called Monterey. One big new feature is the ability to use the same mouse and keyboard across your Mac and your iPad. Apple’s Shortcuts app is also coming to the Mac. And Monterey adds improvements to FaceTime, SharePlay, and Apple’s new “Focus” statuses that are coming to Apple’s other software platforms.

Apple redesigns Safari on the Mac with a new tab design and tab groups

Apple is redesigning Safari with a new look for tabs and tab groups. And on iOS, the tab bar will be at the bottom of the screen to be in easier reach of your thumb. Web extensions are also coming to iOS and iPadOS.

Apple is bringing TestFlight to the Mac to help developers test their apps

Apple announced that it will let developers use TestFlight to test their apps on the Mac. The company also announced Xcode Cloud, which lets you test your apps across all Apple devices in the cloud.

via The Verge – All Posts