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WWDC21: iOS and iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, find all Apple announcements

Apple WWDC21

As tradition dictates, Apple opened its developer conference with a keynote where its new operating systems (iOS, iPadOS, macOS Monterey, etc.) were presented, as well as new tools and efforts, particularly in the area of ​​privacy.


The month of June is very young, and it is time for the tech planet to turn its gaze to Cupertino, where Apple has opened its developer conference, the second WWDC in a row to be dematerialized due to the pandemic.

The keynote of this 32nd edition gave pride of place to developers, in a complicated context. The past few months and weeks have seen Apple taken to court by Epic for the economic rules enforced within its App Store, while anger roars among some iconic voices in the iOS world, who do not like the way the executives of Apple deals with those who are the real strength of the Apple ecosystem: the developers.

Suffice to say that between two announcements of new operating systems, Apple had to regain its armed forces, while ensuring to continue to strengthen its efforts to defend the private data of its users.

Those who hoped to see products advertised were at their cost. Apple focused on the software, for almost two hours, and at a breakneck pace.

Apple WWDC21

Crazy ideas … and iOS 15

After praising the creativity of developers in a crazy video and highlighting Apple’s commitment to the development world, Tim Cook gave way to Craig Federighi, who immediately announced iOS 15 . With a new mission, “Stay Connected”.

FaceTime is obviously at the heart of this exercise. And chat software gains spatial audio, to make multi-person conversations more realistic, as well as voice isolation, even in a noisy environment.

A new way to display thumbnails is also introduced. A portrait mode also appears to blur the backgrounds. It will be possible to create links to initiate FaceTime meetings, much like many applications do, from Teams to Meet, including Zoom. FaceTime meetings will be open to smartphones running Android (and Windows via the web).

Apple video call
Apple iphone

SharePlay is a new function to share music, movies or share your screen in a FaceTime conversation, between Apple devices. Clearly, Apple wants to make its video conferencing application a much more social tool.

It will even be possible to project a series on your television, via Apple TV, while watching a video at the same time with friends with whom you are chatting via FaceTime. 

Disney + will be compatible with this function, PlutoTV and TikTok as well.

Apple iphone Notification sumary

Messages will integrate with SharePlay, with conversations giving easy access to shared content, which can be pinned. But the iPhone’s messaging tool is undergoing an ergonomic evolution, especially in terms of notifications, to allow you to focus on certain things, such as work or family.

Notification Summary will allow you to plan what time certain types of notifications will arrive. Message notifications from your contacts will not appear there a priori to prevent you from missing them for too long.

Focus is a new feature that lets you focus on work, family, etc. By using elements of artificial intelligence, Focus makes it possible, for example, to display only colleagues’ notifications during working hours.

Apple devices
Apple MacBook , iPad , iPhone

Live Text is another new feature. It allows you to recognize text, even handwritten, and transform it into typed text. Convenient for keeping notes or sending meeting minutes quickly.

The function is also operational in photos found on the web. It understands seven languages, including French.

Photos Search in Spotlight is also new. It allows you to find text in your photos. Spotlight, the search engine built into iOS, also centralizes information about your contacts, such as their contact details, their location if they share it, the latest photos in which they appear, etc. Spotlight also has new cards for actors and musicians, which group together their data.

apple iPhone

iOS 15 will also introduce new Memories in photo and video, with a more dynamic staging, which offers to use Apple Music songs. The mounting and rhythm of the memories will obviously change.

Wallet continues to work to facilitate contactless payment, and now also the use of the smartphone as a key. Not just for your car, but also for your home or hotel room.

Wallet will also allow, in some American states, to scan your identity card / driver’s license in your iPhone.

Weather gains a new design with more animations (hundreds, according to Craig Federighi), more graphics to understand the weather. High resolution maps are also emerging.

iPhone open map
MacBook and iPhone open map

The new Plans are arriving in more countries, such as Spain and Italy, but unfortunately not in France. This new base map includes more information, such as the difference in level, as well as a night mode.

Plans also gain in detail for driving in particular, in order to understand when to turn, for example. Pedestrian crossings are also appearing, as on Google Maps.

People who use public transport will now be able to pin the lines they often use. A function will even warn you when to get off. To know where to go once on the surface, it will be possible to use an AR function, available in only a few American cities.

A little AirPods

A little AirPods?

iOS 15 will, thanks to Conversation Boost , allow an individual who wears AirPods Pro to better hear someone speaking to them. Siri can also alert you to important times of your day, such as a package delivery.

Locate also gains in precision to more easily find your AirPods. iOS 15 will warn you even if you leave them behind when you leave a location – handy so you don’t lose them again.

The Spatial Audio also makes its appearance on all Apple devices, and Apple Music is now compatible with the spatial audio – finally for songs that have been remastered, of course.

Apple iPadOS
Apple iPad

iPadOS 15, even more versatility?

Apple’s tablet operating system now displays widgets that can be placed anywhere on the screen, even in the middle of apps. And because the iPad screen is larger, an even larger widget format is available: for photos, the Files app, etc.

The application library , introduced last year in iOS, finally makes its appearance on iPadOS and finds its place in the dock, which allows to access its applications very easily, and also to delete certain pages of apps now. unnecessary.

But iPadOS is enriched above all with a new approach to multitasking, accessible from the top of the screen. An easier way to select apps for the split screen, for example.

Apple Notes
Apple notes

iPadOS also introduces Shelf,  which makes it easier to find and switch open applications. The OS also introduces new shortcuts to switch from one set of apps to another more quickly via the keyboard.

Notes also gains in function, with the ability to track changes made to a shared note. Quick Note will also make it easier to create or use Notes. It can be accessed from the corner of the iPad screen, no matter where you are. Convenient for taking notes from a website or remembering links to information contained in a third-party application.

Apple Translate
Everything is calculated locally

Translate is also appearing in iPadOS, integrated into the OS, it is possible to translate text in an email, in a photo, or even while speaking. Everything is calculated locally.

Swift Playgrounds , the application to learn to develop, improves and allows to create applications thanks to Swift UI. It is possible to easily develop a project on iPad for iPad or iPhone.

 Apple Privacy Protection

The fight for privacy continues

Obviously, Apple, a champion of the defense of our private data, has put forward its new efforts in this area. Thus,  Mail Privacy Protection allows you to hide your IP address when you use Mail so that marketing emails do not spy on you. Thanks to this function, they cannot know where you are when you open an email.

The App Privacy Report is also a way to track what your apps are doing with your data, what is used and with whom it is shared.

Siri is used on more than 600 million devices, and is enriched by many functions, but Apple wanted to place the emphasis on privacy, too.

Thus, voice recognition is now carried out locally. A gain for your privacy, and above all a way to use Siri without the need for an Internet connection. Especially useful when the request has nothing to do with the Internet: if you want to create an alert to wake you up, for example.

Apple iCloud and privacy
Apple iCloud

iCloud and privacy

Apple has introduced two new ways to regain your access to iCloud. Thus, it will be possible to designate contacts to find your passwords, useful if you do not have other trusted devices with you. Apple also allows a way to recover data from a deceased person.

Apple also announced iCloud + . A service that helps ensure that your connection is encrypted, for example. Another function, Hide my email , will allow you to create email addresses on the fly so as not to give out your real personal email address.

iCloud + retains the prices already charged by Apple for its iCloud offering, which therefore means that iCloud + should only be available for paid offers.

Apple iCloud +
Apple takes a keen interest in the market and health data

And above all health …

Apple takes a keen interest in the market and health data. Its engineers developed Walking Steadiness , a set of data that helps establish the quality of your balance when you walk. Thus, it will be possible to be alerted if you tend to have a poorer balance over time. A good way to avoid falls. 

Exercises will also be offered to strengthen your balance and muscle performance. The health app will also gain a way to track your cholesterol status through your lab results.

Trends is also a way to follow the evolution of your physical state, to know if you are moving enough, etc.

It will be possible to share your health data (by choosing which ones) with your doctor. A way for your patrician to have an overview of your daily health. At this time, this feature is only available in the United States.

Apple also announced Health Sharing , a solution for sharing your health data with family members. We can thus follow the heart rate of a person remotely and see certain health data. It is then possible to send a message directly from this information to make sure everything is fine. These data shipments are obviously encrypted, and Apple says it does not have access to it.

Apple also announced Health Sharing
watchOS, even more health

watchOS, even more health

After breathing, the Apple smartwatch OS will now prompt you to focus on positive things to reduce stress. The Sleep app will also be able to measure your breathing rate while you sleep.

But the Watch is also a way to exercise. A Tai Chi exercise has thus been announced, for example. Trainer Janet Jenkins is also appearing in Fitness +, where every workout will now come with an Apple Music playlist.

 create new watch faces

With the new watchOS 8, it will also be possible to create new watch faces from photos.

The Photos app has also been redesigned to display memories in a more accessible way. It is also possible to more easily share a photo from the watch, either by email or by Messages.

In messages, it will also be possible to move the cursor using the digital crown, for example, in order to correct any mistakes.

Apple watchOS
Apple wants to connect your home like tv

Apple wants to connect your home

The Cupertino giant will improve the home automation experience for its users. In the fall, it will be possible to ask Siri to start a series on his TV, or even share an episode to watch together, from the HomePod mini.

The Apple TV app introduces the For All for You function , which allows you to find series or films that suit the tastes of the whole family. 

The HomePod mini will also gain in functions over the year, especially with voice recognition – each user will be recognized, even in French.

In addition, HomeKit will allow third-party products to integrate Siri commands. HomeKit Video will also allow the recognition of people or animals via the surveillance camera at the entrance of your home, the same thing for the detection of parcel delivery.

Matter technology, developed with other market players, will also allow more interoperability.

Apple market players

macOS … Monterey is here

The new iteration of the Mac operating system will benefit from previously announced iOS features, such as SharePlay, or FaceTime. The focus will also be available to work more efficiently. The novelties of Notes will obviously also be there.

Universal Control will push back the limits of Continuity, by allowing you to control all your Apple peripherals with the mouse/keyboard pair of your Mac. You can move the cursor from your Mac to an iPad, placed next to it. Convenient for easily controlling your Mac and iPad from your keyboard and trackpad.

You can even drag and drop documents or images from an iPad to a Mac. The function is operational between two or more devices.

Apple Universal Control

Another novelty from Monterey, AirPlay to Mac  which also allows you to share the screen of an iPad or an iPhone on a Mac.

Good news, Shortcuts is also coming to macOS, to make it easier to automate your repetitive daily tasks. We can, for example, launch the applications that we use every day in one click when launching his Mac.

Apple Shortcuts
Shortcuts Automator

No panic for Automator fans, the tool is still there, and it will be possible to import scripts into Shortcuts.

Apple is obviously not abandoning  Safari , always given to be faster, more energy efficient and more respectful of your privacy. But above all, it benefits from a new design. It highlights the navigation bar, which allows tabs to be centralized in a dedicated bar, thanks to Tabs groups , which, as their name suggests, group together tabs. It is possible to name these groups, which will be synchronized between all your Apple devices instantly.

Apple Safari
macOS Monterey

On iPhone, the Tabs Bars will appear at the bottom of the screen discreetly, and it will be possible to switch from one to the other with a swipe of the finger.

The extensions for Safari, which already exist on macOS now also coming to iOS and iPadOS. Hopefully this will inspire developers to create more.

macOS Monterey obviously comes with many new technologies for developers. To take advantage of SharePlay, for example, you obviously have to request and integrate a new API. And Apple has announced dozens of them.

The American giant has focused in particular on Object Capture

The American giant has focused in particular on Object Capture , which allows you to create 3D objects from classic photographs. You only need to photograph an object from different angles and the software will create a 3D version of this product. A beautiful augmented reality accelerator …

Apple also indicated that Swift, its programming language, is gaining prominence among the most popular applications. The Concurrency feature helps to simplify the code, so that developers can save time or beginner developers do better.

The App Store, a safe haven for developers?

Apple’s download kiosk receives 600 million users per week and has paid developers $ 230 billion since its inception. Apple has also added some customization features to app pages.

The In-App event function allows you to highlight events that take place in an app. For example, a tournament in a game or the arrival of a new series. These events can appear on the app page, but also in the iOS or iPadOS App Store widget.

Xcode Cloud

Finally, Xcode Cloud is a new tool that will facilitate development, sharing code, moving compilation to the cloud, and securing code online. The beta will run throughout the summer. More information, including pricing, will be announced in the fall. TestFlight is also coming to Mac, to facilitate beta testing phases for macOS apps.

To close the keynote, Tim Cook indicated that, as usual, the betas of all these operating systems are already available to developers. The public beta will be launched next month, and like every year, the final versions should be launched in the fall.

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Written by Saif Ali Tai

Saif Ali Tai. What's up, I'm Saif Ali Tai. I'm a software engineer living in India. . I am a fan of technology, entrepreneurship, and programming.

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