Apple’s WWDC 2020 was a kind of new and unique experience. This was the first time Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) was streamed online as a full size production video with no live audience. Despite the new format , there were some big and exciting announcements. Arguably the biggest of all, the official announcement of Apple Silicon.
I’ll quickly walk through every important highlight and the biggest announcements Apple made in the event. Let’s get started!
iOS 14 : Next Major Software Update to iPhone
Apple announced the first look of it’s next major update coming to iPhones later this year, iOS 14.
• Widgets : The most notable update of the new iOS would be the ability to customise the home screen in the form of widgets. It drastically changes the way the iOS software used to look until now. The idea is to allow users to have a refreshed data-rich home screen ( which android already does). Widgets can now be added in different shapes and sizes according to aesthetic preference.
• App library : Apparently a new feature coming to iOS is App Library (a.k.a App Drawer in Android).The feature automatically organizes apps based on categories and tags. It’ll help reduce the number of swipes to reach the desired app improving app accessibility. It’ll also make the use of neural networks to pre-empt the app you would be about to open in the form of suggestions . Involving deep learning and user behaviour patterns .
• Picture in picture: Is finally coming to iOS. Though PiP isn’t a new feature in smart phones allowing the current window or a full screen video to overlap on other apps.
• Translate : A simple yet efficient bi-language translation app introduced in iOS 14.
• App Clips
Probably the most useful feature of the lot. It’s similar to Android’s Instant Apps. The feature mainly involves using a service like for example renting a bicycle or paying for a specific service without the need to download the external app. Simply tap on the given App clip at the location and pay using Apple Pay instantly without installing the entire app. The App clip should be under 10 mb as per apple , to improve speed and user-usability .
• Apple Maps : Will include a new cycling-centric navigation including elevation alerts ahead in the path. The feature is coming first to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai and Beijing. New locations would be added eventually.
Additionally, Apple Maps will let Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers know about the next or nearest charging stations along their route.
• Memoji : The custom emoji feature is getting new face editions. More age group options. Newer profession related accessories and better emotions like blushing and Memoji’s fearing face-covers.
• Digital Car Key : With the upcoming BMW 5 Series, Apple will introduce a newer way to unlock and start cars- using iPhones. You can register a key in your Apple Wallet. Create multiple keys to grant permission to specific people like spouse or kids. With the option of partial restrictions to use the car or use without any restrictions . The keys are stored on the device itself and it will use NFC to lock/unlock the vehicle.
iPadOS 14 : A few notable changes
Apart from all the relevant features of iOS 14 , iPadOS 14 will get the following additional and iPad specific features :
• Improved sidebar for easier navigation on the big iPad screen. Better Redesigned native apps and Universal search. Scribble feature to Apple Pencil including handwriting to text conversion.
AirPods : A great cinematic experience
Apple is making some great software changes on AirPods including :
• Connecting to whichever paired device starts playing audio first.
• The AirPods Pro are getting exciting new Spatial audio feature to provide a three-dimensional surround sound experience. Spatial audio will track your location with respect to the device using accelerometer and gyroscope to automatically create a more realistic and immersive sound output.
Apple Silicon and macOS Big Sur : A big leap forward
Apple has been using Intel-based processors in its mac lineup for years. But finally Apple has announced that it’ll be switching to its own silicon. Meaning Apple will now manufacture custom Arm based processors just like for iPhones and iPads but now for it’s entire computing products.
The change of path is very big and it’ll allow Apple to better integrate it’s hardware and software capabilities. Making all it’s computing lineup much faster and better. Additionally, you would be able to run iPhone and iPad apps directly on the macs as well as run apps from other environments like Linux.
MacOS Big Sur
Apple announced its next major update to macOS called the macOS Big Sur. It introduces a major shift in design bringing more relatability with iOS and iPadOS. It reveals Apple’s strategy to eventually draw people to a newer form of computing that is similar to iPad computing. The new macOS shares a lot of features with the upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 including widgets , messages , pinned conversations and improvements to Memoji.
Safari in macOS Big Sur will get a much better tab management as well.
Apart from these major updates, Apple also announced some key changes to watchOS like the new face swapping feature, dance tracking, sleep tracking and tracking handwashing with 20 seconds timer. Apple TV will now get a multi-user support for Apple Arcade and PiP in TvOS 14.
That’s all the major highlights and upcoming updates from WWDC 2020. Hope you enjoyed this edition of updated.tech. Until next time, stay safe , stay engaged and stay updated. See you in the next one.