Recap Of Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference
It’s June, which means that it was time for Apple to have their annual developers conference, talking about all of the major updates for their different platforms this year. Well that conference has been in full swing, and we have gotten a taste for what is coming as we head through the summer and into the fall. Let’s not waste time, and just jump into some of the key points from the conference.
First up is iOS 15, and the list of changes and additions will almost be mind blowing for some Apple fans. Before we get to the biggest changes though, let’s look at some of the smaller ones.
There are some design changes coming to both Apple Maps and the weather app. In maps, we can expect to see the edition of 3D elevation maps and 3D landmarks. We can also expect to see more detailed maps showing crosswalks and bike lanes, among other things as well. Another feature coming to Apple Maps will be one where you can use your camera to scan buildings around you so that it can better tell you which direction to go when starting a walk. The weather app will have a bit of a different look, with the background and even the actual layout of the app changing based on your current weather conditions. Not only that, but there will be the addition of notifications for incoming rain, snow, and more.
There will also be some changes to Apple Wallet. The biggest change comes in the support of home, office, and hotel keys, so that you can unlock your door with your phone. Apple is also working with the TSA to add support for a driver’s license that can be used at screenings. That feature would be protected with multiple layers of security. The feature is also expected to be released in just select states at first launch, but it will be expanded if the feature is a success.
Next up is the all new focus mode. This mode will provide a range of different features. For one, you will be able to set a time for less important notifications to all come through in one batch. In other words, if you have notifications from apps that you don’t want coming through at night, you can set it so that those notifications all come through in one group in the morning after you wake up. Another feature to this new focus mode is that you can set different modes that will change what apps show up on your phone. For example, if you want a gaming mode, you would be able to set up a mode where all of your gaming-related apps show up, while any other app would disappear. Or, if you want a mode for apps that pertain to work, you can do that too, and all other apps will disappear, leaving just your work apps. One final feature to focus mode will be the ability to show your contacts whether or not you are available for messaging or calling. No more 50 text messages from your friends while you are in the middle of a meeting. They will know that you are not around to chat.
Siri is also receiving some changes. Apple has been working on making Siri’s speech recognition come from on the device, rather than having to be connected and recognized by Apple’s servers. What does this mean for you? Well, this essentially means that you can be disconnected from the internet and still have access to Siri. Apple has also stated that it is opening up Siri to third-party companies and devices, meaning that we could be seeing Siri built right into devices like our home appliances.
Perhaps the biggest changes for iOS 15 come in FaceTime. If using the right setup, you will be able to hear the voice of whoever you are talking to on whichever side of the screen they are on. This feature is known as Spacial Audio. There will also be smaller changes to help optimize the FaceTime experience, including the addition of the camera app’s portrait mode, allowing for nice background blurring, as well as options for enhanced voice isolation for when you are in a loud environment. Now we get into the biggest changes coming to FaceTime. Firstly, Apple is planning to add in link sharing for FaceTime calls. What does this mean? This means that you will be able to send a link to anyone, even if they are not an Apple user, and they will be able to join the call. This means that Android or Windows users would be able to join in on the FaceTime experience. The other major change is the addition of share play. Share play will allow you to stream music or videos in a Facetime call, making it possible for everyone in a call to watch movies or videos together right in the call. These changes are unlike anything Apple has gone for in the past, so it will be very interesting to see the results of these changes.
There are a few changes to mention when it comes to iPadOS 15. Firstly, they are making changes to the multitasking menu, making it easier to access all the different options. Beyond that, we will also be seeing the addition of home screen widgets like we have on the iPhone. The app library will also be added to iPadOS, along with Apple’s Translate app. Finally, for developers, you will now be able to build apps from the Swift Playground app and submit them to the App Store right from the iPad.
The last major thing to talk about at this point is macOS Monterey. That’s right. MacOS 12 will be going under the name macOS Monterey, and it has its own list of major additions and changes.
Firstly, Safari will be getting a slight design change. The goal is to create the most compact and organized setup possible. This will see the tab bar, the toolbar, and the search field combined together into a new look. Beyond that, tabs will be made smaller, allowing the user to see more of the page they are on. Not only that, a feature is also being added that will allow for the grouping of different tabs to make things even more compact. These tab groupings will be viewable across other devices signed into the same iCloud account.
The next two things revolve around Airplay and Shortcuts. Airplay will be added to macOS, meaning that you will be able to stream videos from your other devices to your mac. This could be useful if you want to create a multiroom audio experience, or if you just want a bigger screen while still streaming the video from your phone. The shortcuts app will also be making a debut on macOS. It will work in the same way that it does on iOS.
The most notable change for macOS Monterey is universal control. Universal control will allow you to control multiple Apple devices using just one keyboard and mouse. This means that you would be able to put an iPad or another mac close to the one you are using, and then you would be able to control both of those devices from the one mac’s keyboard and mouse. This feature can also be used to almost extend your monitor on your mac. You would be able to drag and drop files between the two devices, and there is even more beyond that that we will see more of going forward.
As we move closer and closer to the official launch date for all of these major updates, we are sure to get more information about what to expect. Right now the developer betas are available for the different operating systems, and the public betas are expected to come in July. This will all lead to an official launch date sometime in the fall.