Munyaradzi Nigel Muchenje

10 months ago

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Apple WWDC 2020: The Announcements

Yesterday was Apple's online-only WWDC 2020, the Worldwide Developer Conference where they had a lot to say typically about software, there was no hardware this year but they did have some good announcements with cool features. Let's get straight into it.

iOS 14

There are some new features and some fresh new looks, perhaps we could say there is a theme to it. First, on the iPhone, there is the App library which is an App drawer which is organized by categories recently added, etc. It helps you see everything in one place.

Instead of swiping through pages of all your Apps, you can hide some of those extra pages of Apps that you don't need. You go to what they call "jiggle" mode and just uncheck the pages by taping dots at the bottom that you don't want to see any more. Nice!

And then they also brought widgets to the home screen. They've taken them out of the today only view on the side and you can put those widgets anywhere on the home screen. There is a new smart stack widget which essentially changes what widget it is.

It starts as a calendar widget in the morning but through the day as things happen it will switch to your news briefing during the day. Or, maybe turns into a summary of your fitness activity in the afternoon it will work at it.

They've also added a picture in picture video support much more generally. And then Siri has a UI over-haul it's not full screen anymore but it's now a smaller portion along the bottom of the screen. Just like the Google Assistant. Siri now has more answers to questions with knowledge in-depth.

And then there is a new translate App they're adding to hopefully make the user have conversations back and forth in different languages. And then App clips they make you interact with lots of Apps that you don't have installed.

It will plug into Apple Pay and sign in with Apple you can do things you couldn't do without that App and make it easy for developers to build in. In the messages App for, instance you will be able to pin conversations to the top and they added inline replies in group chat.

Then mentions in a thread so you can have a group chat that only sends you notifications when someone mentions your name, just like a feature in WhatsApp groups as well.

Apple Maps has added a couple of countries and a dedicated cycling mode for when there are bike routes and also a new EV routing mode. It knows when you tell it what type of electric car you have and then it can route you along the way where you have compatible chargers for your car.

Car play gets a nice fresh UI over-haul with wallpapers. And then using the iPhone as car keys, so the first car which is going to be compatible with this is the 2021 BMW M5 and there will be more cars in the future compatible with this.

It will use NFC to turn your phone into your car keys to unlock your car and then dock it, start-up and drive away.

iPadOS 14

It will get the new widgets, the customizations. Also, Siri is now in the bottom corner it's not taking up the whole screen to tell you that it's going to look up for something. When calls come in they're not going to take up the entire screen as well just another small notification.

And there is a smaller universal bar with a lot of things we saw with the iPhone. Some features will come with the Apple Pencil.

For example scribble lets you handwrite any text field and any text you write notes in will automatically be converted to text that you can then copy and paste into other places and search with universal search.

And also a cool feature is you can draw a simple shape and then pause at the end and it will automatically draw a perfect version of that shape. Then with iOS14 when you listen with Airpods and you use your iPhone out it can tell now with iOS 14 when you put down your iPhone and pick up your iPad it will switch Airpods audio straight away to whatever you start doing on your iPad.

WatchOS 7

There have some new features. You can now do watch face sharing so you can share via messages to contacts or social media if you want to share your watch face.

There is now also automatic handwash detection. As you start washing your hands it will hear what the microphone is capturing the sound of water and soap and will start a countdown timer which won't stop until you get to 20 seconds encouraging you to wash your hands properly.

The biggest feature on the WatchOS is sleep tracking. You wear it all night and it tracks your sleep. The screen will be off it can wake you with a haptic vibration so you don't wake up other people around you.

MacOS Big Sur

So basically this is MacOS 11 and it is the biggest change since MacOS 10. It's mostly a design overhaul. There is now way more rounded corners. Way more transparency windows and menus.

There is a new dock with icons shading and shadowing added. There's also a new quick settings notification center and looks like its modeled after the iPad which makes it feel like it works better with touch than a mouse.

Mac Transition

Apple announced that they will be transitioning the Mac from Intel to Apple Silicon. With their chips in these devices you can expect next level perfomance instead of relying on Intel. However there now has to be a transition period especially for developers.

That's why they talked on stage about Xcode and Universal 2 all to smooth this transition. On stage they said they expect this transition to last about 2 years. And also to expect the first Apple Silicon based Mac by the end of this year.

That wraps it up for what we saw at WWDC 2020.