As expected, the Cupertino-based tech giant has announced the iOS 14, iPadOS 14, WatchOS 7 software updates among others.
The biggest announcement of the day, though, was still the transition of Mac laptops and desktops to Apple’s own Silicon chips.
Here is everything that Apple announced today at its first keynote session:
Apple iOS 14
This new feature will allow users to categorise their apps that are scattered on different pages of the home screen. You can choose how many pages you want to see on your home screen and then remaining apps will be categorised as “Recently Added”, “Suggestions” and other folders. You can also search for these apps via the given search option where you will see all the apps listed alphabetically.
iOS 14 now comes with widgets that will be visible on the home screen as well. You can customise these widgets by tapping on the “widget gallery” option. The Smart Stack option will show you relevant apps based on the time of the day.
Translate app will let Siri translate what you say into 11 languages including English, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and so on. You can even translate offline. As per the company, Siri knows 20x more facts than before. You can now ask Siri to send an audio message as well.
iMessage – Pinned Conversations
Keeping in touch has never been more essential. So iOS 14 gives you new ways to stay connected to the conversations that matter most, keep track of group conversations, and express yourself however you like.
Users will now be able to pin their messages to avoid getting lost in the conversation. You will also be able to reply to a particular message and even mention people while chatting in groups. New Memojis with face masks and options to choose different age are also introduced in iOS 14.
With pinned conversations, you can see messages as they come in. In a pinned group conversation, you’ll see the recent participants animate around the pin when they send a message, so you know who is chatting and what they’re saying.
Now you can reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation. You can view replies in the full conversation or as their own thread for a more focused view.
New Memoji styles and stickers
Along with new age options and face coverings, choose from over 20 new hair and headwear styles to reflect your hobby, profession, and personality.
Apple has added a new feature called Guide that will help users find “great places” around them by showing the latest recommendations by other users. Cycling directions will also be added to the Apple Maps that will let users see elevation data, stairs, traffic in the bike lanes, paths, and roads.
Maps takes elevation into account to let you know if you’re in for an uphill workout or a leisurely, flat ride. You’ll be alerted if there are steep passages along the route or if you’ll need to carry your bike up stairs. You can also choose a route that avoids stairs or busier roads altogether.
Electric vehicle routing:
Maps can track your current vehicle charge and factor in things like elevation to automatically add charging stops along the way. Maps knows which type of charger works for your car, making sure to route you to compatible stations
Siri has a completely new look that lets you quickly get information or get things done while still focusing on what you’re doing. Siri is a vital way to get information and get things done and in new compact design, you can take advantage of everything Siri can do without losing your context.
With New AirPods Pro, Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking puts surround sound channels in exactly the right place, even as you turn your head or move your device.
The feature uses motion data to detect movement of your head and device and constantly keeps the audio in sync with the visual. It will only come to AirPods Pro earbuds.
you can enjoy a theater‑like experience wherever you are.
Seamlessly move between devices without manually switching your AirPods.9 If you finish a phone call on your iPhone and pick up your iPad to watch a movie, AirPods automatically switch over.
Apple CarPlay and Car keys
Apple Carplay on iOS 14 will now let you change the wallpaper on the in-car device. With the help of Apple CarPlay, you can simply tap your iPhone and unlock your car. You can just put your iPhone on the charging pad and enable the car’s start button. Users can even share their key via iMessage. Apple has announced that the 2021 BMW 5 Series will be the first car to support CarPlay.
Keep a digital car key in your Wallet app so you can leave your physical car keys at home. Just bring your iPhone near your car door to unlock. Once inside, place your iPhone on a reader or wireless charger to start your car. This feature works with Apple Watch, too.
App Clips ~ App Store
Apple has announced App Clip, which is basically like downloading just a part of the app, immediately when you need it, your initial login and credit card details are filled in via Apple login and Apple Pay. This app will be less than 10 MB in size.
You can now get information on the App Store to help you understand the privacy practices of every app before you download it.
macOS Big Sur
Mac OS X Big Sur comes with a simpler design, new app icons, smoother animations, refreshed app design for all pre-installed apps. MacOS Big Sur also has a new menu bar as well. The Mac will now also have a control centre, like iPhones.
Safari uses Intelligent Tracking Prevention to identify and prevent trackers from profiling or following you across the web. A new weekly Privacy Report on your start page shows how Safari protects browsing across all the websites you visit. Or click the Privacy Report button in your Safari toolbar for an instant snapshot of every cross-site tracker Safari is actively blocking, on any website you’re visiting.
Improved power efficiency
Safari lets you do more online on a single charge than any other browser.
Apple has revamped the UI in the new iPadOS 14 like Photos and Music app now has a new side-bar for easy access. Similar easy access UI changes have also been made to apps like calendar, iMessage, and mail.
Apple has introduced a new feature called Universal Search to its iPadOS 14. It will let the users search for contacts, documents, or even search within an app that supports this feature.
iPad OS 14 now has Android-like compact call notifications. They will pop up on the top of the screen without interrupting your ongoing task.
Apple Pencil now has new features like smart suggestions, better handwriting recognition, lets you select handwritten text to change colour, and more. The Apple Pencil will let users select and paste handwritten text in another app and it will be automatically turned into typed-text.
The transition from Intel to Apple’s own silicon is one of the biggest announcements of the event today. Apple Silicon SoCs will apparently offer higher performance and low power consumption, and “will be great for gaming”. macOS Big Sur on Apple Silicon-running Macs will benefit from native apps such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Logix Pro, which will be available by the time the new machines come around. Big software announcements included Microsoft office and Adobe Creative Cloud for Big Sur running Apple’s own chips.
Intel-based Macs, however, are still around and will continue to be updated for the two-year transition to Apple’s own chips. When that does happen, Intel-based software won’t be left by the wayside. Apple has announced Rosetta 2, the successor to the original Rosetta emulation software that eased the first transition that Apple made away from PowerPC chips to Intel. Rosetta 2 will modify apps upon install to make them run on Apple chips.