(Cybertech) – Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, is underway and it kicked off with a two-hour long keynote where numerous announcements were made.
The vast majority were new features coming to the 2020 versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and more. Plus, we also got confirmation that Apple is developing its own chips to replace Intel’s in its Mac products.
Here then are some of the key details revealed during the virtual event. Plus, you can watch the whole thing on catch-up above.
What was announced during Apple’s WWDC 2020 keynote?
Each of Apple’s operating systems were touched upon, with new features unveiled for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch and Apple TV.
In addition, Apple officially confirmed that it will be developing Macs and MacBooks featuring its own chipsets – Apple Silicon, it calls it.
The biggest new features being added to iOS 14 include Widgets and App Library. Both make it more simple to find information and/or apps without having to scroll through a sea of icons.
You can read more about them both here: Apple announces Widgets and App Library for iOS 14 home screen.
Siri also gets an overhaul for iOS 14 (and iPadOS 14). As well as tidying the way it appears on the screen, it will be used for a new app, Translate, to easily understand and covert up to 11 languages in real time.
One of the coolest new features coming to iPadOS will expand the useability of the Apple Pencil. Scribble improves handwriting recognition and can even tidy up drawn shapes used in diagrams. It also enables text to be shifted up and down, so you can fit in extra notes.
In addition, Universal Search will be added so you can use the same search bar for multiple purposes. Not only can you search for apps, say, you will also be able to search the internet or for contacts through the same bar.
And sidebars will be added to specific apps, to make feature selection easier.
You can read more about it all here: iPadOS 14 announced: Universal search and handwriting recognition added.
Customised Watch faces will be available for the first time, with multiple complications able to be added to them. And new tracking functionality will include dance workouts.
However, the most requested feature that is finally coming to watchOS will be sleep tracking. As well as helping you get to sleep, you’ll be able to see how well your snooze went the next day.
You read more here: Sleep tracking coming to Apple Watch at last.
macOS 11 – Big Sur
Mac owners were perhaps in for the biggest surprise as the new version of macOS is a complete redesign and reimagining of the software.
A new Control Centre and visual design will be key, plus a new version of Safari that embraces third-party extensions for the first time.
The biggest takeaway we got from the Big Sur demo is how much like iPadOS it looks and feels.
Check out this for more: Apple unveils macOS 11 Big Sur, with a full visual redesign and Control Centre.
The new software for Apple TV wasn’t really detailed that much, although we found out that multi user profiles are coming to work with its TV talents.
We did, though, see a trailer for an excellent looking new show coming to Apple TV+. Foundation is from Jonathan Nolan (Westworld) and is based on the books of Issac Asimov. We thoroughly advise you to check it out: Apple shows off first trailer for Foundation.
While CarPlay was largely absent, the main feature coming to compatible cars is CarKey. Manufacturers can add the ability to unlock their cars using just the iOS 13/14 app.
The first to do so will be the 2021 BMW 5 Series: Apple CarKey will bring digital car keys to iOS 13 and 14.
Automatic switching is coming to all AirPods soon, but AirPods Pro will also get an update for spatial audio compatibility.
All headphones can be used with spatial audio systems, such as Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, but the AirPods Pro will also be able to track head position to ensure the correct surround experience is heard.
Check it out here: Spatial audio is coming for AirPods Pro, plus automatic switching for all AirPods.
Last, but by no means least, Apple made a “historic” announcement; it will be developing its own processors for Mac computers in future.
This wasn’t exactly a big secret, having been leaked plenty of times in the last few weeks, but we actually got to see macOS 11 Big Sur in action on a Mac running on an A12Z Bionic CPU.
One major benefit will be that all iPadOS and iOS apps will work natively on Macs featuring Apple Silicon inside. The company won’t ditch Intel entirely, with other new machines coming, and the first Apple Silicon Mac won’t appear until much later this year, but it’s a bold move by the firm – especially as third-party developers will have to convert their software to be compatible.
Read more about it here: There will be a Mac based entirely on Apple’s own hardware by the end of 2020.
Writing by Rik Henderson.