WWDC 2021 Keynote Summary: iOS 15, macOS Monterey, Siri, iCloud+ and more
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WWDC 2021 Keynote Summary: iOS 15, macOS Monterey, Siri, iCloud+ and more

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Find here all the important announcements made by Apple during this WWDC Apple Event. On the menu, new OSes, as expected, and a few surprises…

Like every year at the same time, Apple holds the WWDC, for Worldwide Developers Conference. This is an event centered around development for the various Apple platforms. Workshops with Apple engineers, tutorials, round tables, competitions and other work sessions punctuate the show over 5 days. And traditionally, the WWDC begins with an opening presentation during which the major new features of the next versions of the Apple OS are generally presented: iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, but also macOS and watchOS. It also happens that during the keynote, new hardware is seen, but this is not systematic.

This year, the special WWDC Apple Event took place on Monday, June 7. And in this context, here is what the Californian firm presented, again without an audience, after a WWDC 2020 which had already been held virtually.

So let’s go for our complete summary of WWDC 2021 announcements !

You can find the replay of the conference below:

iOS 15: communications, health and other improvements

Here are the major new features of iOS 15 below.

FaceTime

  • Audio improvements: calls are more natural, in terms of sound, thanks to Spatial audio for example. Thus, all people in a conversation are heard to be in the same room. New voice isolation technology also helps you be heard better by eliminating surrounding noise
  • Video improvements:  new grid view, to see all participants displayed on the screen
  • Portrait: Portrait view and effects for FaceTime to enhance your face image
  • FaceTime Links: these smart links make it easier to join a FaceTime conversation
  • SharePlay: to share your screen, a video or music experience via FaceTime. The feature will in particular take advantage of APIs to easily integrate different services to be shared between participants in a FaceTime conversation.

Messages

  • Design: design improvements to display shared media
  • Share with You: various native applications benefit from a new “Shared with You” section, displaying content shared with you by other people via Messages (in Apple Music, Podcasts, but also Safari and other Apple apps)

health and wellbeing

  • Design of notifications: change of design, with display of photos of contacts in particular
  • Summary of notifications: new view of notifications received in the last hours, to allow you to better see the important notifications of the day for example
  • Automatic replies: in “do not disturb” mode, an automatic message is sent to a correspondent trying to reach you by Messages
  • Focus: new feature allowing you to configure your iPhone according to different modes, work, leisure, family, etc.

Photos

  • Live Text: new text capture feature to convert text seen in photo to editable text. Works with 7 languages, including French. Also works on objects, animals, landscapes, etc. which allows for example to display the breed of a dog seen in a photo
  • Memories:  improvement of the automatic creation of memories, but also of their consultation. They take advantage of a new feature called “Memories Mixies”, allowing in particular to apply different intelligent filters and various types of editing for the same memory.

Notes

  • Tags: support for tags for a new classification of its notes
  • Activity: display of the last changes made on shared notes
  • Quick Note: display of notes in a fly-out window that stays on screen while browsing other apps. Makes it easy to take notes on the fly

© Apple

Other

  • Spotlight: iOS’s smart search is further improved, taking advantage of Live Text, but also thanks to new enriched results for contacts, among others
  • Wallet and Keys: Compatibility with new keys, no longer just limited to cars. For example, it will soon be possible to open your hotel room with your digital room key in Wallet, your apartment, or even the door of your house.
  • Wallet and identity documents: in the USA only initially, the Wallet application will soon contain the driver’s license and the identity card. We hope to see this happen one day in France…
  • Weather:  design improvements, with more dynamic wallpapers, but also high-resolution weather maps

© Apple

  • Safari:  the tab bar is improved and benefits from a new flying design. Tabs are also displayed in a new grid view
  • Extensions: Safari on iOS and iPadOS 15 now supports web extensions
  • Apple Maps:  many design improvements, including a new night mode, but also improved driving guidance. Ditto for public transport, Apple has planned changes in terms of ergonomics to better identify when traveling by subway for example. Not to mention a new 3D view to better understand a pedestrian journey in the city, among other things.

© Apple

iPadOS 15

  • Widgets:  Widgets can be placed between apps on the home screen. Added new widgets, including the Locate widget, as well as a new widget size, wide format
  • App library: this function which appeared with iOS 14 is available on iPad under iPadOS 15
  • Multitasking: Working on multiple apps at the same time is improved, with easier switching of apps in Split View. There’s also a new windowed view to display an app window on top of the rest of the screen, while keeping several app windows at the bottom of the screen for quick access

© Apple

  • Translation: arrival of the app on iPad with new features for easier translation in apps
  • Swift Playground: many improvements to make coding easier, including an automatic code completion function with intelligent suggestions based on what you write

© Apple

watchOS 8

  • Breathe: the application is improved and notably offers a new Reflect mode to reduce stress and improve mental well-being
  • Sleep: Apple Watch can track breathing rate at night
  • Dial: new Portrait dial which is displayed with a 3D effect, playing on the perspective between the background of the image, the time and the face of the portrait
  • Photos: the Photos application offers ergonomic improvements and now displays memories
  • Timers multiples

tvOS 15

  • HomePod mini : possibility to choose HomePod mini as Apple TV output

But also

AirPods

  • Conversation Boost: Hear conversations better with more direct audio pickup. Convenient especially for the hearing impaired
  • Voice notifications: Siri reads notifications so you can hear them
  • Find My: AirPods Pro and AirPods Max compatible with the Find My network

Privacy

  • Mail:  new “Mail Privacy Protection” function. This hides the IP address from senders preventing them from tracking your activities on received emails
  • Applications: new section to see which applications have access to which user information
  • Siri: by default, the audio is processed and recognized locally, without any sharing on Apple’s servers, and therefore without the need for an internet connection!

Health

  • Standing:  Improvements to data capture, especially for standing. Allows you to monitor various parameters and analyze the risk of falls according to the quality of the standing position. In addition, advice and exercises to be seen in videos to improve your balance and the stability of your standing position
  • Laboratory results: improvements in the management of laboratory results, blood for example
  • Trends: tracking function of all data from the Health application to provide better monitoring of your general health over time
  • Health Sharing: new section for sharing health data with other people allowing, for example, to receive alerts in the event of poor health signs for some of their relatives at risk

Services

  • Fitness+: new workouts available on Apple’s sports service, but also new Artist Spotlight Series playlists
  • iCloud+ : new service that wants to improve user privacy, especially on Safari, with a new confidential surfing mode, but also on Mail, with a new option to hide your email address. iCloud+ is included in existing iCloud subscriptions at no additional cost
  • New iCloud recovery option: you can designate a user who can have access to your account, for example in the event of death
  • HomeKit: link between HomeKit devices, which will allow for example to ask the HomePod to launch content on the Apple TV
  • Siri and third-party accessories: Siri can now be used on third-party accessories
  • Matter: new communication protocol for home automation, HomeKit compatible, developed by Apple in partnership with other manufacturers
  • Apple Music:  available on Apple Music today

macOS 12 : “Monterey”

© Apple

  • FaceTime: same improvements as on iOS 15, with “SharePlay” and “Shared with you”
  • Mode Focus
  • Notes: QuickNotes and other Notes improvements seen on iOS 15
  • Universal Control: possibility of using the same keyboard on iPad and Mac, or the same mouse. Works with the MacBook keyboard or even the Trackpad… Also compatible with files, which can be dragged and dropped between iPad and Mac, simply by dragging a file with the mouse
  • AirPlay:  now compatible in the direction “to the Mac”, for example to share on an iMac, the screen of his iPhone or his iPad
  • Shortcuts: arrival of the shortcuts application seen on iOS on macOS
  • Safari:  simplification of the interface, improvement of its operation, lightening of the design for a rather minimalist and quite attractive result! The application now benefits from a new search function by tab. Safari also now includes tab groups, which can be saved and reloaded at will. Tab groups are synced between compatible Apple devices obviously

© Apple

Availability

The new OS are available in developer beta today. They will appear in their final version for the general public in the fall.

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