Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Apple WWDC 2020 - Event Summary




Yesterday marked the first day of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. With the company’s big annual keynote delivered virtually online, the stream brought some very exciting updates and news for Apple lovers, although we did not get any physical releases this time. Read on for a breakdown of some of the awesome highlights!

iOS 14


Apple’s iconic operating system is always one of the key things to look out for during the keynote, and this year was no different. Contrary to the rumours there was no new iPhone Exclusive OS introduced. Then new features of iOS 14 include a home screen page called App Library that will automatically categorize and sort apps, highlighting those most frequently used. The iPhone will finally support picture-in-picture video playback, which the iPad has supported since iOS 9 and FINALLY… Widgets! This is the part where every Android user reading this will have a little giggle, having benefited from the use of widgets since 2009.

Maps will soon feature cycling directions along with directions for electric vehicle owners (factoring in battery range and charging locations), while CarPlay will get an exciting update with some car models supporting the feature of using your phone as a key.

macOS Big Sur


The new build of macOS will follow on from its predecessors and be aptly called Big Sur, named after the beautiful mountainous section of California. A new dropdown control centre in the upper right area of the screen will provide one-click access to brightness, volume, WIFI settings and more, while the refined notification centre will make it easier to keep track of what’s important to you.
Safari will be able to monitor your passwords to automatically look for any exposed in breaches, while a Privacy Report button will break down what is known about what data is being tracked by the site you’re currently surfing. Safari’s extensions system is also getting a long-awaited refresh with new privacy and permissions features.

iPad OS / Apple Pencil


The new sidebar and search function will make it much easier to navigate apps and should make the device easier to use without touching the screen if you're using it as a laptop replacement. A new feature called Scribble will allow users to write in any text field with the Apple Pencil, which will be automatically converted to text. This intelligent feature will work across multiple languages and even be able to detect the context of the information - for example, phone numbers or addresses can be automatically logged into contact books.

Mac Processors


As has been rumoured for a long time, Apple is switching from Intel processors to custom ARM-based CPU, which is specifically designing in-house, as it has done for many years across its iPhone, Pad and Watch slates. This big change promises a “whole new level of performance” while consuming less power, promising a new era of Macs that will revolutionise the product.

Apple Watch


Face Sharing will allow you to share your current watch face set up with a friend, while newly improved sleep tracking can automatically detect when you nod off and record the data to track your sleep schedule.

And perhaps most crucially for the world we live in, the watch will now feature handwashing detection that will use the accelerometer to look for the relevant motions – when it detects you’re doing so, it will automatically start a countdown timer to ensure you’ve done the full twenty seconds. Pretty cool, huh?

AirPods


Automatic device switching means that your trusty AirPods will soon be able to switch between multiple devices. Watching a film on your iPad and your iPhone rings? Don’t worry, the sound from that call will switch over to the AirPods without you having to lift a finger.

Audiophiles will also enjoy the new Spatial Audio capability, compatible with AirPods Pro only. This will take your head position and environment into account to give you the optimum sound experience.

Homekit


The news that Apple will finally be joining the wider smart home device makers alliance was a pretty big deal. The ability to control all smart devices from your Homekit is certainly something to look forward to and will, in time, grow the number of items Apple user can control.

Facial recognition on Homekit enabled doorbell cameras can now recognise known faces, and let you know who’s at the door via notifications. Adaptive lighting will automatically adjust the brightness and temperature of your connected smart bulbs throughout the day, while your security cameras can have designated activity zones which will limit alerts to specific areas of the video capture.

Privacy Changes

The ability to grant an app access to an approximate location rather than the precise spot means that you can continue to get relevant information without feeling like Big Brother is watching you, while a Mic/Camera indicator will now show on-screen whenever an app is accessing your microphone or camera.

Finally, app developers will now have to provide simplified privacy policies of what data they share or track, with this information showing up prior to download.

Watch The Full Event



All in all, what a time to be alive for Apple users! This rich and diverse range of new features, software and hardware continue to show why Apple rules the roost in modern technology. What are you most excited for from Apple’s 2020 WWDC?
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