Apple new iOS home screen, new processor chip instead of Intel, new iPad OS, AirPod new surround, Apple Watch new feautures, and more
Apple announced new software for its iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV and Apple Watch on Monday. It also said future Macs — including one that will launch later this year — will use chips made by Apple instead of Intel. Apple said the transition from Intel will enable the company to offer faster performance on its laptops and desktops.
Apple also introduced iOS 14, the latest version of the iPhone software, which includes updates such as the ability to set a default mail app or browser app, a redesigned home screen, and new lightweight software programs called “App Clips.”
The new software was announced in a prerecorded video filmed at Apple’s campus. Apple CEO Tim Cook acted as a master of ceremonies, briefly introducing Apple employees to present new features. Apple’s WWDC conference is being held remotely this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here’s everything Apple announced during its WWDC 2020 keynote.
The latest version of the iPhone operating system includes a big change to the iOS home screen, including the ability to set default email and browser apps for the first time.
In iOS 14, users can pin widgets with updating information on the home screen, Apple said on Monday, including calendar and maps mini-programs. Previously, users could only include apps on an iPhone’s home screen. Users can drag a widget onto the iPhone home screen, where it will persist. Users can add new widgets from a gallery that shows the ones they have installed. Apple also introduced a widget that uses artificial intelligence to predict which data the user wants to see.
iOS 14 includes a new feature called “App Library” that automatically organizes apps. Users can also delete entire pages of apps in one tap, or see similar apps, like all of the games from Apple Arcade, using App Library.
iOS 14 adds several new features to the Messages app, including mentions, new Memoji features including an avatar wearing a face mask, and a new interface for group texts that enables threads to be pinned to the top of the app.
Change from Intel CPUs to Apple CPUs
Future Macs will use Apple-designed chips, Apple said. Apple has been using Intel chips in its Macs for the last 15 years. Cook said it is a “huge leap forward.” Apple said it is designing its own chips specifically for the Mac to provide more performance while using less power.
Apple currently uses its own chips on its iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Apple TVs, and said it had shipped over 2 billion chips so far. Macs with Apple’s own chips will be able to run iPhone and iPad software. The transition will require software makers to update their software for compatibility.
Apple says that developers can get their new apps running in a “couple of days” and that there is a number of new software features that enable developers to easily port their apps. Apple said that Microsoft and Adobe are already updating their software, including Photoshop and Excel, to run on the new Macs.
Cook said that Apple will ship its first Macs with its own chips by the end of the year and that Apple plans for the transition to take about two years.
Apple CarPlay and digital car keys
Apple announced new updates to CarPlay, its software that enables an iPhone to pair with a supported head unit so users can control their iPhone while driving.
The biggest update is digital car keys in iOS 14 and iOS 13, which enables users to unlock and start their car from their phone. The first supported car is the 2021 BMW 5-series, which will be released next month, Apple said.
The keys can be shared through an iMessage, and users can deactivate keys remotely through iCloud. Apple said it was working on standards with industry groups to bring the feature to more cars and expects to see a new standard using Apple’s ultra-wideband chip next year.
iPad OS 14
Many Apple-developed iPad apps, including Photos, Music and Notes, have gotten iPad user interface updates with side bars and tool bars, Apple said on Monday.
Apple’s Siri feature is now included in a little button on the bottom right corner in the newest version of iOS 14. Apple also redesigned its search feature to look more like the search function on a Mac desktop.
The new universal search can be used to launch apps, search the web or find contacts, Apple said. Apple announced new improvements to its iPad stylus, called Pencil. The Pencil can now be used to input text all over the iPad user interface, a feature Apple calls Scribble. For example, users can write directly in the Safari URL bar, which is automatically converted into text. If users scratch something out using the Pencil, it will be deleted.
Apple said that its wireless earbuds, AirPods, will now automatically switch from your iPhone to your computer when needed. Currently, a user needs to open the Bluetooth settings to switch to AirPods if they move between Apple devices.
AirPods Pro will also support virtual surround sound, like at a movie theater, by measuring whether your head or device is moving.
The latest version of the Apple Watch software can track user sleep patterns using a machine learning model that senses motion at night. It includes a feature to nudge users to go to bed and new alarm features to gently wake users up. Sleep data will be graphed and analyzed inside the Apple Health app.
Apple also added several new “complications” to its Apple Watch software that enable features to be displayed directly on a watch’s interface. Apple renamed its Workout watch app to Fitness, and added dancing as a new workout feature.
The newest version of Apple Watch software will enable users to share their watch face. Developers can offer pre-configured faces for their apps.