See Apple launches at WWDC 2020: iOS 14, macOS Big Sur and more
iPhone gains new functions with new iOS; see all Apple developer conference announcements
The iOS 14 was one of the big Apple launches at WWDC 2020 (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference) event that took place on Monday (22). The new version of the iPhone operating system features the App Library, a space on the home screen that organizes applications automatically and promises to facilitate the user experience.
The mobile platform also received performance improvements, widgets on the home page, and videos in PiP (picture-in-picture). Other releases include new features for the CarPlay, Messaging, and Maps apps, as well as changes to the App Store and the Siri virtual assistant.
In addition to the new iOS, the company unveiled several software-related news during WWDC. The MacOS Big Sur is the new version of the system to the computers of the brand, such as MacBooks and iMacs. The platform has been completely redesigned and promises an easier user experience. Some highlights are a new Control and Notification Centers, which will help users to find relevant information in a simpler way.
Apple also took the opportunity to unveil new tools and features for iPadOS, WatchOS, and AirPodsOS, the systems for iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods, respectively. Another announcement that drew attention was the replacement of Intel processors in the brand’s computers with new chips made by Apple itself. The change is expected to happen by 2022.
This was the first time that Apple’s traditional developer conference took place entirely online. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company canceled the face-to-face presentation , but promised to hold the largest edition of the event, with lectures and workshops transmitted over the Internet .
Next, check out all the highlights of WWDC 2020. It is worth mentioning that all software announced will be available to users in the autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Beta versions can be tested starting in July.
IOS 14 seeks to facilitate the user experience with the launch of the “App Library” (or application library, in Portuguese), which is a kind of application drawer. The tool is a page that brings together all the apps installed on the iPhone, and offers customizations, such as recommendations, app categories, and the option to hide app pages. Before, it was possible to access applications only from the home page, which can be organized into folders and across multiple pages.
The widgets also reach the home page of the iPhone. The novelty brings shortcuts to application actions with a single touch. For example, the weather forecast app can display temperature information right on the widget.
The user can choose the location of the tool on the page, along with the other apps on the home page. The “Widget Gallery” provides the interfaces available to the user according to the apps installed on the smartphone, and check the available sizes of the widget. The “Smart Stack” allows you to scroll through the widgets and customize them according to the user’s actions.
PiP (picture-in-picture) mode arrives to allow viewing of videos while the user moves into other applications on the iPhone. The player is displayed on the home page and can overlay other apps, in addition to playing the audio even with the video minimized.
Siri also gained news, with a renewed design in which the assistant appears on the screen according to the user’s needs. It can be displayed at the bottom of the screen when requesting action in Safari, or at the top of the display as if it were a notification. The WWDC keynote also highlights how Siri became smarter with orders and communication – for example, the assistant now allows you to send voice messages or write texts by diction.
The translation tool also comes to the assistant with the “Translate” application (translation, in Portuguese), which works offline without the need for the Internet.
The Messages app gains, with iOS 14, the tool for pinning the most important conversations and pinning them to the top of chats. Group conversations have been simplified with the ability to mention and respond to specific messages from a collective chat, in addition, the notification option is only available when mentioned in the conversation. Already Memojis been updated with more features ages and facial masks.
The Apple Maps now has more accurate information to navigation, and location of pedestrian crossings. Among the functions is a guide to suggest places to visit. The guides can be saved and are updated automatically to provide the latest recommendations.
Apple’s GPS gets directions for cyclists, with the goal of decreasing the emission of carbon gas, and has detailed directions, as if there are stairs or busy streets on the way. The feature is available in cities in the United States and China at the moment, and is expected to expand to more places in the future. The “EV Routing” feature provides information for electric car owners to check where they can recharge the vehicle.
CarPlay, Apple’s feature for iPhone owners to use apps in the car, gets more wallpaper options. Car Key also debuts, a feature that does not require a physical key. The cell phone itself unlocks the car and allows the engine to start. It is possible to share the “key” with others, with full or limited access to the vehicle. For now, the technology works only with the BMW 2020 5 Series.
The App Store on iOS 14 gains the “App Clip” function, which is a lighter and faster “piece” of an application, with storage of less than 10 MB. The proposal is to facilitate access to apps that are not installed on the iPhone, and to help the user discover more apps on the App Store. The “App Clip” appears on the Internet, in messages with friends, on Apple Maps, or when reading QR codes, and has integration with Apple Pay, in the case of payments.
macOS Big Sur
The new version of macOS brings a completely new design and improved applications to the brand’s computers. This is the biggest change in the look of the system since the launch of Mac OS X in 2001. According to Apple itself, the platform has maintained a design that is familiar to the user, but totally new. The icons have been redesigned so that they remain consistent with each other and are easily recognized.
In addition, the system has gained new Control and Notification Centers, in a style similar to that of iOS. That way, the user can access important information with ease. All macOS Big Sur apps, like Notes, Calendar, Podcasts and Music, have been redesigned. According to the company, the new look helps to keep the focus on what is most important and provides better user interaction with applications.
The Messaging app, for example, gained conversation management tools and new ways to express itself. It is now even possible to create Memojis right on macOS. Maps also received news, such as the possibility to follow the path of friends on the computer or walk the streets of a city in 360º with the Look Around function.
One of the main highlights of the new macOS is the Safari browser, which has a cleaner look and works more integrated with other branded devices. The browser is, according to Apple, the fastest in the world, being 50% faster than its rival Chrome, in addition to helping save the battery of the company’s notebooks.
The browser also received news regarding customization, such as a customizable home screen. It is now possible, for example, to add a background image. Apple also promises a better experience using multiple tabs at the same time, in addition to making life easier with a native page translation function. Safari will also receive greater support for extensions that allow you to add new features, but without neglecting users’ privacy.
Another novelty announced by Apple during WWDC was the replacement of Intel processors in the brand’s computers. The company will now adopt its own ARM chip and macOS Big Sur will be an important component in this transition. All native macOS applications can be used on the company’s next devices without any difference. In addition, Apple has been working with partners, such as Microsoft and Adobe, to create versions of its software for new Macs. This is the case, for example, of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and other apps in the Creative Cloud Suite.
Another solution designed to help in this process is Rosetta 2, a feature that “automatically translates” existing applications and games. In this way, programs made for Apple computers with Intel processors will be able to run in new generations without problems and maintaining high performance for users.
In addition, for the first time, iOS and iPadOS users will be able to run their applications on macOS natively. During the presentation, the company gave the example of the Monument Valley 2 game, which can be downloaded directly from the App Store for computers. It is worth mentioning that the novelty will only work on the new generation of Apple computers.
IPadOS, a system developed for iPads, also received news at WWDC. The idea is for users to take more advantage of the device’s multitouch display, making better use of applications. One of the new features is the Sidebar, a sidebar that is available in several apps and allows, for example, organizing the photo library just by dragging a file.
Another highlight of the iPadOS 14 is the search engine, which has been redesigned. The feature, which gained a more compact look, is more intelligent and is able to present relevant suggestions as soon as the user starts typing a search. In addition, some iOS widgets are also coming to the iPad.
Finally, Apple Pencil has also been improved, making writing on the iPad easier. One of the novelties is the Scribble function, which allows you to write texts manually with the pen in any text field so that the iPad itself can convert it into digital text.
WatchOS 7 now gives you more options for customizing your smartwatch interface to facilitate access to important information. Designs can be shared among friends or found online or on social networks, to download and install the customized interface on the device. Apple Maps on watchOS 7 has also won directions for cyclists announced for iOS 14.
The new edition of the Apple Watch OS also opens dance mode, a physical activity that was not previously included in the accessory’s exercise directory. WatchOS 7 is also capable of detecting and reading the user’s choreography movements, and progress can be seen in the revamped Fitness app.
In addition, the Apple Watch now starts to monitor the user’s sleep with the option of establishing a sleep routine with the duration specified by the person. The integration with the iPhone allows the smartphone to prepare the user to sleep in the “Wind Down” mode (rest, in Portuguese), with the option of using apps to relax and go to bed. The “Sleep” section of the Health application was also renewed to check the data. WatchOS 7 also has machine learning to detect when the user is washing his hands and then activate a timer that indicates the ideal time to do the cleaning.
Apple TV +
Apple TV + is the company’s streaming service, which can be watched on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple TVs and smart TVs, among other devices. Launched at WWDC 2019, the platform has already reached one billion streams. During WWDC 2020, the company took the opportunity to announce the launch of a new original production: Foundation. The series, which is an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic, will arrive in service next year.
Apple also presented news related to AirPods , which now have another “asset” in connectivity with Apple devices. When changing from iPhone to iPad, for example, the Bluetooth headset will follow the user, pairing with the device used at that time.
The AirPods Pro, the brand’s top of the line, can now operate with different audio systems through software, playing songs in 5.1 and 7.1. Thus, the accessory has a new spatial audio system, which works by means of gyroscopes and accelerometers to follow the reference of the environment, and not the device itself. Thus, the user can move his head and have a better spatial sensation when listening to music or watching movies and series with earbuds.
Connected home and new audio features also gained space at WWDC, with the new Home application. Developed in partnership with brands like Amazon and Google , among others, the system allows adding IoT devices more easily through the iPhone, promising to guarantee the privacy of the devices installed by the house.
The brand also announced improvements in the integration with the cameras, being possible to select a specific area to issue notices, and also to quickly identify who is at the door. In addition to notifications on the phone, the user can receive warnings via Apple TV, iPad, and also through HomePod. The idea is to increase the integration of smart home resources with Apple services, whether on iOS 14, iPadOS, or tvOS.
The manufacturer will also offer a new adaptive light feature, which adjusts accessories automatically. Smart lamps can then follow the needs of the environment to optimize lighting, changing color, intensity and temperature.
In addition to all the announcements, Apple took a moment during the presentation to talk about privacy on its devices and systems. The company reinforced its transparency policy and its concern with the security of its users’ data. In this sense, one of the news revealed by the company is that application developers should now create a kind of “nutritional table”, explaining their privacy practices. In addition, App Store applications must have the user’s permission to monitor their access to other websites and apps.
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