At the beginning of its WWDC developer conference, Apple is presenting its new operating systems for iPhones, iPads, Mac computers and other devices. The big bang is the new in-house ARM chips for Mac computers, which make the computers compatible with iOS apps, among other things.
Because of the corona pandemic, Apple's developer conference also took place for the first time exclusively as a virtual streaming event. You only noticed that at the opening keynote by the lack of applause. Otherwise, Tim Cook and his team completed the show as confidently as ever.
iOS becomes clearer
After the Apple boss briefly dealt with the pandemic and the mass demonstrations against police violence in his country, iOS 14 got down to business without the usual self-praise, which would have required applause. The operating system receives a new app collection, in which users can get a quick overview of the installed applications, as with Android. Apple has also revised the widgets. They are now available in different sizes and can also be placed on the homescreen like an app.
The company devoted great attention to the digital assistant Siri, which should become more useful and should finally catch up with the Google Assistant. So you can not only start applications as a widget via Siri under iOS 14, there is also a new translator app that can be controlled via the wizard. The news app has also been revised. Among other things, you can pin conversations on top and there are new emojis – also one with a mask.
US cyclists have a head start
Among other things, Apple Maps receives more functions for cyclists and information for drivers of electric cars. However, the improvements, like previous innovations, are initially reserved for a few cities or English-speaking countries.
With Car Key, the iPhone can replace car keys in future and iMessage can be used to share access to the vehicle with other people. It is possible to link the virtual key to conditions, for example restricting the use to a specific area or specific times. BMW is Apple's first partner here.
App clips are a kind of mini-apps that can be used without having to install an application. They seem to be particularly handy when it comes to making a quick purchase – which of course you can pay with Apple Pay.
Handwriting is back in fashion
iPadOS 14 not only gets most of the new features of iOS 14, but also a few special extras. A new sidebar gives apps a better overview and the search is more universal. If you use an Apple Pencil, you can now make handwritten entries in many places, which are automatically converted into text.
Apple has also given Airpods updates. The earphones now automatically reconnect when the device is changed and Spatial Audio gives them a new surround sound feature that also takes head movements into account.
WatchOS 7 brings new watch faces with more complications and the possibility to share the watch faces with other users. Maps now also offers information for cyclists on Apple Watches, but the same applies here as for iOS 14: initially not in Germany. The activity app is now called the fitness app and is becoming clearer and more extensive. The watch is also intended to help users sleep better in the future.
Security as a selling point
To prove that Apple is the company that respects the privacy and security of its users more than its competitors, the upcoming updates will give users more control options. Among other things, they are even more clearly informed when an app is using the location or the camera and the Safari browser is supposed to prevent tracking even more effectively.
New home functions should also bring more security, for example facial recognition for surveillance cameras. If you can't do anything with it, you also get entertaining new control options, for example for atmospheric ambient light.
Apple TV was less about software updates than about new series and films that will soon be available on Apple TV +. Highlight is "Foundation" after Isaac Asimov.
Macs steal the show from iPhones and iPads
The highlight of the Apple show was actually the Macs that were treated somewhat neglectfully. The next operating system macOS will be called Big Sur. It is said to be the biggest design change since macOS was introduced. The operating system has been changed down to the smallest detail, should be airy and clearer and at the same time easier to use.
Among other things, there is a customizable menu bar with a completely new control center that enables quick access to the controls from the desktop. An updated messaging center includes more interactive notifications and redesigned widgets in various sizes to provide users with more relevant information at a glance.
Safari should also receive one of the biggest updates so far. It's all about speed, the browser should now be 50 percent faster than Google Chrome. A new info button informs users about tracking habits of a website. There is a beefed up tab view and finally Safari gets new extensions that users can grant permissions for a session or for a certain time.
ARM chips on all devices
Then the bang: Tim Cook announced the official end of Intel processors in Macs. In the future, Apple will use its own chips called "Apple Silicon". The main thing is to use chips with as much power as possible and with the lowest possible energy consumption, says department head Johny Srouji. And: You will then have the same processor architecture on all devices. That said, the new Mac chips are ARM chips. This brings great compatibility between Macs, iPhones and iPads. This goes so far that iOS apps should run on Macs in the future without adaptation. Conversely, older applications are said to continue to work on Apple silicone computers.
Macs with Intel chips should not be neglected, there would also be other computers with Pentium processors, Cook said at the end. It has to be that way, because the first Apple Silicon Mac is supposed to be on the market by the end of the year. However, the changeover will take around two years, says Cook.
. (tagsToTranslate) Technology (t) Apple (t) WWDC (t) Operating Systems (t) Mac OS X (t) Computer (t) iPhone (t) iPad (t) iOS (t) Tim Cook