The big announcements during WWDC20 keynote
Missed Apple’s presentation? Here’s the low-down on what happened. Roman Loyola reports
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference was completely online this year, but that doesn’t mean the company held back on its announcements. Since there was no live audience to interrupt the keynote with applause, hoots and hollers, Apple covered a lot of ground at a brisk pace during its two-hour presentation. You can watch the keynote in its entirety online (see fave.co/2Z1gtcY), but if you don’t have the time, you can find out what happened in our summary right here.
Macs switch to Apple ARM CPUs
Apple’s announcement that it will switch from Intel processors to its own silicon was the final segment of the keynote, saving the biggest news for last. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple has planned for a twoyear transition, with the first ARM-based Mac coming later this year. Apple has a kit available for third-party software developers to create software that can natively run on ARM-based Macs. The company also revealed Rosetta2, technology that will allow users to run software originally created for Intel-based Macs.
We have the complete details in the September edition of our sister publication Macworld.
macOS 11 Big Sur
Usually, the Mac is a short section of the WWDC keynote. This year, it’s front and centre, thanks mostly to
the ARM switch. But there are also big changes coming to macOS this year. The next version of macOS is called Big Sur, and it’s officially version 11.
If you felt like macOS was started to look a little tired, you’re in for a treat with Big Sur. It features a revamped user interface, with reworked menus, app sidebars and app icons. Notification Centre has improved functionality, and Control Centre
– a main UI element for iPhones and iPads – is now available on the Mac.
Apple used its Mac Catalyst technology to convert the iOS versions of Maps and Message to new Mac versions. And Safari has a slew of new features, including improved speed, start page customizations, improved support for Extensions and new privacy features.
You can learn more about the new features in the September edition of our sister publication Macworld.
This is the iOS update that long-time iPhone uses have been aching for, mostly because it has a feature that’s long overdue: a new Home screen. Apps can be automatically grouped together in a screen called the App Library. You can add widgets to your Home screen for quick access to the information you need. Siri gets some updates, with a new interface and new incorporation in a Translate app that can translate written and spoken words in real time. Translate works completely on the device to maintain your privacy.
Apple has brought the iPad’s picture-in-picture feature over to iOS. If you’re watching a video or making
a FaceTime call, the video screen will be in a persistent box, regardless of the app you are using.
For more on iOS 14’s new features see page 15.
Last year, Apple introduced iPadOS, a version of iOS that’s designed for use on Apple’s tablet. With version 14, iPadOS continues to evolve with features specific to the iPad.
Apple is changing the design language of the iPadOS so that apps can take better advantage of the platform. They will stop looking like iOS versions that were brought over to the iPad. You’ll see better implementations of sidebars, toolbars and menus. iPadOS 14 has improved Apple Pencil support, specifically for handwritten text. Apple is bringing over its Scribble handwriting recognition engine, so you can
write in apps as well as input fields, and the iPad will be able to recognize it. Many of the new features in iOS 14 are coming to iPadOS, such as the revamped Siri interface, App Clips and redesigned widgets. However, iPadOS is not getting the App Library feature.
Learn more about iPadOS 14 on page 39.
The next version of the Apple Watch operating system has some major new features. The main new feature is sleep tracking. It can track how much sleep you get, and also has a ‘wind down’ function.
In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple has created a new feature to help you wash your hands. It can sense when you’re doing so, and start a 20-second time to make sure you wash properly.
Other new features include the ability to share watch faces with others, a new Dance workout, and an enhanced Noise app to help protect your hearing.
See page 47 for 5 ways watchOS 7 will supercharge your Apple Watch this autumn.
The smart home is an ever-growing market for Apple, and the company made several improvements to the Home app and the underlying HomeKit technology. Among the features introduced were:
• Support for adaptive lighting
• Facial recognition for security cameras
• Create tracking zones for security cameras
• Live streams of security cameras