WWDC 2020: Apple unveils iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS, more
Apple's first-ever "virtual, online-only" Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is off to a flying start. The Cupertino giant, for the first time ever, is hosting a community of millions of developers for free, giving them a glimpse at what the next generation of Apple's software products would look like. Plus, there is a major announcement for Mac lovers. Here's everything the company has announced.
iOS 14 with updated Siri experience, homescreen widgets, App Library
The biggest highlight of the update, iOS 14, has debuted with a bunch of changes, including a new App Library, AI-curated folders to organize apps into different categories. Additionally, the company has announced new, data-rich widgets that work on the home screen in different sizes, a smart-stack that automatically suggests widgets, PiP mode, smaller Siri experience, a translate app, and incremental Message, Maps improvements.
iPadOS 14: New sidebar for organization, search, call screen improvements
iPadOS 14 comes with the same iOS 14 features, including redesigned widgets, with added options like a sidebar for better organization of content across Photos, Notes, and Music apps. The company has also changed the incoming call screen into a compact avatar and revamped search by allowing you to look up from any screen. The new Siri now works simultaneously from lower right corner.
Improvements to Apple Pencil
With iPadOS 14, Apple Pencil is getting new capabilities such as the ability to write in any text field with multiple language detection and automatic shape and angle correction. Apple Pencil is now more deeply integrated with iPadOS, and hence more natural to use.
watchOS 7 with sleep tracking, gentle alerts, and more
Apple's watchOS 7, meanwhile, brings the much-coveted abilities to track your sleep, and share watch faces. It will automatically dim when you sleep and show information upon waking up, use gentle haptic alerts for alarms, and run a handwashing counter to let you know when it is time to stop. The Activity app of watchOS has been renamed to Fitness with several additional workouts.
tvOS 14 with PiP mode, 4k AirPlay support
For tvOS 14, Apple is focusing on ease of use and privacy with features like the ability to show security camera footage on your TV and picture-in-picture mode to let you watch TV while using apps. It also comes with an easy-to-use way to switch between different user-profiles, support for Xbox and Xbox adaptive controller, and improved 4k content support via AirPlay.
macOS Big Sur with customizable start page, redesigned dock
Apple has also announced macOS Big Sur, which gives a completely new Mac experience with many app updates from iPadOS 14 and iOS 14. There's an all-new notification center, customizable start page, redesigned app dock, and Control center in the menu bar and widgets are more sophisticated than before. Big Sur also brings updates to Safari with enhanced performance, power efficiency, and tab previews.
Shift from Intel to Apple Silicon
Finally, as we all expected, Apple has also announced the shift from Intel chips to its own ARM-based processors for Mac - Apple Silicon. These chips, as Apple said, will deeply integrate with macOS Big Sur and enable enhanced performance and battery life with Apple's own neural engine, high-efficiency and high-performance CPU cores, high-efficiency DRAM, high-performance GPU, and Secure Enclave coprocessor, among other things.
Minimal friction for cross platform apps
Apple emphasized in the event that its new chips will let third-party developers create and use apps across macOS, iPadOS, and iOS with minimal friction in between. iOS and iPadOS apps will be able to work natively on Silicon-based Macs.