WWDC 2021 live recap: iOS 15, macOS 12 and all the biggest Apple Updates | Fort Saskatchewan
It’s one of the biggest WWDC keynotes in years, as Apple announces a slew of new features
Apple showed off some pretty significant software changes coming to the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch this year as part of its WWDC 2021 kick-off keynote. While there was no new Mac hardware as had been rumored prior to the event, the WWDC keynote wasn’t hurting for announcements, as Apple previewed iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 and watchOS 8.
Each of the software updates promises their own features and enhancements, but there are a few unifying additions. Apple’s looking to make it easier to share things between its devices, and privacy remains very much on the company’s mind as it tries to differentiate itself from other big tech companies.
All four of the software updates Apple announced during its keynote are available in beta form for developers right now. Public betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 and watchOS 8 will be available in July, with the final releases coming this fall.
Here’s what Apple had to say about its different software platforms during its WWDC 2021 keynote.
iOS 15: Apple’s iPhone software adds a major overhaul of FaceTime, highlighted by SharePlay which will let you listen to music, watch videos and share screens with other people on a video call; other enhancements include spatial audio for more natural sounding calls and a portrait mode to blur the background.
Notifications are getting redesigned in iOS, and a new Focus mode lets you filter out notifications that aren’t relevant to the task at hand, whether it’s work or relaxation. Wallet, Weather and Maps are all getting significant enhancements, while Apple is adopting some of Google’s best features with a Live Text capability that allows you to convert the text that you photograph into actual text for a note.
iPadOS 15: Many of the same features found in iOS 15 will make their way to Apple’s tablets, too, but there are some iPad-specific changes, too. Specifically, on-screen widgets are finally appearing on the iPad, and they’re customized for the tablet’s more ample screen real estate. The Translate app introduced in iOS 14 is coming to the iPad as well.
Multitasking is getting a big upgrade in iPadOS 15, starting with menu buttons for easy access to different multitasking modes. There’s also new ways to create split-screen views from your open apps.
macOS 12: Goodbye, Big Sur — hello, macOS Monterey. That’s the new name for Apple’s Mac software, which is a more modest update compared to last year’s release. Still, you’ll find features like a version of Shortcuts for Mac that brings the iPhone’s automation tool to laptops and desktops. An AirPlay to Mac feature lets you take advantage of your Mac’s bigger screen for viewing content, and Universal Control lets you use the same input device across different Apple products, like your Mac and iPad.
Safari sees the biggest change in macOS with a redesigned toolbar and grouped Tabs. In fact, those changes are coming to Safari on the iPad and iPhone, too, with the latter getting an entirely new look tailored to that device’s smaller screen.
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