WWDC 2021 Recap

Below you’ll find notes for all the new features announced at Apple’s WWDC!

I’m especially excited for building apps on iPad!

Table of Contents

iOS 15

  • Facetime
    • Spatial audio – participants voices sound like they’re coming from around you for realism
    • Voice isolation – machine learning to remove ambient background noise
    • Wide spectrum – picks up everything
    • Grid view – View all participants in a grid
    • Portrait mode – blurs background and puts focus on your face
    • FaceTime links – Generate a Facetime link and share it
    • End to end encrypted
    • SharePlay
      • Shared experiences that you can enjoy while on Facetime call
      • Shared music
      • Watch movies/tv shows
      • Share your screen on FaceTime
      • SharePlay API – Disney+, Hulu, HBOMax, NBA, ESPN+, plutotv, paramount+, tik tok, twitch, masterclass works right now
  • Messages
    • Collage design – pile of photos that you can swipe through
    • Bring content that’s shared with you into the apps you use
    • Shared With You section in Apple apps – the articles, music shared with you in the apps you use. Apple Music, Apple News, Photos, Podcasts, Apple TV, Safari
    • Pin messages
  • Focus
    • Notification Summary
      • Batch and Schedule them to be delivered
      • AI to arrange what notifications
      • Ordered by priority
      • Notifications from people will appear immediately
    • Do not disturb on device
      • Status appears in messages
    • Focus – Do not disturb, personal, work, sleep
      • Set up your own focus
      • Specify what apps and people to allow to come through
      • Can customize widgets and space based on focus
      • Custom focusses sync across devices
  • Live Text
    • OCR (Optical character recognition) on photos
    • Recognizes text in a photo and lets you interact with the text
    • Copy and paste text from a photo
    • Understands 7 languages
    • Recognizes objects, landmarks, places and scenes and tags it
    • Can tap on a recognized object to get more information or search about it
  • Spotlight / Lookup
    • Photo search
      • Find photos right in spotlight using intelligence (people, objects, landmarks are automatically detected and catagorized)
    • Person search
      • Find conversations, meetings, messages, shared items about people on your contacts
      • Can look up celebrities too
  • Photos
    • Memories – Creates movies for you based on your photos and movies
    • Can bring in Apple Music now
    • Interactive, built on the fly
    • Memory mixes
      • Customize the memory movie that has been created for you
      • Tweak transitions, music mixes, filters etc
  • Wallet
    • Currently stores your credit cards and transit cards
    • They’re expanding it to store:
      • Disney park passes
      • Car keys – BMW
      • Home keys –
      • Corporate badges
      • Hotel keys – Hyatt
      • Drivers license – scan your ID and store in Wallet
      • Airline tickets
  • Weather
    • New design and graphics
    • New animated backgrounds that are more precise
    • Weather maps – air quality, precipitation
  • Maps
    • Available in: US, UK, Ireland, Canada
    • Newly added: Spain, Portugal
    • Future: Italy, Australia
    • New road details and visualizations: cross walks, turn signals
    • Automatically follows your transit route and tells you when to exit the subway or train
    • You can hold up your phone and use AR to scan your surrounding and Apple will recognize where you are and then help you navigate you toward your intended route (Only available select cities for now)

AirPods

  • Conversation boost
    • For people with mild hearing challenges
    • Can reduce ambient noise
    • Announce notifications – Siri reads your important, time sensitive notifications, reads your shopping list
    • Can choose which apps can do this
  • Find My Network
    • Sends out a secure bluetooth beacon so you can find it
    • You’ll get sent a phone notification if you accidentally leave your airpods behind
  • Spatial audio
    • 3D sound with dynamic head tracking
    • Dolby Atmos on Apple music

iPadOS 15

  • Widgets on home screen
    • Has larger widgets for iPad
  • App library is now available on iPad
    • This is currently on iOS (the app groups on the last screen of your device)
  • Multitasking
    • New gestures to help multi-tasking and switching between apps
    • multitasking controls can be triggered from the top center of the screen
      • Can choose an app and do split screen with two apps side by side easily
      • Can swipe down an app to select another app to take it’s place
    • Shelf
      • Allows you easily switch between apps/windows
      • Swipe down to an app to minimize it to the new shelf
      • Keeps all of your active apps/windows
      • Can bring up a app/window by tapping it from the shelf
    • Can use keyboard shortcuts to multi-task if you have a connected keyboard
  • Notes
    • Collaboration
      • Can mention people now which notifies people
      • Activity view to see who’s change what
      • Add tags to your notes, Tag browser
    • Quick Note
      • Gesture to open a new note from anywhere by dragging from lower right corner of screen.
      • Contextual to what app (even third party apps) you’re using
      • So the next time you’re using that app, it’ll show you the notes you took during that app
      • Deep links to within apps too
  • Translate
    • New on iPad
    • Can translate in split view
    • Auto Translate
      • Detects when you’re speaking and what language you’re speaking
    • System wide translate
      • Translate text anywhere
      • Translate text on a photo
      • Can tap on text anywhere and get it translated
      • iPadOS, macOS, iOS
  • Swift Playgrounds
    • Build apps on your iPad!
    • Improved code completion
    • Whole library of UI components
    • Run your app full screen to try it out
    • Submit to App Store via iPad
    • Can build iOS and iPadOS apps on iPad

Privacy

  • Mail
    • You can choose whether or not you want to allow tracking in emails
    • Hides your IP
    • Hides your location
    • Hides if you open emails
  • Safari
    • Cross site tracking
    • Hide your IP Address
    • See which trackers were prevented in report in settings
  • App privacy report
    • In your settings
    • See how apps are tracking you during the last 7 days
    • See all the third party domains that app is contacting
  • Siri
    • On device speech recognition. Audio never leaves device
    • Make siri requests without internet since audio is processed on device
    • Speeds things up
  • iCloud
    • Account recovery – people you trust as a recovery contact
    • Digital Legacy – Pass down information when you pass away
    • Add people as legacy contacts. When you pass away, your stuff will be passed on to these contacts
    • iCloud+
      • Private Relay
        • Browser your safari in an even more secure way
        • data coming in is encrypted
        • sent through two internet relays
        • can’t see hwo you are or what you’re visiting
      • Hide my email
        • Share random email address that forward to your actual email
        • Easy to set up and delete as many proxy emails as you need. In Settings
      • HomeKit secure video
        • Doesn’t count towards your iCloud storage
        • Unlimited video cameras
      • No price increase

Health

  • ResearchKit, CareKit, HealthKit
    • Monitor changes to your health
    • Walking Steadiness
      • Fall risk
      • Motion sensors measure how fast and steady you walk
      • View your score in Health app
      • See how your steadiness changes as time goes by
      • Learn how to improve your steadiness with exercises
    • When you receive lab results
      • Health app helps you better understand your health by giving you information into terminology and how it compares to averages
    • Trends
      • Get insight into overall trends and changes on your health metrics such as cholesterol,
    • Share your data with your health care provider in a secure and private way (if they’re using a supported health records platform)
    • Family
      • Taking care of parents and younger
      • View health data, trends and alerts about people who you care about
      • The other person has to agree to it
      • Receive notifications and alerts about heart rate, steadiness changes

watchOS 8

  • Health
    • Mindfulness app
      • Breath app
      • Reflect
        • prompts to help you have mindful moments
    • Sleep app
      • Respiratory rate
        • Tracks how many breaths per minute
    • New workout types
      • Tai Chi
      • Pilates
  • Fitness+
    • new workouts with Jeanette Jenkins
    • Artist spotlight: workouts based on a specific artist (using only their music)
  • Photos
    • New watch face – Portraits from your photos
    • Redesigned
      • memory highlights
      • featured photos
      • favorite photos
      • Scroll through new mosaic layout
      • Can share photos via message and mail directly from photos app
  • Messages
    • Tap on a word or use the watch crown to move cursor while typing

HomeKit

  • Home Keys, tap your iphone or watch to open the door
  • Ask Siri to play something on your ATV
  • ATV app has “Shared with You” row, for all of you row for suggestions on what everyone likes
  • Can select HomePod speakers to output audio from your ATV
  • HomePod Mini in Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Italy (later this year)
  • For the first time, Siri available to third party devices
  • Home app improvements on Watch and ATV
    • Intercom
    • See what’s going on around the house

macOS Monterey

  • Many of the new features discussed above are also available on macOS
  • Universal Control
    • Single mouse to move between mac and iPad
    • Place your iPad beside your mac screen and you can move your mouse to your iPad like it’s a second screen
    • Control iPad via trackpad and keyboard once your mouse cursor is on the iPad
    • Drag and drop files between devices
  • AirPlay
    • Can airplay to mac to use a larger screen and mac speakers
  • Automation
    • Shortcuts app now on Mac
    • They’re embedded throughout the OS and Apple apps
    • Import automator workflows into Shortcuts app
  • Safari
    • Redesigned UI
      • New tab design
      • More space efficient
    • Tab groups
    • Also on iPhone, iPad
    • Extensions
      • Now on iPhone and iPad

Developer Technologies

  • New APIs
    • Shared playback controls – Shareplay
    • Region based notifications
    • Voice isolation
    • Focus
    • Extra large widget
    • Always on apps for watch OS
    • And much more
  • Object Capture
    • Easy 3D content creation
    • Turns a series of 2D images to a 3D model
    • import 2D images into Cinema 4D
    • Generate an AR Preview
  • Swift
    • Concurrency
      • Async, await, actor
      • Simplifies writing concurrent code
      • Used to be a lot of code and hard to understand
  • App Store
    • AB Testing app icons and other meta data
    • In App Events
      • Events will be surfaced in the app store
      • To users of your app and non-users
      • Events will show up as Personalized recommendations and in search
      • Widget will feature events too
  • Xcode Cloud
    • Continuous integration
    • Frees up your mac from compiling
    • Build, test, deliver
  • Testflight available for Mac apps now

Conclusion

  • Developer betas available now
  • Public betas in July
  • Public releases available in the Fall

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