What Apple just announced at WWDC 2020 (a recap)

Here’s the skinny on what Apple announced at WWDC 2020 iOS 14 Navigation and Organization on Home screen Most people have many pages of apps on their phone but only use the first few pages. ​​Now you can hide specific pages of apps The last page is a new App Library which organizes all of …

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Written by

Chris C

Published on

22 Jun 2020

Here’s the skinny on what Apple announced at WWDC 2020

iOS 14

  1. Navigation and Organization on Home screen
    • Most people have many pages of apps on their phone but only use the first few pages.
    • ​​Now you can hide specific pages of apps
    • The last page is a new App Library which organizes all of your apps into categories automatically
    • From this App Library page, you can also search and access recently installed and most accessed apps
  2. Widgets
    • ​​Apple did it. Now you can add widgets anywhere on your screen alongside your app icons
    • Widgets are resizable and display data at a glance
    • Smart Stack: This is a special widget that changes what data it displays contextually. For example, it might display weather in the morning and stocks later on in the day.
    • The Smart Stack widget also lets you swipe through widgets in place.
  3. Picture in picture
    • ​​You can continue watching video or facetime while accessing other apps.
    • It floats, is resizable, can be hidden with the audio still playing and you can close it for bring it back to full screen.
  4. Siri
    • New experience: It doesn’t take up the full screen now
    • Siri results show up as cards like notifications
    • You can also ask Siri to send audio messages now
  5. Translate App
    • ​​There’s a new Translate app with on-device translation
    • Designed for conversations
    • Works offline
    • Supports 11 languages to start (English, Mandarin, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian)
  6. Messages App
    • ​​More Memoji headwear, hairstyles, age options and face coverings
    • 3 new Memoji Stickers
    • Improved Group chats experience including mentions and direct and threaded replies
  7. Maps App
    • ​​Improved Maps for more countries including UK, Ireland and Canada
    • Guides for discovering new places
    • New ways to navigate using environmentally friendly ways
    • Cycling routes are available now with elevation, noise level, stairs indicators and option to avoid routes with stairs (Select cities only to start: NYC, LA, SF Bay Area, Shanghai, Bejing)
    • Electric Vehicle Routing which considers your current charge and plans trips with compatible chargers
  8. CarPlay and Digital Car Keys
    • New categories and backgrounds
    • Digital car keys using iPhone. Unlock and start your car with your iPhone. Only works with an upcoming BMW right now.
    • Apple is working on a new standard so that they can bring it to more cars.
    • Can issue and share digital car keys with other people with iPhones. 
    • You can put restrictions on the keys (for your teens for example)
    • Will be available on iOS 13/14
  9. AppClips
    • ​​Not the full app but a “slice of an app”
    • Lets you use a specific piece of functionality, the moment you need it but without having to have the app installed
    • It’s a small part of an app that is light and fast, easy to discover and designed for speed.
    • AppClips can be launched from a variety of way including from Safari, Messages, Maps, NFC tags, QR codes or the new AppClip codes
    • When you scan the code or tap on the NFC tag, the app clip launches on your phone in a card and you can use that little bit of functionality without downloading the full app
    • Example use case: You use a parking meter and it has an app. Instead of downloading the app, the parking meter has an AppClip sticker on it that you tap your phone on. That will launch the app clip that you need without having to download and install the parking meter app.
    • AppClips are integrated with ApplePay and Sign in with Apple so you never have to create accounts or punch in payment details.
    • App Clips won’t stay on your home screen
    • App Clips are a part of your app (uses native SDK, less than 10mb)
    • Can display notifications within 8 hours of being launched
    • Can prompt users to install the full app (so AppClips can be a way for people to contextually and quickly try an app)

iPadOS 14

  1. Navigation and Organization
    • ​​New sidebar in iPad apps, making it easier to browse, navigate and organize
    • Redesigned toolbars and dropdown pickers
  2. Siri Improvements
    • Same as iOS
  3. Calls
    • No full screen when a call comes in
    • Doesn’t take you out of context
  4. Search
    • No longer a full screen experience
    • New Universal search allows you to find anything (works like spotlight)
    • You can use it as an app launcher, finding contacts, documents, search within apps, look up info via Safari and navigate to websites
  5. Pencil
    • Scribble: Handwriting can be automatically transformed to text now
    • Handwrite in any textfield. It’ll be turned to text. Hand drawn shapes/symbols can be turned into shapes/symbols too
    • Can copy handwriting and paste as typed text


  1. Automatic switching as you use different devices
  2. Spatial audio
    • Simulated surround sound through some hardcore audio engineering
    • For AirPods pro


  1. Complications and watch faces
    • Can share watch faces now (they call it “Face Sharing”)
    • Share via App Store or on website or via Messages
    • You can share the watch faces you create
    • Developers can offer pre-configured watch faces with their apps
    • Share watch faces on social media
  2. Maps
    • Cycling directions just like iOS 14 (Shows time, elevation, congestion and turn by turn directions
  3. Workouts
    • More accurately tracks dancing and other activities
    • Renamed to “Fitness”
  4. Sleep tracking
    • Helps you meet your sleep duration goals
    • Wind down:  a new mode that helps you get to bed on time
    • Allows you to create a personalized wind down routine to get to bed
    • Includes dimming the screen, playing soothing music, launching your meditation apps, setting your devices to do not disturb etc
    • Includes morning greeting when you wake up
    • Uses machine learning model to sense sleep movements and micro movements 
    • Updated sleep stats section in the Health app
    • Also available on iOS 14 on the phone without a watch
  5. Hand washing
    • Automatically detects when you’re washing your hands using motion and sounds of water/soap
    • Coaches and counts down to make sure you washing thoroughly enough


  1. Sign in with apple
    • You can now upgrade your existing account to use Sign in with Apple instead of creating a new account
  2. Sharing of Location Data
    • You can choose to only share approximate location
  3. Mic and Camera
    • More clear about requiring permission and more visible when it is being used.
  4. Privacy Policies for Apps
    • Will be summarized in a card in the App Store listing
    • It is self reported by developer


  1. HomeKit
    • Open sourced
    • Apple is working on alliance with Amazon, Google and other smart home companies to form a standard
  2. Adaptive Lighting
    • Automatically adjust color temperature of smart bulbs throughout the day/evening
  3. Cameras
    • Can define activity zones
    • Face recognition
    • HomePod will announce visitors by name
    • Can see live view of cameras from AppleTV


  1. – Multi-user gaming progress tracking


  1. New version 11: Big Sur
    • New design and updates on Mac apps
  2. New Design
    • Sounds, iconography
    • Top to bottom side bar
    • Refined toolbar on apps
    • Consistent across ecosystem
  3. Control Center on mac
    • Access to system controls easily
    • Can customize it with widgets
  4. Mac Catalyst
    • Run iPad apps on Mac
    • Now can take advantage of native resolution
    • Increased capabilities, menu and keyboard APIs
  5. Improvements to Various Mac Apps (Messages, Maps)
  6. Improvements to Safari
    • See how websites are tracking you
    • Checks your passwords against breached ones
    • Extensions: Allow what the extension can access and for how long
    • Multiple usability improvements regarding working with multiple tabs
    • Built in automatic translation on web pages


  1. Apple will now use its own Silicon Chips in Macs so that they have more control of how the software and hardware interact
    • The goal: Higher performance at lower power consumption
    • They’ve already ported their Mac apps are native (even Final Cut) and ready on this new chip
    • For other apps, you can use the options below
  2. Universal 2
    • A way to compile your app so that it can run on both Intel based macs and Apple silicon chip based macs
    • Just open code in Xcode and recompile for Universal 2
  3. Rosetta 2:
    • Automatically translates your Intel based apps during installation so that you can still use them on the new Apple Silicon based macs
  4. Virtualization
    • No need to download virtualization software.
  5. iOS/iPadOS
    • You can now download iPhone/iPad apps and run them on your Mac

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