Apple has proven itself head and shoulders above the rest over the course of 2020.
When met with the challenge of providing tech to a world that’s more tech-driven than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it really rose to the occasion with features that assist the differently-abled, and upgrades that take its products to new levels of efficiency and fun.
Clearly, it isn’t done yet.
The company announced the latest features heading to iPhones and iPads in the coming months at its first virtual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday, writes The Guardian.
Let’s break it down.
iOS 13 improved privacy and speed on Apple devices and introduced Dark Mode. This time around, Apple is focusing on customisation options.
For the first time users will be able to view all their installed apps in a list view called App Library, similar to that available on most Android smartphones, which automatically sorts apps into large category folders or a searchable list. Users can also hide apps from the rest of the home screens by hiding pages.
Apple is also adding widgets to the main home screen, which sit between app icons, including one that automatically selects time-dependent information called smartstack.
It’s also tweaked iMessage, with pinned messages, @-mentions, and improvements to group chats.
Privacy is still up there on Apple’s list of concerns. It’s added more awareness of privacy to the App Store. Privacy practices will be displayed from apps, showing you what data they collect and which companies it is shared with before you download them so that you know what you’re getting into.
Take a look at what Facebook does with your information if you want some insight into why this is a gamechanger.
Apple plans on turning the iPhone into a car key with a new contactless CarKey feature. This will allow you to unlock your car using NFC. The feature will be rolled out on iOS 13 and the new iOS 14, with the 2021 BMW 5 series the first car to support it.
Siri underwent a slight makeover recently when her response to the question “do black lives matter?” was upgraded to be more accurate and in line with the times.
Now, per The Verge, Siri has a new view.
…instead of taking over your whole screen when you activate the digital assistant, there’s just a small overlay at the bottom of the display of the animated Siri icon. There are also new features: Siri can now send audio messages in addition to just dictated messages.
Incoming calls and FaceTime calls will also appear in a pop-up that doesn’t obscure your entire screen.
The company has announced a translate app built into iOS, which will allow users to easily translate between languages.
Users will be able to enter text in or dictate messages and have them translated into 11 languages. English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese,Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, and Russian will all be supported at launch.
If your business involves international relations, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
The iPad is becoming more like a Mac
Seth said a while back that all you need to conduct your daily business is an iPad, and with these new features, he was clearly on the button.
Back to The Guardian:
Having gained full trackpad and mouse support in iPad OS 13.4, Apple’s iPad software is gaining the new features from iOS 14, including customised default apps, which will make the iPad even more like a laptop computer.
New for iPad OS 14 is the introduction of sidebars to most first-party apps, and the addition of toolbars similar to desktops apps with drop-down menu actions. Universal Search has been revamped to more resemble the way Spotlight search works on a Mac, with a pop up that can be invoked over any app.
The updated Scribble feature will let you turn handwritten copy into text. You can select and move handwriting in notes, using the on-device machine learning and the Apple Pencil stylus.
Apple Watch enthusiasts – there’s something for you, too.
Apple’s smartwatch continues to dominate the watch market. Its watch OS software is gaining more customisation in the form of new rich complications and new watch faces, including the new Infograph face with a tachometer and the ability to share your customised face combinations to friends and family or download them from a site or app.
A lack of outside activities thanks to worldwide lockdowns means that more people are exercising than ever before.
The Workout app has also been redesigned and renamed Fitness, which better shows your current trends on the iPhone from the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will also be able to finally track your sleep, matching offerings from Samsung, Garmin and others. Wind Down will attempt to help you sleep by reducing distractions on your iPhone and Watch, while new alarms including silent alarms can wake you in the morning.
Plus – and here’s another example of Apple keeping up with the times – the Apple Watch will also automatically detect handwashing, setting a countdown timer to make sure that you’re getting the job done properly.
iOS 14 will be coming your way later this year. While the official dates have not been released, you can take part in the first beta test if you go to beta.apple.com using the device upon which you wish to run the beta. Tap on “Sign up” and then follow the instructions to download the beta profile.
There are plans for public beta testing for all iOS users in July. iOS 14 will work on the iPhone 6S and up.
If you’ve been on the fence about switching your current phone for an iPhone or upgrading your tablet to an iPad, the above should be all the motivation you need.
In the same vein, if your current iPhone won’t support these changes, it might be time to get your hands on the latest model.
When you do make the change, head on over to Digicape, your one-stop shop for all things Apple in South Africa.
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