WWDC 2020 announces new advances across iOs, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and more

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference went digital this year and revealed many new features and updates to its product lineup.

Image: Mackenzie Burke

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was held June 22-26 with one big change. Rather than being hosted in its usual San Jose location, the five-day conference occurred entirely online, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new all-digital format increased the typical number of 5,000 developer attendees to millions. 

SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

WWDC 2020 showcased the latest advances across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and more. In addition, the conference featured a keynote by Apple CEO Tim Cook and the developer-focused Platforms State of the Union, as well as more than 100 engineering sessions, developer forums, and one-on-one developer labs by appointment.

The biggest draw of WWDC 2020 were the announcements. Here are just a few highlights. 

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SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

Apple Silicon Chip

Cook announced the highly anticipated Apple Silicon chip, indicating that macOS is starting to look a lot like iPad OS and iOS. The Arm-based Mac chips will help maximize performance and battery life, creating a common architecture across all Apple devices. This will also make it easier for developers to bring services and apps to Gadgets. 

All Apple apps are already configured for the new chips, and developers can already make their own projects compatible in Xcode. 

 

SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

watchOS 7 

watchOS 7 will give Apple more of a footprint in healthcare–and handwashing hygiene. Yes, handwashing.  Other new features include watch face sharing, sleep tracking, and a hearing health feature. There’s also additional workout types such as dance, and Maps is being updated with cycling directions and language translation through Siri. 

All of these features will be available this fall when the watchOS 7 rollout is offered to Apple Watch users.

SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

iOS 14 updates

Apple rolled out its updates to iOS 14, and new features were designed with organization in mind. iOS 14 updates include easier ways to organize apps, add widgets, and create “smart stacks” based on the time of day. 

New additions include Picture-in-Picture (PIP) video mode for iPhone; App Clips, which act as smaller independent components of apps andwill allow users to try out portions of an app before deciding to download the full version; and features for cyclists and owners of electric vehicles. 

 

SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

iPadOS 14

Apple also revealed the next major software update for its iPad lineup, iPadOS 14. Among the new features in iPadOS 14 is a new-look for widgets in the iPad’s Today View. In addition to its makeover, the widgets will be more interactive. For example, you’ll be able to place Apple’s Calendar widget anywhere on the home screen to view your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

 

SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

New privacy and security features

Apple announced features that will make it much harder for online advertisers to track users. The most important of the changes are the new app privacy disclosure prompts. According to Apple, this new UI system will very visibly let users know what type of data each app collects about them. In addition, each app will now also have to disclose precisely each data type they use to track users across the web.

The ebook WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know compiled from content from TechRepublic and ZDNet provides a detailed recap of the conference including announcements about new hardware, new services, new features, and analysis.

SEE: WWDC 2020 highlights: What business pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)