Today, June 22nd, Apple held their virtual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote. They unveiled their latest software versions for their products: iOS 14, iPadOS 14, WatchOS 7, and MacOS Big Sur.
In what normally is a live event held at the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple presented us with a two-hour keynote video highlighting all of the new features coming to our devices this fall.
Here are my favorite parts of the keynote.
On your iPhone, you already have widgets if you swipe right on your home screen. In case you don’t know what a widget is, it is simply a way to get quick information using the apps that are installed on your phone.
Now, just like Android phones have had for years, you can put widgets on any screen that you would like. I’m excited for this. Each widget can be changed in size to display more or less information. I see myself using these for weather, my activity, my calendar, and battery percentages. While that is great and all, what if you run out of room for apps? Check out the App Library.
The App Library is where all of your Apps are stored. If you swipe past your very last page of apps, they will be in smart folders such as suggested apps and recent apps. You can search for a specific app from this location and also scroll through all of your apps in a list view.
As with all of these devices anymore, your iPhone and iOS will learn as you go for your suggested apps to be presented to you. The best thing about the widgets and App Library is that if you don’t like them, you don’t have to use them.
Messages is getting a lot of great features. The first one being able to pin converstions to the top of your Messages app. So those family and group texts that you interact with all of the time can be placed up top so you can be sure not to miss a thing and have quick access to them.
Another great new feature in Messages is the ability to mention someone in a text. Along with that, you can turn on notifications for that message thread for only the messages that you are mentioned in.
Also in Messages you can reply to specific messages in a thread. So if someone says something and you haven’t been able to check the message for an hour, and there are 15 new messages since then, you can go back and reply to that specific message that was asking you a question.
Phone Calls and Siri Design
You know how when you get a phone call or activate Siri and it takes up your entire screen? Well, you do not have to worry about that any longer. Now, when activating Siri, it only takes up a small amount of room at the bottom of the screen. Same with phone calls. When you are receiving a phone call while using your phone, it pops up at the top of your screen similar to a regular notification. This is way overdue.
Apple Watch Sleep Tracking
The Apple Watch is finally getting Sleep Tracking. This is something I have used on Fitbit for years. The biggest concern for the Apple Watch is battery life. For a watch that sometimes doesn’t last a full 24-hours, when are you going to be able to charge the watch if you are wearing it all day and all night? This is something we all are going to have to figure out. Some people have been using third party sleep tracking apps already and make it a habit to charge their watch when they get in the shower and other times where the watch isn’t necessary. I guess that could work but we will have to see for ourselves come this fall. Either way, I am looking forward to this.
This event was so different. There weren’t any Apple employees clapping and cheering during the announcements. It was a well put together video, to-the-point, and very polished. At first I wasn’t sure this was going to be any fun but it quickly gained momentum and excitement. Apple knew what they were doing with this keynote and rolled with the obstacles that were in front of them. If you want to watch the entire keynote, check it out here. I recommend watching it because there is so much more that I did not write about. These were the few features that caught my attention and that I am excited for. There is a lot of great Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPhone stuff that I did not touch on.
What features are you looking forward to the most? Let me know! Thanks for reading!