My Favorites from WWDC 2021

I was full-on set to download the latest developer betas for iOS and iPad OS 15 after the World Wide Developer Conference keynote but nothing stood out enough to make me rush out and do it. But here are a few of the things that caught my attention.

FaceTime is getting a bunch of Zoom-like features which will be interesting to try out when the time comes. I like the idea of voice isolation to cut out background noise on a FaceTime call. We will finally be able to screen share on FaceTime using Share Play. You also can now have FaceTime links. These links can be sent to anyone and be opened on an Android device through the browser and on the web.

You will be able to use Focus to create different profiles to determine which type of notifications you want to be alerted to. I do like this idea so that you can limit personal notifications at work and limit work notifications when off-duty.

Apple Notes is getting some cool features such as Mentions, Activity View, and Tags. This is going to be nice when using shared notes. I use Apple Notes for so much and share a bunch of notes with my wife. Now, when sharing, we will be able to see what each other has changed over time. Neat.

Just when I thought Apple was going to make me cough up more money, they didn’t. They did introduce iCloud+ but it is included in your current paid iCloud plan. iCloud+ will include Private Relay which will essentially be an Apple-based Virtual Private Network, which is awesome. It will also include Hide my Email. This is where you can provide apps with a randomized email address that will forward any email from them to your personal email account. This is nice to limit who you give your email out to.

iPad finally got Widgets and App Library. It has some new multitasking feature that was unclear if it will be easier to use than it currently is. Still not what we were hoping for.

When I first wrote this, I wrote how disappointed I was and how underwhelming this release is going to be. But taking a step back, we seriously are living in the future. We have so much cool stuff in the palms of our hands and in our pockets, it is wild. Yes, we all want the radical changes every year and are bummed when it doesn’t happen. Apple continues to do great things and I am thankful to be a witness to it all.

As always, all of the new updates (iOS and iPad OS 15, WatchOS 8, and MacOS Monterey) will be free updates this Fall.

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