We can’t wait to be upgraded.
From iOS 14 to iPad OS and Watch OS, the Apple September event brought forth the brand’s next digital edge.
The Apple September Event has given us a lot of answers regarding the brand’s future offerings, especially when it comes to the Apple Watch Series 6 and 8th gen iPad. We might’ve gotten a glimpse of the next generation of hardware last night, but the software was already unveiled months ago at WWDC 2020. However, the recent big launch unveiled one key announcement: The next wave of OS will be reaching our devices today.
These are the key features you need to keep an eye out for.
App Library on iOS 14
Apple is thinking utility this year across the OS spectrum, and one of the first things highlighted was the App Library feature that will be a part of iOS 14. As of now, our apps may be organised, but they’re still a bit cluttered. To ease the process, iOS will have a new and improved search bar and auto-filtered groups of apps. This would also suggest apps based on recent usage.
This was one of the most futuristic moments of the WWDC 2020 — the revelation that you will soon be able to use your iPhone as your car key. A new technology built-in, starting with the 2021 BMW 5 Series, will allow you to unlock your car by gently tapping the car near the door handle. Want someone to drive your car to you? Just iMessage them the digital key and they’ll have access. We’re also expecting the software to start the car and even have cabin control in the future.
Widget view and its dynamic sizes
Widgets have been quick access portals and information bubbles on our devices. However, they’ve always had a standardised structure. The next wave of iOS and iPad OS will allow you to insert widgets alongside other apps now. Moreover, each widget will be available in different sizes — some square, some rectangular — each offering a different visual experience and display of information. This opens doors for app developers to get really creative with pre-app launch features.
Picture in Picture mode
Finally, Apple addresses and takes care of the one pet peeve iPhone users have had for years. Watching videos while the app remains closed. Remember how we’d have to keep the YouTube app open to listen to a song? Well, no more of that. This is called ‘Picture in Picture’ mode where you can have a video widget floating around while you multitask. You can even completely hide the video and only listen to the audio.
Siri is smarter than ever
Siri is much more capable of answering complex questions instead of jumping onto web-searching it. Ask her questions like ‘How do electric cars work?’ or ‘How long do I bake the cake for?’ and she’ll be able to help you. Instead of direct questions, she can now explain too. She can also reply in voice notes. Say you’re cooking, your hands are messy, and your iPhone rings — start off with “Hey Siri” and ask her to send a voice note to whoever’s calling.
Apple also debuted App Clips, an instant app feature. This allows you to basically do in-app activities outside the app. Be it quick payments, media sharing, or even ordering a specific dish from a restaurant. In a way, it’s almost like scanning a QR code and prompting action. In addition, you can even link Apple Pay to this new feature, allowing you to make instant payments as well.
Scribble on iPad
For those who keep taking notes, there’s a new app for you. ‘Scribble’ allows you to write in any text field with the Apple Pencil, and automatically converts it to text. It detects phone numbers, emails, shapes, and much more.
Spatial Audio on AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro is the undisputed apex when it comes to wireless sound experience. While presenting this, Apple stated that they’ve taken inspiration from movie theatres to create this hyper-realistic and surround sound experience. Using what Apple is calling Spatial Audio, the Airpods Pro will also use its gyroscope to understand our head movement and adjust the surround sound experience accordingly.
The Apple Silicon
Apple will now be building its own chips to power its Mac computers to create a “common architecture” that makes them suitable for the same ecosystem as the iPhone and iPad. Termed ‘Apple Silicon’, the initiative ends a longstanding partnership with chipmaker Intel and enables the computers to run the same apps as those on iPhones. Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the move represents “a huge leap forward for the Mac”, which would get a more powerful and energy-efficient system that operates more like Apple’s mobile devices.
Face sharing on the Apple Watch
Over the past few years, we’ve been getting all kinds of creative with the Apple Watch face. Some like it minimalistic or sleek, others like it bold and detailed. Now, Apple will allow you to customise the watch face further and include more widgets and technical features. You can also share your watch face concept with a buddy with a simple tap.
Dance training mode on Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is currently world’s favourite tech gadget to work out. It keeps training fun, competitive, and inspiring. But it only kept track of our training. Now, the Apple Watch will consider dance and yoga as a form of training and activity too. It will understand rhythmic movements and velocity of each dance step to analyse this. There’ll be a brand new ‘Fitness’ app dedicated to this.
Apple Watch will track how frequently you wash your hands
The sole reason why the WWDC 2020 took place over the interweb and not in San Jose with a crowd of 10,000 tech junkies was because of coronavirus. And a particular segment of the keynote event addressed this head-on. It was announced that the Apple Watch will now be keeping track of how frequently we wash our hands. A simple detail but an important one right now.
(All images: Courtesy of brand)
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.