#WWDC21

Like previous years, the WWDC21 Keynote was packed with software and OS-level announcements. In keeping with the scope of ICYMI, I'll be limiting this to what was announced specifically for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Format wise, I'm writing this somewhere between my usual weekly dispatches and my post-event notes dump. I hope you find it useful…

iOS 15

FaceTime. Spatial audio, voice isolation, and wide spectrum. Grid view, portrait mode, and links. SharePlay to listen together, watch together, share your screen. Picture-in-picture and accessible controls. SharePlay API to bring other apps into FaceTime.

Messages. Collage and stacks for multiple photos. Shared with You for News articles, Music playlists, Photos, plus Safari, Podcasts, Apple TV. Pinning messages.

Notifications. Redesigned UI, Notification Summary, and Do Not Disturb status in Messages.

Focus. Do Not Disturb, Work, Personal, and Sleep modes. Alters notifications and Home screen across devices. Makes suggestions using on-device intelligence and context.

On-Device Intelligence. Live Text to detect text in photos and making it interactive. Understands seven languages. Visual Lookup within photos. Spotlight for online and on-device searches. Redesigned Memories experience with music pacing, filters and color correction, and on-the-fly editing.

Wallet. Walt Disney World park passes just released. Adding keys for car, home, work, and hotel. Identity cards for participating US states including TSA support.

Weather. Updated layout and design. More accurate condition animations and updated infographics. Full screen weather maps.

Maps. Addition of globe. New details for locations, elevation and updated labels, new night mode. Improvements to navigation with new lane details, crosswalks, and 3D overlays. Improved transit experience with route tracking and stop notification. Improved pedestrian experience with building scan and AR directions.

Find My. Support for AirPods Pro & Max to play sound and use proximity when lost plus a notification for when they've been left behind.

iPadOS 15

Widgets. Updated widget gallery and larger format for widgets.

App Library. Brought over from iOS, accessible in the iPad dock, ability to hide and reorder pages.

Multitasking. New multitasking menu for split view and slide over. Easier to choose an app for split view. Ability to open views in separate windows that also include the multitasking controls and swipe down to minimize into new area called the Shelf. Shelf appears automatically when switching apps, can add or remove windows.

Notes. Mentions in shared notes. Addition of activity view. Can use #tags. Quick Notes available system-wide for text or pencil input, can add links, allows for multiple quick notes with a single view. Can be created on iPadOS and macOS and accessed on iOS.

Translate. Comes to iPad. Helps with writing and learning a new language. Side-by-side document translation using split view. Auto translate using audio. System-wide translation of content including live text in Photos.

Swift Playgrounds. Can now build apps for iOS and iPadOS on iPad. Includes improved code completion, access to whole library of UI components plus documentation, and a guide to app creation. Also allows for full-screen previews and App Store submission directly from iPad.

watchOS 8

Health. Breathe app has been enhanced with new animations. New Reflect app to aid in mindfulness and taking a moment to reflect. Both live as features under the new Mindfulness app. Sleep app gets addition of respiratory rate.

Fitness. New Tai Chi and Pilates workouts. Fitness+ adds a new trainer, Jeanette Jenkins. New Artist Spotlight series added on the music end.

Photos. New portraits watch face with dynamic photos. Updates also include memory highlights, featured photos, and a new mosaic layout. Sharing now enabled directly from Watch.

Messages. Can now dictate, scribble, and add emojis within the same view. Edit text inline and use the crown to move the cursor. Also includes GIF support.

There were a ton of other announcements made on Siri, Privacy, and Health (which in and of itself is probably worth it's own write-up.) For additional recaps and takes, check out the included links below.


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