Today Apple kicked off its all-online Worldwide Developers Conference bringing together millions of developers and fans from across the globe for the Special Event Keynote and Platforms State of the Union. The day was filled with announcements and innovations that will push the experience of Apple platforms and products even further. From macOS Big Sur, featuring the biggest design upgrade since the introduction of Mac OS X, to watchOS 7, the new App Library in iOS 14, and enhanced handwriting capabilities with Apple Pencil in iPadOS 14, here are some of the most groundbreaking features and app development tools unveiled at WWDC20.
macOS Big Sur
Safari, already the world’s fastest desktop browser, gets its biggest update ever, bringing even faster performance and new features, all while protecting user privacy. Users can customize the new start page with a background image and sections like their Reading List and iCloud Tabs, and further personalize their experience with improved support for extensions. The Mac App Store makes it easy to discover and download great Safari extensions with a new category that includes editorial spotlights and top charts.
Mac Catalyst, which debuted with macOS Catalina last year, has made it easy for developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac. In macOS Big Sur, Mac Catalyst apps automatically inherit the new look, while giving developers powerful new APIs and total control over the look and behavior of their apps.
The App Library automatically organizes all of a user’s apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view, and intelligently surfaces apps that may be helpful in the moment.
App Clips, designed to be discovered the moment it is needed, load a small part of an app experience within seconds to complete a specific task, such as renting a scooter, purchasing a coffee, or filling a parking meter.
Pinned conversations in Messages enable users to easily keep up with lively group threads through mentions and inline replies.
New cycling directions in Maps take into account elevation, how busy a street is, and whether there are stairs along the route.
Scribble with Apple Pencil allows users to write in any text field where it will automatically be converted to typed text, making actions like replying to an iMessage or searching in Safari fast and easy.
Search on iPad has been rebuilt from the ground up with a new compact design, enabling users to start a search from anywhere, without having to leave the app they are in.
In a first-of-its-kind innovation for a wearable, Apple Watch automatically detects handwashing to initiate a 20-second countdown timer. If the wearer finishes early, they’ll be prompted to keep washing.
Apple Watch introduces sleep tracking, taking a holistic approach to sleep by providing valuable tools to help users get the desired amount of sleep, get to bed on time, and create a pre-bedtime routine to meet their sleep goals.
In watchOS 7, Apple Watch wearers can now share watch faces that are infinitely customizable and personalized, inclusive of complications, through Messages or Mail, and discovered through the App Store or even from links through websites and social media channels.
Apple TV users can now access HomeKit-enabled video cameras and accessories by using Siri or Control Center, and receive doorbell notifications on the big screen with live feeds showing who is there.
tvOS 14 expands multi-user capabilities to include Apple Arcade and other games, so everyone in the house can instantly resume their favorite games exactly where they left off. Through Control Center, players can easily switch between users, their game progress, Game Center achievements, leaderboards, and friends.
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