Apple announces iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and watchOS 8 at WWDC 2021

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At Apple’s much awaited WWDC 2021, we saw updates to all of its software lineup. A key emphasis was placed on privacy features which help users better control and manage access to their data across all of its software.

iOS 15

The bulk of iOS 15 brings updates to FaceTime, brings new features to reduce distraction and introduces ways to explore the world.

  • More natural FaceTime calls include integration with spatial audio, Portrait mode and the ability to connect with an Android or Windows device.
  • Using SharePlay to keep playback in sync, you can connect with your friends on FaceTime to listen to your favourite songs, watch a movie or share your screen.
  • On-device intelligence allows users to recognise text in a photo and allow users to take action.
  • Focus is a new feature that filers notifications and applications based on what a user wants to focus on using on-device intelligence.
  • Safari gets a new design for easier one-handed control and navigation.
  • Apple Wallet will now support State IDs, driver’s license and hotel keys.
  • Supports iPhone 6s and later.
Three iPhone 12 Pro devices showing new SharePlay, Live Text, and notification summary features.
With a lot of iOS 15 features centred around FaceTime, it will be interesting to see how these translate to the UAE

iPadOS 15

Many of the new iPadOS 15 features are geared towards improving productivity when using the tablet.

  • Multitasking support thanks to Split View or Slide Over with easy control via an external keyboard.
  • Access to App Library and personalised widgets for the large screen experience.
  • Universal Control allows you to use a single keyboard and mouse to move between iPad and Mac without any setup.
  • Swift Playgrounds helps you learn how to code with the tools to build iPhone and iPad applications right on their device.
  • Supports iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models.
Widgets on iPad in iPadOS 15.
iPadOS 15 brings such much needed multitasking support to the iPad

macOS Monterey

With macOS Monterey, you benefit from improvements to Safari and FaceTime alongside features such as Universal Control to get more done.

  • Shortcuts can let you quickly accomplish tasks with the applications you use the most.
  • Quick Note is a new way for users to jot down notes on any application or website system-wide.
  • AirPlay to Mac can be used to present and share your latest movies, games or vacation photos with the Mac’s high-fidelity sound system also capable of working as an AirPlay speaker.
macOS Monterey displayed on MacBook Pro.
macOS Monterey helps to unify the experience between Apple devices further

watchOS 8

On watchOS 8, you will find a greater access to Wallet, new workout types and an update Breathe application.

  • With Apple Pay and Wallet, make secure and contactless payments in stores or ride transit.
  • Redesigned Home app for convenient access to accessories and scenes needed in a particular moment.
  • New workout options including Tai Chi and Pilates.
  • Breathe application becomes the Mindfulness application featuring an enhanced experience.
  • Introduction of sleeping respiratory rate tracking to measure overall wellness.
  • Supports Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
A Reflect session from the Mindfulness app, the Portraits watch face, and a digital house key stored in the Wallet app, each of which are displayed on separate Apple Watch Series 6.
New wellness features on watchOS 8 come alongside Tai Chi and Pilates workout modes

Availability

The developer betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and watchOS 8 are available to Apple Developer Program members starting today. A public beta will be available next month with the final release coming this fall.

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