Another year, another Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The past 12 months have raised a whole range of questions and topics, covering everything from data protection to innovation.

Apple's flagship announcement from WWDC covered what we can expect when iOS rolls onto our iPhones in late 2021. However, if you focus only on that, you risk ignoring all of the other important topics that are being discussed.

And so without further ado, here is a list of everything Apple announced at WWDC 2021.

iOS 15

For many iPhone users, announcements for the next iOS version are more eagerly awaited than the introduction of Apple's newest device. This year the company is revising several functions – with a special focus on intelligence.

Below is a list of the changes in iOS 15.

FaceTime

Much of the world has only been able to communicate virtually as of March 2020, and Apple has announced significant changes to FaceTime.

When you're not out with your friends and family, you can listen to music and watch videos through SharePlay. Initially, Apple will only support video capabilities with a selection of partners – including HBO and Disney +.

If you want to invite people on a Windows or Android device, you can use iOS 15 to create a shareable link.

During a FaceTime call, you can blur the background with portrait mode. If you are in a busy area, the improved speech isolation ensures that you are heard. Spatial Audio makes other people's voices sound more natural.

Apple cards

Apple is increasing competition with Google when it comes to maps. Apple Maps shows more detailed elevations and lanes, as well as key landmarks and other city features. At night, the map even appears in the moonlight.

Apple Maps also helps get more accurate directions for users walking. Users can scan the streets and buildings around them and use augmented reality to find their way around.

announcements

If you use platforms like Twitter and Pinterest, you have got used to pinning posts to your profile. The same goes for WhatsApp, where you can pin conversations.

And when iOS 15 comes out, you can pin content in your Messages app too. You can pin a variety of messages, including articles, web links, and photos.

The upcoming iOS version will also give you a better track of everything others share with you via messages. Everything others send you in messages will appear in a "Shared with you" part of Apple News and other apps.

intelligence

Apple's increased focus on intelligence goes well beyond its maps capabilities. The company has integrated artificial intelligence (AI) into several apps and functions.

Apple offers more customization options with Memories in the Photos app. You can add music to your favorite experiences based on your tastes and expert recommendations. In addition, you benefit from more innovative functions with intelligent memory detection.

But perhaps the most significant intelligence-based innovation for iOS 15 is Live Text. You will soon be able to copy text from pictures so you can send emails and texts, call a number, or whatever you want by tapping text on a photo.

Live Text starts with seven languages ​​including Simplified and Traditional Chinese, German, Spanish and French.

Notifications

With iOS 15 we have fulfilled one of our wishes. Apple was already in the process of giving users more control over the notifications they received. But with iOS 15, it increases the stakes significantly.

With a notification feature called Focus, Apple will tell if you're doing something like driving a car or exercising, and may ask you if you want to turn off notifications for that activity. You can also choose to receive notifications at a specific time or from specific contacts together so you can go through them all at once.

Focus also lets you block notifications from users through specific media. For example, you can choose not to receive notifications when someone sends you a message on Slack – but should do so if they contact you via WhatsApp instead.

With Focus, users can also see that you are currently unavailable in the Messages app – similar to how Out of Office works on other messaging platforms.

Weather

The weather app is not considered the most exciting app by many people on their iPhones. But with WWDC 2021, Apple may have got a few more users to stand up and listen.

After downloading iOS 15, you'll see a redesigned user interface of the Weather app. You can view a map of the area and graphical data. If you're using the Dark Sky app, Apple's new weather layout looks pretty similar.

AirPods

In addition to iOS 15, Apple has also announced several updates for its AirPods.

One of the most important concerns conversations. If you find yourself in a crowded or noisy place, Apple can help raise the other person's voice in a real conversation.

In addition, users can reduce the volume of the background noise around them.

This feature called Conversation Boost is designed to help people with hearing problems.

Find My is one of the most useful apps Apple has ever introduced. And now AirPods Max and Pro users get a warning message if they leave their headphones in an unfamiliar location. The function also works when the AirPods are in the case.

AirPods users can also hear notifications from virtual assistants through their headphones. You can also receive notifications for grocery deliveries and more.

iPadOS

In addition to iOS 15, Apple will also introduce new software for supported iPad devices called iPadOS15 later in 2021. While iPads won't get as many changes as the iPhone, Apple has still made some notable announcements.

iPadOS 15 will refine multitasking solutions, making switching to split-screen mode easier. With the new update, the app library will now also appear on iPads.

After you've downloaded iPadOS15, you will also have more customization options for the home screen as Apple introduces widgets on the tablet.

Privacy, security and wallets

Apple also made some key privacy and security announcements at WWDC 2021. Users can find privacy reports for each app on their phone, letting them see what information each of your apps has used over the past week.

You also have the option to choose what data to share in the Mail app. In the meantime, you can encrypt your Safari traffic thanks to a new built-in iCloud VPN system as part of iCloud +.

Related: iCloud + brings new data protection and storage functions at no extra charge

The company also made some interesting Apple Wallet updates. Sometime in 2021, customers in a selection of US states will be able to add their State ID to their virtual wallets.

People in these parts of the country can also scan their driver's license.

Mac OS

With this year's macOS update, titled Monterey, Safari is getting a facelift and the ability to group tabs in a browser. The Focus notification feature coming to iOS 15 will also be part of macOS Monterey.

The new macOS updates allow users to share their screens even when using FaceTime.

Users will soon be able to put content they want to save for later in a Quick Note, along with many other functions.

watchOS

At WWDC 2021, Apple also announced that watchOS 8 will soon be coming to Apple Watch users. A new mindfulness app will encourage users to calm down during the day while the fitness app gets new workouts.

As everywhere, watchOS 8 will also introduce the focus notification function. Other additions include a layout change for the Photos app and new watch faces.

There's a lot to digest from Apple's annual keynote

To call WWDC 2021 busy is an understatement. Other announcements not mentioned above include:

  • Siri becomes available on third-party devices

  • Supported cameras on Apple TV

  • Various other HomeKit updates, such as: B. recognizing when you receive a package

Apple has improved its game in several areas this year, and iOS 15 is expected to bring more intelligence-driven solutions to users. But also in other areas, such as macOS updates, it is worth looking for areas for improvement.

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About the author

Danny Maiorca
(86 published articles)

Danny is a freelance technology writer based in Copenhagen, Denmark who moved there from his native UK in 2020. He writes on a variety of topics including social media and safety. Outside of writing, he's an avid photographer.

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By Danny Maiorca

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