Virtual tour of what happened at Apple’s WWDC 2020

Virtual tour of what happened at Apple’s WWDC 2020

Apple’s WWDC 2020 was in talks before it even began. It’s the first time Apple’s developer conference has been streamed exclusively online with no in-person event. Regardless, there were some big announcements, including some you might have been expecting and others will take you by big surprise.

Its opening keynote Monday for WWDC 2020, its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, started with Tim Cook addressing the empty auditorium about Black Lives Matter and coronavirus before get to the announcement of iOS 14 and its home-screen redesign and new widgets. Thus far, we’ve heard about the new iPadOS 14, MacOS Big Sur, TV OS, and WatchOS updates as well. Public betas will start next month, and as usual ship in the fall.

But if you just want the skinny on what you need to know about from WWDC 2020, here are the biggest announcements:

Apple details iOS 14, its next major software update

Apple gave a first look at iOS 14, the new update coming to iPhones later this year. The most notable change comes in the form of widgets that you can place on the home screen. It’s like if Apple Watch apps invaded the iPhone home screen — it’s a really big deal that changes the look of the iOS software. Apple is debuting these new widgets in different shapes and sizes, and the idea is that you’ll be able to have more data-rich info on your home screen. If you want more, you’ll be able to get them through the Widget Gallery.

Apple is debuting its digital car key, coming in iOS 13 and iOS 14

Apple introduced a new way to unlock and start your car, well, just the BMW 5 Series for now. You can register a key in your Apple Wallet, and when you walk up to a supported car, you’ll unlock it via NFC, then start the engine once your phone is resting on a pad. The keys are stored on-device, and it can be deleted from the cloud if you need to. What’s also cool about this feature is that you can create unique driving profiles for other iPhone users, giving user-specific permissions for, say, your kid, or no restrictions at all for someone else, like a spouse or other trusted person.

A few changes coming to iPadOS 14

Similar to iOS 14, widgets are coming to the next version of iPadOS. It’s not clear yet if you can bring those out of the today view and into the home screen like you can on an iPhone.

Apple is touting a new sidebar as its way of making it much easier to navigate apps. It showed it working on Apple Music and other apps. If you’re using your iPad as a laptop replacement, the sidebar should make it easier to do more without having to touch the screen.

Apple also redesigned search on iPad, and it looks almost exactly like Spotlight on macOS. It can help you find contacts, search on the web, or serve as a Launchpad-like function to launch apps.

Apple TV is getting multiuser support for Apple Arcade

If you’ve ever wanted to easily switch profiles so someone else can play an Apple Arcade title without deleting your progress, you’ll be able to easily do that with an upcoming update. Apple is also bringing support for the Xbox Elite 2 wireless controller and the Xbox Adaptive controller.

Apple TV is getting picture-in-picture in tvOS 14

Any video app in tvOS 14 will be able to display in a PiP formation on Apple TV. Simply put, you’ll be able to watch more stuff on your TV without having to switch apps. To give an example, you can keep tabs on the news while you work out.

Apple’s new macOS Big Sur software looks a lot like iOS

Apple debuted its next major desktop software update, called macOS Big Sur. It features a big overhaul in design that brings it more in line with where iOS and iPadOS have been heading for the past few years. It’s even getting a lot of the features coming to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, like widgets, messaging improvements like grouping and pinned conversations, and the ability to edit your Memoji.

Apple is announcing its new silicon for its future computers

Apple has been using Intel-based processors for years, but it’s making the long-rumored switch to its own silicon. It has been using its own tech for iPhones and iPads, and it’s not making the jump to covering its entire suite of computing products.

The change is huge. It’s a big change for hardware, unleashing Apple’s own efforts in making components instead of being tied to Intel’s progress, but it’s also a huge shift in software. Apple is making it possible to run apps made for Intel-based apps on the new Macs, as well as apps from other environments, like Linux. Additionally, thanks to using custom hardware, it can even run iPhone and iPad apps, which is a huge deal, to say the least.

Apple is debuting its digital car key, coming in iOS 13 and iOS 14

Apple introduced a new way to unlock and start your car, well, just the BMW 5 Series for now. You can register a key in your Apple Wallet, and when you walk up to a supported car, you’ll unlock it via NFC, then start the engine once your phone is resting on a pad. The keys are stored on-device, and it can be deleted from the cloud if you need to. What’s also cool about this feature is that you can create unique driving profiles for other iPhone users, giving user-specific permissions for, say, your kid, or no restrictions at all for someone else, like a spouse or other trusted person.

App Clips are coming in iOS 14

Apple has debuted App Clips, which are like its version of Android’s Instant Apps. The gist is that you won’t need to download a full app to be able to gain access to what it offers, in addition to being able to make a purchase through it via Apple Pay. It seems great if you’re someone who doesn’t want to download more apps than you really need.

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