12:10AM IST: And with that, we’ve moved into developer territory, hence pretty much covering up all the consumer features that Apple announced today. Browse through all our updates for an overview, or head over to our Tech page for in-depth pieces on Apple’s biggest announcements. As for our live coverage, that’s that for the night. See you next year, in a non-pandemic world!
12:05AM IST: Apple says the native Final Cut can live-colour correct, and uses the Neural engine to play three 4K live-rendered edit streams without a stutter. Sure, it’ll be on a higher-end Mac, but hey, cool.
June 23, 12:05AM IST: Apple just mentioned gaming specifically when flaunting their great processing power advantage. Is this a hint? Also, all Mac apps are now native apps. Let’s see how big a processing advantage can this be! ALSO, Microsoft is making a new, native Office for the new, native macOS. Even Adobe is rolling out its new Creative Cloud. All over, the demo does look smooth enough.
11:58PM IST: BREAKING: Apple is switching to the Apple Silicon, its own processor. There, the rumours have been validated. It speaks of a scalable architecture that will perfectly suit the Mac, moving forward.
11:50PM IST: Safari has grown up, and finally has a host of Extensions. It is also more private, and has native translation features for any webpage. Also, you can filter extensions to get really restricted access to webpages.
11:45PM IST: MacOS’ next big edition is macOS Big Sur. It’s getting a design and sound overhaul too. Here’s a look at its new interface, including a new Finder option, new menu shades, a refined overall shade gallery, Control Center (this is new), and a more seamless Notification Center as well. Also, new Widgets for Mac. Also, Messages on Mac get Memoji, search and content picker to make it a better communications app.
11:38PM IST: Apple TV+ gets a new show that brings Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi novels to screen with fantastic screenwriting, and trademark high quality production. Also, many scenes here are wallpaper-worthy. Just take a look at this! (PS: It’s only gonna come in 2021. Hooray?)
11:35PM IST: HomeKit gets better privacy controls for all smart stuff. But, since HomeKit wouldn’t be very popular in India, I’m just using this time to resize photos and state how this is the fastest live launch that I’ve had to pen down in a while. Actually, this is the first live launch that I’ve had to pen down in a while. Also, here’s a bonus screenshot that’s also rather useful for us privacy maniacs.
11:28PM IST: Apple is now taking out a whole segment to talk about privacy. They are talking about sign-on advantages, and vouch that the practice data minimisation to collect as little data as needed, processing as much data locally as possible, adding more location, camera and mic privacy controls, stricter Safari cookie tracking controls, and greater transparency by showing an app’s full privacy credentials directly on the App Store, which you can see before you download it. Also, as Craig Federighi said just now, “Siri uses a random identifier and not your Apple ID.” That’s just how it should be, too.
11:25PM IST: Apple Watch can now track how you wash your hands, with a haptic countdown mechanism. Hopefully this’ll keep you hygienic even beyond the pandemic.
11:20PM IST: AirPods can now jump between any Mac device depending on which you open. If you pick up your iPad and put down the iPhone, it’ll enable on the iPad automatically. Same applies for Mac. If you get a call on your iPhone at this time, it’ll switch back automatically. Also, AirPods gets spatial audio.
For watchOS 7 – all apps and Watch faces get new complications to add more features into the tiny display. This will increase the overall Watch face ecosystem. WatchOS 7 is also smarter in terms of fitness tracking, including movement-based calorie tracking.
11:10PM IST: iPadOS announcements are underway. It has become more desktop-like, with sidebars to make the most of the larger display, and slide-down menus to take control of more filters. One big advantage is Apple Music will look more intuitive, and more like how it does on Macs. iPadOS also gets handwriting support with Scribble, where you can actually scribble on any text field on the tablet, and it will recognise your handwriting.
11:02PM IST: App Clips is basically Apple’s iOS app thinning in action. You can scan codes to quick-launch an app that’s not even installed on your phone, sign in with Apple, make payments with Apple and simply swipe it away. That’s rather interesting.
10:58PM IST: CarPlay can now work as car keys with new iPhones and NFC! To be operational with iOS 13 and iOS 14. Apple says it is safe enough, and will come with new cars starting 2021. Tied to CarPlay. Digital car keys FTW!
10:53PM IST: Apart from Apple’s outstanding speed of making the announcements, the overall show looks quite sleek. Smooth frame rates look rather good! Oh, and Maps is getting new Cycling and EV Modes, and is coming to new countries. Not India, though. Yet.
10:50PM IST: Siri now gets a minimised mode, so that it floats up on top of open pages to give you notification-like popups for weather results and search queries. It also intuitively opens up apps on top of other windows to make multitasking easier.
Apple has also lent stronger on-device machine learning usage to live translate and voice typing in messages. Live Translate will also enable seamless translation when in foreign nations.
Messages have also gotten an upgrade, with in-line replies to Messages, adding group profile photos, and new Memoji updates as well.
10:40PM IST: WWDC 2020 is under way, with Apple CEO Tim Cook touching upon the company’s commitment to racial equality. It then touched upon going remote due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And with that, we have now moved on to iOS 14. The first update in the list is App Library, which will automatically group together all your apps into folders, and put them together at the end of your primary home screen. You also get direct Spotlight search, which intuitively lets you search for which of the million apps you want to summon.
The second update is Widgets, which get a redesign, and can also fit into the home screen. This comes in from Android, but Apple does one better by fitting the widgets intuitively into home screens. More details en route. The third update is picture in picture video, which now offers a floating video tab that lets you multi-task better.
Apple’s big developer extravaganza, WWDC, has gone virtual this year. A sign of today’s trying times, this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference seemingly has a surprise in store, with rather solid rumours suggesting that Apple is set to make a switchover from Intel’s processors to custom, ARM-based processors for its Mac desktops and laptops. Experts have suggested that this can lead to Apple making thinner computers that are more power efficient, hence touting the prospect of better battery life and quieter operations even under heavy loads. It’s all gonna be there to see at WWDC 2020, the live stream of which you can catch on Apple’s Events page.
Some isolated rumours also suggest an upgrade to the iMac, although whether Apple really chooses to launch new hardware in a crunch market remains to be seen. Other upgrades, of course, will include iOS 14 for sure. A faraway rumour has also claimed that iOS may get renamed to iPhoneOS at WWDC 2020, which will apparently bring iOS up to speed with the rest of Apple’s operating systems (macOS, watchOS, tvOS and iPadOS). As always, much of the attention is going to be on what’s happening with iOS, since the iPhone is still Apple’s most sold hardware. Some speculations have persisted around what features may be coming for Apple’s latest operating system, which include an Always-on Display mode, split screen view, picture in picture mode and so on.
If Apple does shift from Intel processors to its own ones, it will also be interesting to follow what this means for Apple’s developer ecosystem. Apple, as always, looks to offer a unified ecosystem of devices, which is what urges users to stay within its ecosystem of oft-excellent hardware. All of this may eventually benefit Apple into making an even more distinct operating system. How will all of this hold up? It’ll all be there for us to see as we tune in to WWDC 2020, live.
Until the action starts, though, you can catch up on some of our pre-WWDC 2020 coverage. There is the much-needed roundup of features expected at WWDC 2020. There’s also this piece that talks about how the ARM integration may work out. We also spoke to a couple of Indian entrepreneurs who have built two startups – PregBuddy and Wysa, who have made use of Apple’s app developer ecosystem to promote their services. You can read up more about the two as well.