The WWDC Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2021, Apple’s annual developer’s conference, that took place on June 7 had some important announcements for app developers all over the world. Like usual, Apple engineers have been working hard to create innovative upgrades to existing Apple products, and that is why we got to see some awesome new features for the different Apple devices.
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Whether you are an Apple developer who builds apps for iOS, iPad, or the new macOS Monterey, or if you are an executive who’s looking for new and innovative features for your app, you surely don’t want to miss some of the most important announcements of the WWDC 2021. By staying up to date, you will be able to delight Apple users with the latest industry trends.
That is why in this post, we highlight some of the most important new features announced at Apple’s annual developer’s conference.
The Apple WWDC 2021
The Worldwide Developers Conference, also known as the WWDC, is the Apple event thought out especially for developers. However, this developers conference isn’t just about the technical aspects behind the different Apple devices. It is, above all, a major event that shows developers, companies, and users alike where the company’s products are heading.
The WWDC might sound like something trivial, but it isn’t. Apple is such an innovative company that it is sometimes hard to keep up with every new feature or product release. That is why an event like the WWDC helps stakeholders stay up to date with every new Apple release. For any business, this is a crucial thing, as it can help them stay relevant in relation to the latest Apple technology trends, helping deliver a superb User Experience.
As it has become the standard for any Apple WWDC, there were many different announcements throughout the WWDC 2021. But don’t worry, we won’t bore you by going through the minor details. Because our strongest expertise as a company is in app development, we will guide you only through the most important announcements for iOS, iPad, and macOS Monterey.
Highlights of the WWDC Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2021
June 7 was a date expected by many. These are some of the most important announcements made by Apple in the WWDC 2021:
The latest OS for the iPhone, iOS 15, came with some major enhancements for users. Apple seems to have done a great job integrating some existing features from other platforms plus some new ones.
When it comes to FaceTime, these are some of the benefits worth mentioning:
- Portrait mode: you can now blur the background of your calls so that the attention is on you, not on the scenery.
- FaceTime links: Apple users can now share their FT calls with Android and Windows users. It is as simple as sharing a link.
- SharePlay: this is probably one of the things that many were waiting for. Now, users can sync their content to be shared simultaneously on their screens.
- Spatial Audio: this feature helps users experience sound as if coming from different directions.
In the WWDC, Apple seems to have confirmed that it will continue to strengthen its tools for communication and collaboration, making it clear that they seek to compete with other tools in these niches. These features become important for iOS app development as they become available to integrate into other iOS apps.
In more general terms, these are some important aspects to consider for iOS 15:
- Notifications: a new design allows users to stay focused on their tasks by reducing potential distractions displayed on the screen.
- Focus: based on users’ criteria, notifications will be filtered so that they can concentrate on their tasks. The new iOS 15 will suggest certain settings for different contexts, and this can also be configured to different Apple devices, so they all work in unison.
- Maps: this Apple app has received some important updates, particularly in what refers to 3D views in cities. There seems to be a hard bet on augmented reality on behalf of the company.
- Wallet: improved portability of virtual keys has been possible thanks to new key types. Additionally, some users in certain locations will eventually be able to add their driver’s license and ID to the Wallet.
- Live Text: this new feature will transform text in a photo to actual text on your device, meaning you will be able to edit and share it.
These last aspects seem like minor things, but when put into the context of mobile app development projects, they have important implications. Apple is gearing towards a specific type of device use that respects users’ attention rather than being invasive about it. Additionally, some of these features point to further integration of Apple devices into our daily tasks. Added to the recent privacy updates, one can infer the type of model that Apple is betting on.
The newest iPadOS 15 is filled with new and exciting features that will facilitate usability, among other things. Two of these features stand out for app development purposes:
- Widgets: iPadOS 14 introduced widgets on the sidebar. With this new update, users can add them to their iPad desktops. This is a fun way for apps to interact with users, even when they are not being used directly.
- Translate: this feature, introduced previously for iOS, is now available for iPads. With it, users can translate typed or transcribed text.
Other important elements worth mentioning include the new note-taking feature, multitasking, and the app shelf.
Probably the most interesting feature introduced in this year’s WWDC is one that works across devices. Apple introduced it for its newest MacOS, Monterey, and it is called Universal Control.
Apple engineers have found a way to let users connect multiple Apple devices so that they operate with a single mouse or trackpad. This allows content to easily be moved from one device to another, facilitating the workflow between devices.
Worldwide Developers Conference: Wrapping It Up
These weren’t the only announcements made by Apple in this year’s WWDC. However, they are indeed some of the most important ones in terms of app development. In particular, we are very excited to see how SharePlay gets integrated into all sorts of apps.
It is also worth mentioning that, for the Apple Watch, Apple seems to be focusing more and more on health tech. New and improved biometric features confirm this.