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Apple explores updates to iPadOS, WatchOS, and more at WWDC20

Apple explores updates to iPadOS, WatchOS, and more at WWDC20

Apple has outlined advancements to its iPadOS, WatchOS, tvOS, and more as part of its WWDC20.

For iPadOS 14, widgets from iOS 14 are making the leap, and sidebars are being introduced for several apps to allow faster navigation within them. Siri and Calls have also been dramatically reduced in size to stop them from taking up the entire screen and interrupting other apps.

The Search function is also being made more compact, and can be loaded from the home screen and open apps. Search is also now becoming "universal", allowing users to search on Safari directly from this search bar.

Improvements are also coming to Apple Pencil, which will better identify words that are handwritten in a document, and allow for written text to be converted into typed text. This feature will work across different languages, notably English and Chinese.

Perhaps surprisingly, AirPods are also getting a software update. AirPods will now automatically switch between devices, depending on what has audio playing. AirPods Pro will also be updated to allow for spatial audio, mimicking surround sound through the two headphones.

Apple Watch

Moving on to WatchOS 7, Apple is improving access to app developers to create new watch faces for their apps, and allowing for improved customisation. Apple Watch users will also be able to share their faces with other people.

Maps will again be receiving an update, including the previously revealed cycling directions announced for iOS 14. Meanwhile, Workouts will be adding "Dance" to its tracked fitness regimes, with multiple styles of dance able to be tracked by the app.

New additions will be made for the Apple Watch health capabilities. Chief among them is a new sleep tracking app, which will not only track sleep, but offer "Wind Down" to inform you of the best time to head to bed. It will also use machine learning to track how long you wash your hands in a new feature.

Apple Privacy

Apple gave an update on its privacy options, including the Sign In With Apple feature, which will now allow you to "upgrade" your account across different apps to use Apple's own sign-in function.

Maps is getting even more updates, allowing you to reduce the accuracy of location tracking, apps will be updated to ask users if they want to stop the app from tracking them, and apps will need to show how much data they are tracking from you.

All the rest

Apple's tvOS will also be getting a picture-in-picture mode, while Apple TV+ will see an original series written by Jonathan Nolan and based on the novels of Asmiov coming to the service in 2021.

MacOS' next edition will be called Big Sur, which focuses on miniscule details to improve user comprehension, such as tiny changes to visual elements and audio cues, and improving the visual language of its icons.

The Mac itself will also be making a major update, with Apple creating its own Apple Silicon architecture instead of relying on Intel processors.

OS releases will be made available to developers now, with a public beta in July and a full release in autumn 2020.


Editor

Ric is the Editor of PocketGamer.biz, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.

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