WWDC - Improvements to the iOS 14 release - part 2



In my last post we discussed the impact of the new features being launched as part of iOS 14 release which is upcoming. Simultaneous improvements to WatchOS, iPAD OS, MacOS, and TVOS also mean all things get incrementally better than before.

In this second post, let us discuss the remaining things that made up the WWDC announcements.

Watch OS 7




So the Watch Os is undergoing some transformation as well. The things they have introduced are

  • additional complications that developers can provide in their apps
  • Much more detailed level of customisations to watch faces to include specific information
  • Sharing of watch faces - now you can simply share your watch face or add a watch face you see on the net, or even share on social media
  • The map enhancements are now added to watch OS, specifically focussing on cyclists.
  • The watch OS also adds an app called Fitness which now has recording of dance moves very accurately for different variety of dances, which measures accurate calorie burn rate
  • Watch OS also now focusses on tracking sleep better and more importantly preparing for you to go to sleep by dimming screens, showing relevant messages, playing calm music, etc. It also measure sleep activity to monitor what is happening when you sleep.

Note: For India however the cycling data on watch is not going to be so very useful yet. The sleep monitoring assumes you have the watch on, and the phone near you which we Indians are not accustomed to.

Special feature - helping you with your hand washing during COVID times. Apple thought they could use their existing sensors to include this feature where the watch knows the time when you are washing your hand apparently and runs a 20 second timer to ensure you wash enough. During pandemic times such small but important features add to customer delight if not anything else. Again for India, one cannot be really sure how many of us will even be using these watches or wearing them all the time.

Privacy

Apple is making many improvements to privacy of customer data. Customers can now choose what kind of data they want to send back to the servers. Some of the salient points on privacy are as below

  • Most of the data is processed in the phone, with minimal queries to servers, or storage on servers
  • Customer get to decide what data to share with Apple
  • Signing in with Apple Pay is going to get wider reach and going to be provided to older operating system users as an upgrade
  • Location sharing can now be approximate
  • Users will need to give permission to apps when they use mic or camera
  • Safari will now show you what data is being tracked by websites
  • Users will be able to see the information the App will track before they download that app

For us Indians, this is a welcome move to protect privacy of phone users.

Smart Home


The home app is now going to have a uniform standard of being able to identify appliances within home since Apple is now collaborating with many companies to integrate their products into the OS.

Smart notifications like the one that comes up when AirPods are nearby and ready to pair for example will now be shown on iPhone with automatic intelligent automations being suggested by the phone for each device.

Special focus is on some things like

  • lighting systems - adaptive lighting to adjust colour temperature throughout the day
  • Cameras - will now integrate with Apple TV, and users would be able to decide and designate the exact area they want to monitor for movements with ability to use Siri to help you show cameras that you want to see right on your TV

Apple TV

Apple TV gets slightly better with PIP support for handling workout activities while watching your favourite shows, multi user profiles with pausing games where the user left off the previous times, etc.

Apple TV+ also includes Foundation, a visualisation of Issac Asimov’s novels.

In the last part of this article series, let us see what is coming up as part of Mac OS Big Sur.

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