Apple WWDC (wwdc20) in its 33rd year was the biggest, most different and silicon changing (no pun intended) event for Apple. Here are 4 things you should know about it:
WWDC20 – Online and Open to all
It is the first time ever since 1987 that Apple held its developer conference online. Yes WWDC20 is the first-ever dub-dub-DC to take place online. The dates this year are Monday, June 22 – to Friday, June 26.
Thousands. Millions of Developers
Instead of 6000 developers, for the first time ever, 23 million Apple developers can attend the keynote, conference and virtually take tutorials. Now that’s a huge number by any standard. Yes, the 350 scholars won’t feel as elite this year but they would still get an exclusive WWDC20 jacket and pin set, as well as access to events during the week-long conference. So yes the scholarship programme still went ahead, with 350 spots up for grabs. You can read more about it here – Apple to host 31st WWDC online
Apple Silicon powered Mac
Apple announced its biggest computing shift. Yes, Apple announced its transition away from Intel to its homegrown Apple silicon. If we go back 15 years, Apple announced its transition from it’s PowerPC platform to Intel chips at WWDC in 2005. And the switch only became available a year later for Mac buyers. Similarly, you can expect to get the first Apple silicon Mac to take a few months before, i.e. available early next year as an option. As Apple silicon is what powers iPhone, iPad and a few other Apple devices the transition for developers will be fast-tracked. Apple has provided tools to developers for quick code conversion of apps from Intel to Apple silicon.
The iPad Pro is a testimony that Apple has progressed leaps and bounds in GPU and artificial intelligence computational performance. Similarly, Apple silicon power will give the Mac industry-leading performance per watt and higher performance GPUs — enabling app developers to write even more powerful pro apps and high-end games. And access to technologies such as the Neural Engine will make the Mac an amazing platform for developers to use machine learning. This will also create a common architecture across all Apple products, making it far easier for developers to write and optimise software for the entire Apple ecosystem.
Apple Developer Programme members can start moving their apps to Apple silicon today by applying for the Universal App Quick Start Programme. The programme provides access to documentation, forums support beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12 and includes the limited use of a DTK, which will enable developers to build and test their Universal 2 apps. The DTK, which must be returned to Apple at the end of the programme, consists of a Mac mini® with Apple’s A12Z Bionic SoC inside and desktop specs, including 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a variety of Mac I/O ports. Developers can apply to the programme at developer.apple.com.
Apple Developer App get new Video features
The WWDC app now the Apple Developer app has new features to accommodate the new online format of dub-dub-DC. Users can now watch videos at their own pace with multiple playback speed control options, interact with video transcripts, share stories and view them on the web, and lastly some accessibility improvements and overall enhancements.
As expected we got announcements on all software fronts – iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. While iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will receive version 14 – iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14. The watchOS got into its 7th iteration with the watchOS7. On the other hand, Macs finally are out of the macOS X nomenclature and now called Big Sur.
Apple previewed iOS 14, introducing the biggest update ever to Home Screen pages with beautifully redesigned widgets and the App Library, a new way to tap into the App Store with App Clips, powerful updates to Messages, and more.
The new widgets present timely information at a glance and can be pinned in different sizes on any Home Screen page. Users can create a Smart Stack of widgets, which uses on-device intelligence to surface the right widget based on time, location, and activity.
The developer preview of iOS 14 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com
starting today, and a public beta will be available to iOS users next month at beta.apple.com. New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 6s and later.
Apple previewed iPadOS 14, with new features and designs that take advantage of the unique capabilities of iPad and its large Multi-Touch display. iPadOS 14 introduces an all-new compact design for incoming FaceTime and phone calls, Siri interactions, and Search to help users stay focused on the task at hand. Apps have new sidebars and toolbars that consolidate controls in one place, making them more streamlined and powerful than ever. New Apple Pencil features, including Scribble for iPad, deliver a whole new way to work with handwritten notes, and ARKit 4 delivers a brand new Depth API that allows developers to create even more powerful features in their apps.
The developer preview of iPadOS 14 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com
starting today, and a public beta will be available to iPadOS users next month at beta.apple.com. New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPad Air 2 and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 4 and later
Apple added new features to its Apple TV software. Apple detailed camera integration from HomeKit-supported smart video cameras and doorbells, a picture-in-picture mode and updates to its Apple Arcade video game service.
Arcade will now support multiple profiles and can be paired with the Xbox Elite Series 2 and Xbox Adaptive controllers. AirPlay, meanwhile, now supports 4K streaming of videos from the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad. Also new is support for connecting and listening with up to two sets of AirPods as well as support for watching YouTube in 4K.
Apple previewed watchOS 7, delivering enhanced customisation tools and powerful new health and fitness features to the world’s most advanced smartwatch. Personalisation is taken to an entirely new level with shareable and discoverable watch face configurations, while sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, additional workout types including dance, and a new hearing health feature give greater insight into overall well-being and are designed with privacy in mind. Conveniently on the wrist, Maps is updated with cycling directions and Siri now offers language translation.
The developer beta of watchOS 7 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. For the first time, a public beta will be available for watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com. watchOS 7 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, or Apple Watch Series 5 paired with iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14 or later.
macOS Big Sur
macOS Big Sur introduces a beautiful redesign that is entirely new yet instantly familiar. Safari is packed with new features, including a customisable start page, elegantly designed and more powerful tabs, quick and easy translation, and a new Privacy Report. The updated Messages app lets Mac users send and receive more personal and expressive messages, and easily keep track of and interact within-group messages. Maps also offers an all-new experience with immersive features for exploring and navigating the world.
The developer beta of macOS Big Sur is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com. macOS Big Sur will be available this fall as a free software update.
So do let us know what was the best announcement from WWDC20 in the comments section below or reach out to me on twitter @nikhilchawla