Each year Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developer Conference with a few hours of back-to-back-to-back announcements, generally covering things from iOS to watchOS to new hardware. Here are some of the key announcements made at the keynote on Monday.
- The lock screen is getting an overhaul. It’ll allow for more customization, plus support for widgets — including widgets for third-party apps. Notifications will now “roll in” from the bottom of the screen, while a “Live Activities” API will let developers update notifications in real time (think sports score tracking.)
- SharePlay (which lets you, for example, watch a streamed movie in sync with a friend) will now work in iMessage, not just over FaceTime.
- Apple is getting into buy now, pay later; Apple Pay Later will let you split an Apple Pay purchase over four payments with zero interest; Apple says it’ll work anywhere Apple Pay works.
- Apple’s big Maps overhaul is coming to a bunch of new places this year, including “France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Belgium, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.” It’s also getting improved multistop route support.
- If you use Family Sharing to limit your kids’ iPad screen time, said kids will now be able to request more time via iMessage.
- Live Text will be able to translate and replace text it detects in a photo, allowing you to more easily read through something like a menu in a language you don’t know.
- Apple says it has reimagined the Home app “from the ground up.” All of your various devices in different rooms are brought into one screen, including a side-scrolling view of all of your HomeKit-enabled cameras.
- iPadOS will get a new desktop-style window management feature called “Stage Manager” that lets you run multiple windowed/overlapping apps on screen simultaneously.
- CarPlay is also getting a massive overhaul — Apple is basically looking to take over your car’s entire instrument cluster. It’ll support things like speed readouts, fuel gauges, AC control, etc; what works where, of course, will depend on what the car maker allows. Apple says to expect more news here “late next year.”
- Four new watch faces: Astronomy, Lunar, “Play time,” and “Metropolitan.”
- New “banner” notifications will keep you updated without always taking over the whole screen.
- Apple Watch will be able to track a few new running metrics, including vertical oscillation (“how much you move up and down” while running), stride length and ground contact time.
- The Fitness app on iOS will now be enabled even for those who don’t have an Apple Watch, so everyone can close those rings.
- Sleep tracking will use the heart-rate monitor and accelerometer to determine how much time you spent in four different sleep stages (Awake/REM/Core/Deep) while trying to catch some Zzz’s.
- Apple Watch will be able to track your “A-fib history” to help doctors monitor heart arrhythmia and determine if treatment is helping.
The next major release of macOS will be called “macOS Ventura.” Here’s what Apple highlighted for Ventura:
- “Stage Manager” mentioned above is coming to macOS as well, pitched as a way to focus on one or two apps at a time. You can “group” running apps together; tapping into a group will minimize other apps, while putting the selected group front and center.
- Spotlight is getting a bit of an overhaul; it’ll be able to pull rich results into a new scrolling view and allow you to do things like quickly preview a found file without actually opening it.
- The Mail app is getting support for undo send, scheduled send and timed reminders. Search within Mail is getting smarter, automatically correcting for typos and knowing how to search for synonyms.
- Safari will now be able to use “passkeys” instead of passwords — a system built along with Google and Microsoft to allow you to log in to websites and apps with biometrics (like fingerprint sensors or facial recognition) without any text-based passwords in the mix.
- Continuity Camera: Your iPhone’s camera is almost certainly much better than the one built into your laptop — so Apple is going to let you use your iPhone’s Camera for video calls on macOS. Clamping the iPhone onto your laptop looks a little goofy, but the impact on quality is probably worth it for important calls. There’s also a wild “desk view” feature that uses the iPhone’s wide angle lens, combined with some tricky image manipulation, to capture what you’re doing on your desk in a simulated overhead view.