A look at the highlights from Apple’s WWDC 2021 event

Apple’s WWDC 2021 event also known as Worldwide Developers Conference is Apple’s conference for software makers that is held annually. The conference began on Monday with a two-hour keynote talk detailing a host of new improvements to the company’s core products. Apple unveiled new features on iOS 15 that cater to our lives as the world hopes to emerge from the pandemic including updates to video calls on FaceTime, new privacy features and digital keys in Apple Wallet.

Held in a virtual session, the event will go on from 7th June to 11th June.

Also read: How to allow or block iPhone apps from tracking you in iOS 14.5 with these easy steps

A rundown of major announcements from Apple’s WWDC 2021 event

iOS 15

One of the most anticipated announcements of the conference is finally here as people have been going on about what to expect. The latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 15 was announced yesterday and will be released for users with the launch of the new iPhones later this year. It will however be available for developers and early adopters much sooner.

FaceTime calls are also now supported on Windows and Android through a browser, the first time that FaceTime has been supported across platforms. Users can also expect FaceTime improvements like 3D audio, portrait mode to blur backgrounds, and a grid view to speak to multiple people at the same time.

Apple will also allow users to send links to schedule individual FaceTime calls, like Zoom links. Users can also share their screens or music, through a new software feature called ShareTime.

Camera improvements, including a feature called Live Text that can automatically identify and scan text in photographs.

Redesigned notifications, including a feature that collects users’ notifications into a custom summary, ordered by priority. Notifications from people will continue to appear on the lock screen so they won’t be missed.

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Users who have turned on “do not disturb” or a new “focus” mode will have their status shared with other users, like an away message.

Read also: iPhone 13 rumors and leaks

New privacy features

The company said it’s rolling out tracker-blockers in its Mail app, which will help hide your IP address, location and prevents senders from seeing if and when you open an email. It’s also hiding IP address from trackers in Safari.

Siri is getting a privacy update, too. The virtual assistant app will now process audio right on your device, rather than sending commands to a server, to alleviate concerns about unwanted audio listening by third parties. The change will also make Siri’s response time faster, Apple executives said.

iPad OS 15

iPad OS 15 updates will make it easier for users to work on the go. Those who own the device will soon be able to place widgets among the apps on their home screens, such as widgets for contacts or Apple TV, including new, larger formats made for the iPad’s display.

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A new “multitasking” feature on iPad will let users work on two apps at the same time using a split view, and a simple swiping mechanism to switch between apps on split view.

iCloud +

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Apple announced a service called iCloud+, which includes additional features for online privacy. It’s included in the current iCloud prices, Apple said.

The most significant feature is Private Relay, which routes web traffic through two separate servers to mask who is using the internet and what they are browsing, like a VPN.

WatchOS 8

On Monday, Apple released WatchOS 8, the latest version of its Apple Watch software. It comes with a new watch face that lets you use a portrait-mode photo as the background.

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Apple has also added a new feature allowing users to write text with their fingers to send in messages directly on the watch.

Read more: Key highlights from Google I/O 2021 event: New changes to Android 12, Wear OS updates

Read more: How to use the new features in iOS 14.6

READ: Here are amazing offers from the Jumia Anniversary sales 2021

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