Apple WWDC 2020 Announcements: New macOS, iOS, Proprietary Chip Pivot and More

Apple's WWDC 2020 keynote event talks about a new macOS, iOS, and even a proprietary chip for Macs.
Brad Bergan

Apple is holding its keynote for WWDC 2020 today — the Worldwide Developers Conference. The tech giant spoke on iOS 14 for the iPad and iPhone, including a new WatchOS and MacOS to drive its MacBooks, iMacs, Apple Watch, and Mac Pros.

Most anticipated is an announcement on a change in the chips powering Mac computers — called "Apple Silicon" — shifting from Intel to new Arm-based chips, not unlike the ones used in iPhones.

Headed by CEO Tim Cook, Apple's WWDC 2020 keynote happened on Monday, June 22, at 1:00 PM EDT.


UPDATE June 22, 3:00 PM EDT: Apple declares Mac transition to 'Apple silicon'

Apple announced it will transition its Mac to a new custom silicon chip — called Apple silicon — that will offer industry-leading performance and powerful new technologies.

This move will involve a 'pivot' from Intel computer chips to Apple's new proprietary system.

Apple Silicon
Apple's new proprietary silicon chip will establish a common architecture across all of its products. Source: Newsroom / Apple 

Developers may begin updates on their apps ahead of time to leverage the advantages offered by the new Apple silicon in the Mac.

Apple Silicon 1
Apple is pivoting from Intel computer chips to its own Apple silicon chip. Source: Apple / YouTube

Notably, this transition will mark the establishment of a common digital architecture across all Apple products, making it easier for developers to write and optimize apps for the entire digital ecosystem.

UPDATE June 22, 2:30 PM EDT: Apple's new macOS: Big Sur

The new macOS, called "Big Sur," will open the door for new design alternatives, with new app icons and icon UI updates. It aims to bring consistency between ecosystems, with a new sidebar and a new efficient toolbar to hasten access to photos, mail, widgets, and podcasts, just like iOS.

The updated Messages app will allow Mac users to send and receive more expressive and personal messages, with an easier means of keeping track of and interacting within group messages, according to an Apple press release.

The new Maps app will work just like iOS Mac Catalyst, and will feature writing iOS codes into macOS codes, which work better than ever, according to the live Apple event.

"macOS Big Sur is a major update that advances the legendary combination of the power of UNIX with the ease of use of the Mac, and delivers our biggest update to design in more than a decade," said Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. "With its modern and clean look, huge improvements to key apps including Safari, Messages, and Maps, and new privacy features, we think everyone is going to love the breakthrough experience that macOS Big Sur offers."

The Safari browser has been redesigned for better performance — it already offers private browsing, cookie-blocking, track prevention. But now it will feature an all-access feature to show if any passwords have been breached online.

The new Safari will also let users choose extensions, offer native-language translation of any site, and a customizable start page.

In all, this is the biggest update to Safari since macOS X.

UPDATE June 22, 2:05 PM EDT: Apple Privacy, Smart Home integration

Apple is rated as one of the best among big tech companies in privacy policy — including Google, Amazon and Apple. Smart Home intergration will feature Home Kit apps, which will suggest automated functionality, with face recognition, trespassing alerts, and dim-capable lighting that adjusts with Apple TV to provide an ideal viewing scenario.

It will also support Xbox controllers.

UPDATE June 22, 1:55 PM EDT: Apple's watchOS

Apple's new watchOS will feature 20,000 apps focusing on customization, with more tiny widets viewable on Watch faces. The Watch faces themselves may also be customized. Users may download anything from app stores or share data with friends or via social media. Maps were also improved.

Apple Watch
The new Apple watchOS 7 will be fully-customizable and shareable. Source: Apple / YouTube

New workout types were added for the watchOS 7 update, including track dances like Hip-Hop, Latin, casual, and even Bollywood. The activity app itself is renamed "Fitness."

Apple Watch Exercise
The new Apple watchOS 7 will monitor numerous factors simultaneously to analyze users' workout routines. Source: Apple / YouTube

The most-requested feature is also coming to the Apple Watch: Sleep, sleep duration, wake up and bedtime management. The Wind Down feature will minimize distractions, aiming to prepare the user's mind for sleep.

The new watchOS 7 will also feature automatic handwashing detection, overwriting the need for users to remove their watch before washing their hands amid the coronavirus crisis.

Apple Watch Colors
The new Apple Watch will come in a full spectrum of colors and designs. Source: Apple / YouTube

UPDATE June 22, 1:50 PM EDT: Airpods and next-gen sound

Apple's new Airpod earbuds will automatically switch between devices, and feature an accelerometer and gyro function to provide true spatial sound in three dimensions.

With an app, they constantly collecting motion data to keep the sound synched for a full-surround experience.

Apple Airpods
The new Apple Airpods adapt to user movement in real-time, to provide a seamless three-dimensional audio experience. Source: Apple / YouTube

UPDATE June 22, 1:37 PM EDT: iPadOS 14 updates

Photos will update automatically, according to the Apple event. There will also be a new UI, with a quick-to-navigate and -browse sidebar function.

The iPadOS 14 will come in a more compact design for easier FaceTime and phone calls, Siri interactions, and Search feature — to help users stay focused on their current task without distraction.

Music is also updated to adapt or input native iPadOS UI. Incoming calls will be more like notifications, instead of a full screen. Additionally, the search function will be more compact, with a universal search (not unlike macOS).

iPad Scribble
Closing page for the new iPadOS, including Scribble. Source: Apple / YouTube

The new iPad Pencil feature will work with Scribble, allowing users to literally scribble in multiple languages, including phone numbers and addresses, which will auto-fill, copy, paste, and even automatically convert to type test. Using ARKit 4, the Apple Pencil will deliver a new Depth API that helps developers to curate even more powerful features within forthcoming apps, according to an Apple press release.

"With iPadOS 14, we're excited to build on the distinct experience of iPad and deliver new capabilities that help customers boost productivity, be more creative, and have more fun," said Federighi. "With new compact designs for system interactions and new app designs specifically tailored to iPad, even better note-taking capablities with Apple Pencil, and more powerful AR experiences, iPadOS 14 delivers an amazing experience that keeps it in a class of its own."

Other common symbols like arrows and symbols will be readily available. To use Scribble, users may write directly in a text field or address bar on Safari. Scribble will automatically detect which language the user is writing.

UPDATE June 22, 1:35 PM EDT: 'There's an app clip for that'

The company also introuced something called "app clips," which use QR codes like popup app segments. They can work both from visual recognition and via NFC.

App Clips
App clips are designed to make all purhcases more seamless and manage-friendly. Souce: Apple / YouTube

UPDATE June 22, 1:30 PM EDT: New iPhone car keys

Apple announced a new kind of car key that allows users to authenticate entry into their cars with their iPhone. Notably, anyone with access through their iPhone app may access a car.

This could mean that lost car keys may become an outdated gimmick. On the other hand, moving car access to digital-only platforms could present potential vulnerabilities to other, unknown digital users.

There was no mention regarding Apple's failsafe systems to prevent unfriendly logins to one's car.

UPDATE June 22, 1:25 PM EDT: Apple Maps, Ford and BMW partnerships

Apple has added a new cycling option to thelp with altitude and steep roads. It also added EV routing, from a partnership with Ford and BMW.

The company also added Guides, which works like TripAdvisor, according to Federighi.

UPDATE June 22, 1:06 PM EDT: iOS 14 App library and widgets

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president, introduced new advances coming for Apple. New to the iOS is the App library, which organizes all of the pages automatically, eliminating the need to scroll through multiple pages to find less-used apps.

Apple App Library
Apple's new app library will organize apps into groups so that less-used ones won't mean endless scrolling. Source: Apple / YouTube

This allows users to hide less-used apps and consolidate groups of apps under headers, like "Arcade."

Apple is redesigning widgets so users can tap and drag widgets directly to the homepage, easing accessibility.

Apple App Library Arcade
Apples App Library allows users to pull from any underlying app to curate their favorite home page library groups. Source: Apple / YouTube

Smartstack allows users to list daily updates in personal schedules or global news directly to the homepage, which can update automatically.

UPDATE June 22, 1:00 EDT: Apple's policies amid historic moment

Tim Cook took the stage to an empty theater in Apple's headquarters at Apple Park in California.

He started by talking about race and injustice, citing an initiative dedicated to fund efforts to fight institutional injustice in the United States.

The new Developer Entrepreneurial Camp for Black developers was mentioned as a relevant new policy from Apple.

He also mentioned the sacrifice of health care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, and lauded the work of innovators within and without Apple.

"This is going to be truly a unique week delivered unlike any before," said Cook.

Apple's new macOS, iOS, 'pivot' from Intel to Arm

This switch was abuzz in the tech industry for years, most recently via a report from Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with Apple's plans who wish to remain anonymous.

This change could help Apple offer thinner laptops with longer battery life and possibly quieter cooling fans. But this transition could last more than a year, which means we'll have to wait to get hands-on experience.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board