Apple introduced iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey at the 2021 WWDC Keynote on Monday. There weren’t any significant surprises, but there were a few things to create excitement. Three themes were carried through the Keynote: connection, privacy, and focus. Through it all, it seemed the idea was to show you can stay connected and focused through Apple’s ecosystem and don’t need other apps and that if you stick with Apple, your privacy will remain protected.
iOS 15 brings a few improvements to FaceTime to help with the connection. Spatial audio and machine learning will improve your voice, and you’ll now be able to plan ahead, scheduling it with a link, similar to Zoom. It has end-to-end encryption, and Android and Windows users can use it too. You’ll be able to listen to music and watch TV and movies together as well as share your screen with SharePlay.
Messages picks up improved ways to share photos, news, music, podcasts, and photos. Shared photos will now incorporate with your own, and Memories will be enhanced in the For You tab. Notifications have a new look and will appear in a summary. They can be scheduled so as not to pile up, to improve your focus. To further this idea, a new Focus app will allow you to create your own focus situations. Live text will allow you to pick up text, like phone numbers and addresses, from photos and the Web.
Additionally, Wallet will allow you to add hotel keys and your state ID, which will work with TSA. Maps will be much more interactive, and you’ll get notifications from public transportation when it’s time to disembark.
As was rumored, the iPadOS 15 experience will be much improved. Along with all the iOS 15 changes, it will also have a much-improved home screen. Mostly, it’s picking up the changes instituted in iOS 14, with widgets you can place anywhere and App Library. Translate now comes to iPadOS 15 as well.
Multitasking has been much improved. It will be easier to switch apps in Split View and bring up apps in Slide Over. Additional windows in an app can be opened in front, then swiped down to a new place called the Shelf. New keyboard shortcuts will enhance the process as well.
Mention someone in a Notes note, and they will receive a notification. Quick Notes can be entered by pulling up from the corner of the screen and swept away at any time. iOS and iPadOS apps can now be created on iPad. Privacy has been added to Mail and Safari. A new App Privacy Report will show what was shared, when, and with whom. Siri can now work without the Internet, as requests will be handled on the device to add to the privacy. Assumably, this will carry through to other devices as well.
Many of the same changes in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 will appear in macOS Monterey, including SharePlay, Facetime, Focus, Quick Note, etc. The most impressive change is Universal Control. A single mouse and keyboard can be used to control a Mac and iPad, allowing you to move back and forth. You can even move your cursor off one onto another and drag and drop between them – even drag it all the way across an iPad, iMac, and MacBook Pro.
Safari picks up Tab groups that can be dragged to an email and carried over on iPad and iPhone. On iPhone, the tab bar will open with a tap. A customizable start page has been added, and extensions can be applied to individual tabs. Shortcuts comes to macOS Monterey, too.
Other Notable Changes
iCloud picks up notable changes, allowing you to designate a Recovery Contact and Legacy Contact. iCloud+ will be added to all paid subscriptions and will add Private Relay, Hide My Email, and HomeKit Secure Video. Health picks up mobility notifications, labs, and a new trends alert and will allow you to share information securely with your doctor and family.
WatchOS 8 enhances the Breathe app and Sleep app and adds a Reflect app. Tai Chi and Pilates will be added to Workouts, and Fitness+ will pick up a new instructor and an artist spotlight. Photos will be much improved, as well Messages. Home app and HomePod Mini pick up changes as well.
Overall, the device-to-device sharing on macOS Monterey was the most impressive. However, there is still much to be excited about in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 as well, especially if you fancy further ways to connect, retain your privacy, and focus. The developer betas are available now, and the public betas will be available next month, with full releases expected in September.
Let us know in the comments about your favorite changes in macOS Monterey, iOS 15, and iPadOS 15 that were mentioned in the Keynote at the 2021 WWDC.
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Image Credit: Apple Newsroom