WWDC 2021 Overview Updated July 6, 2021

WWDC 2021

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41 'WWDC 2021' stories

March 2021 - September 2021

How to watch Apple's WWDC21 keynote

At WWDC this year, Apple unveiled the future of its software platforms, detailing new features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12 Monterey, and more. Head below for a full recap of everything that Apple announced.

iOS 15

FaceTime

Apple kicked things off with the official introduction of iOS 15. This update includes major improvements for FaceTime, new Focus features designed to reduce distractions, an all-new Weather application, and more.

The FaceTime improvements in iOS 15 are especially notable, and they’re also coming to other platforms including iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. A new Portrait Mode feature for FaceTime calls allows users to blur their background. Spatial audio for FaceTime is a new feature that separates the user’s voice from the background noise.

For group FaceTime, a new grid view enables participants to see more faces at the same time. Another new feature for FaceTime is called SharePlay. This allows you to listen to music, watch TV shows and movies, and share your screen with people over FaceTime. You can tune in and watch the same content together and communicate at the same time over FaceTime.

Apple says that it is also working with third-party apps to integrate a SharePlay API, including Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, TikTok, Twitch, and more.

Focus and notifications

iOS 15 also includes a host of new digital wellbeing features called Focus. This allows users to filter notifications, signal to friends that they are unavailable, and hide distractions without missing what’s important. When a user’s Focus is blocking incoming notifications, their status is automatically displayed to others in Messages, reflecting that a user is not currently reachable.

Focus allows users to set different home screens based on times of day. For instance, you can set specific home screens for when you’re at work and for when you’re at home.

Notifications have also been redesigned with a focus on making them more glanceable. There is also a new notification summary feature that collects non-time-critical notifications for delivery at a more opportune time, such as in the morning and evening.

Apple Maps

Apple has announced a handful of new features for Apple Maps. There are a variety of design updates for Apple Maps to bring a ton more details for cities in commercial districts, buildings, and more. Apple is also rolling out a handful of new transit features, including specific directions, information on when to disembark, and more.

Weather app

Apple has redesigned the Weather application with a ton of new capabilites and an all-new design. Apple says that the layout of the new Weather app changes based on the weather in your current location. There are new animated backgrounds in the Weather app, notifications for incoming rain and snow, and more.

More in iOS 15

Be sure to check out our full coverage of iOS 15 below for more details on what’s new. The first developer beta is available now, while Apple says a public beta will be released in July. A stable release is expected this fall.

iPadOS 15

Widgets and App Library

Next up, Apple introduced iPadOS 15. One of the biggest changes here is that widgets are now available on the iPad home screen for the first time. No longer are widgets delegated only to the Today View on the side of the home screen, but now they be placed in the midst of all of your other app icons.

iPadOS 15 also brings the App Library to the iPad for the first time. The App Library is located directly in the dock for easy access to all of your applications, regardless of where you are in iPadOS.

Multi-tasking

iPadOS 15 also includes a new multi-tasking system for applications. The new system is similar to iPadOS 14, but Apple has rethought how you access the controls. The new multitasking menu appears at the top of apps, letting users go into Split View or Slide Over directly from that menu. You can also now have access to the Home Screen when using Split View, making it easier to get to the right app. 

The experience is also changed when using an external keyboard with your iPad, with all-new keyboard shortcuts and a redesign of the menu bar. Users can quickly set up and switch between Split View and Slide Over with new shortcuts for multitasking right from the keyboard.

Translate for iPad

The Translate application is now on the iPad for the first time. The Translate app first came to the iPhone with iOS 14 last year, and now Apple is bringing it to the iPad. Text can now be translated anywhere on iPad by selecting it and tapping Translate, and handwritten text can also be translated. 

Swift Playgrounds

Xcode for iPad was not announced during WWDC 2021, but Apple did announce that Swift Playgrounds now allows users to build iPhone and iPad apps right on their iPad, and submit them to the App Store. Code is immediately reflected in the live preview while building apps, and users can run their apps full screen to test them out.

More in iPadOS 15

Be sure to check out our full coverage of iPadOS 15 below for more details on what’s new. The first developer beta is available now, while Apple says a public beta will be released in July. A stable release is expected this fall.

macOS Monterey

Shortcuts and TestFlight apps

For the Mac, Apple announced macOS 12 Monterey to the public. One of the biggest changes here is that the Shortcuts automation app is now available on the Mac for the first time.

You can build new shortcuts, access existing shortcuts, and more. The Shortcuts app on the Mac also integrates with Spotlight, appears in Finder, supports multitasking, and integrates with the Menu bar. It also features support for importing Automator automations.

Apple has also brought its TestFlight beta testing app to the Mac this year, allowing developers to beta test their apps easily on the Mac.

Universal Control

Universal Control lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard and move between Mac and iPad for a seamless experience, with no setup required. Users can even drag and drop content back and forth between devices. The feature also works between two Macs, allowing you to use a single mouse and keyboard for two Macs.

Safari

Safari features a redesign for the browsing experience with a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they scroll. A new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the tool bar, and the search field into a single compact design. 

Tab Groups offer a new way to easily save and manage tabs. Tab Groups also sync across Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

AirPlay to Mac

With macOS Monterey, your Mac is also now an AirPlay target, which allows you to cast videos from your other Apple devices to your Mac’s display. The Mac’s sound system can also be used as an AirPlay speaker, so users can play music or podcasts on their Mac, or use their Mac as a secondary speaker for multi-room audio.

More in macOS Monterey

Be sure to check out our full coverage of macOS Monterey below for more details on what’s new. The first developer beta is available now, while Apple says a public beta will be released in July. A stable release is expected this fall.

watchOS 8

Perhaps the least exciting update announced by Apple at WWDC was watchOS 8 for Apple Watch users. This update brings a new version of the Breathe app, now called Mindfulness.

The Photos app and Photos watch faces have gotten notable updates. Photo watch faces can now include depth using portrait mode photos. The Photos app has been overhauled with featured highlights and memories. Photos can also now be shared from the watch with Messages and Mail.

The always-on watch face has been updated to work with three new applications: Music, Maps, and Calculator. Apple also says that apps that don’t support the always-on face include new enhancements to improve compatibility.

The first beta of watchOS 8 is available now to developer beta testers, and a public beta will be released sometime next month. A stable release is slated for later this fall.

iCloud+

Apple also unveiled iCloud+ during its event, giving users new privacy features such as Private Relay and Hide My Email. Through Private Relay, all traffic leaving your device is encrypted and sent through two separate relays. Apple says that no one, not even Apple, can access or view this data. 

Hide My Email is a new feature built into Mail, Safari, and other services and it allows you to randomized, unique emails that forward to your main account. This means you can hide your email from services for increased privacy. 

iCloud+ also includes unlimited HomeKit Secure Video cameras. Currently, iCloud users are limited to five cameras per account, but this limit has been removed for iCloud+. 

iCloud+ comes at no additional cost for existing iCloud subscribers.

WWDC 2021 Stories September 26

Apple unveiled during the WWDC21 keynote iOS 15. Alongside revamped iMessage and FaceTime experiences, the company is also adding more customization to the beloved Memoji function.

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WWDC 2021 Stories September 25

Since Apple previewed iOS 15 during the WWDC21 keynote, one of the things I loved the most was the new Focus feature. After three months of beta testing and with the operating system now available, here’s why I think Focus is the most useful function so far.

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WWDC 2021 Stories September 20

After three months of testing, iPadOS 15 is finally available. Here are all the iPads compatible with the new software that was first announced during the WWDC21 keynote.

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WWDC 2021 Stories July 3

In a new interview, Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations, and Andreas Wendker, Apple’s vice president of tools and frameworks engineering, talk about the new tools developers have available after WWDC21.

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WWDC 2021 Stories June 16

With a new MusicKit API, developers will be able to offer Apple Music trials and receive rewards for new subscribers through a referral program starting with iOS 15. This news was highlighted by developer Tim Isenman on Twitter, but Apple also gave a preview during the  “Meet MusicKit for Swift” session on WWDC21 week.

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WWDC 2021 Stories June 13

In a new interview, Bob Borchers, Apple’s VP of Worldwide Product Marketing, and Sebastien Marineau-Mes, VP, Intelligent System Experience at Apple, talked about iPadOS 15 and everything new with iPad’s operating system.

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WWDC 2021 Stories June 12

Traditionally at WWDC every year, Apple blogger John Gruber gets a chance to sit down with one or more Apple executives on his podcast The Talk Show for an interview on the week’s announcements. This year, Gruber is joined by Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak to go in-depth on iOS and iPadOS 15, new privacy features, and much more.

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WWDC 2021 Stories June 11

The past two WWDC events have been completely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As WWDC 2021 begins to wrap up, Apple is now surveying developers on their preferences between in-person and virtual events, labs, sessions, and more.

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Apple engineer talks new Swift features and more in podcast interview following WWDC21

Apple has announced a handful of major changes for developers at WWDC 2021 this week, including updates to Swift, Swift Playgrounds, and more. In the latest episode of John Sundell’s Swift By Sundell podcast, Apple’s Doug Gregor joins the show to discuss new features in Swift and more.

WWDC 2021 Stories June 10

Several different YouTubers have posted FaceTime calls with Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi in which they talk about different announcements from WWDC. The conversations include everything from iOS 15 to macOS Monterey. You can check out the videos embedded below.

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WWDC 2021 Stories June 7

Apple today officially kicked off WWDC 2021 with its opening keynote. The company unveiled the future of its software platforms, detailing new features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12 Monterey, and more. Head below for a full recap of everything that Apple announced today.

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Apple today announced a new iCloud+ subscription service, with one of the tentpole features being a Private Relay technology help obscure a user’s web browsing. In a statement to Reuters, Apple has confirmed that this feature will not be available in select countries, including China.

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At the WWDC21 keynote, Apple unveiled the next steps on privacy on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey. In a new interview, Apple’s VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, detailed the iCloud Private Relay feature and more.

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iPhone 12 and the M1 iPad Pro are the first Apple devices to support a 5G connection. With iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the gadgets will be able to choose 5G over Wi-Fi depending on the connection.

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Following the WWDC keynote, Apple has released the first beta of SF Symbols 3. This latest version of SF Symbols includes over 600 new designs developers and designers can use in their apps. The update also includes a new inspector for seeing details about individual symbols.

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After the WWDC 2021 keynote, Apple is now releasing the first beta of watchOS 8 to all developers.

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As part of macOS Monterey, Apple is bringing its popular Shortcuts application to the Mac. This will allow you to create automations using a new Shortcuts app on your Mac. It also features support for importing Automator automations.

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Apple announced during WWDC 2021 keynote that Apple Music Spatial Audio is launching today for all users.

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9to5Mac’s WWDC coverage is brought to you by CleanMyMac X. Get a special deal on the essential decluttering app for Mac.

Today officially marks the beginning of Apple’s week-long Worldwide Developers Conference. This year, WWDC 2021 is being held as a completely virtual event. During the event, we expect the introduction of iOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12, and much more.

Read on to follow along with everything Apple announces today.

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As we are a few hours away from the WWDC21 keynote, there is still room for last-minute rumors and tidbits. According to leaker L0vetodream, Apple won’t likely introduce any new hardware at the WWDC 2021.

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We’re officially just a few hours away from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. WWDC 2021 will be a virtual event this year, and we expect Apple to unveil iOS 15, watchOS 8, and much more. Read on as we recap everything Apple could announce at the event this year.

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How to watch Apple’s WWDC keynote on iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, and the web

Apple’s second all-virtual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off Monday, June 7 at 10 am PT. We’re expecting to see iOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12, and more unveiled with the possibility of new hardware too. Follow along for how to watch Apple’s WWDC21 keynote on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and any device on the web.

WWDC 2021 Stories June 4

We are just a few days away from WWDC 2021. On Monday, Apple will likely unveil iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15. Ahead of the event, the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern has teased that there are four things likely to receive “big updates” at Apple’s 32nd Worldwide Developers Conference.

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WWDC 2021 Stories June 2

With WWDC right around the corner, it’s always fun to get hyped up beforehand with all sorts of different ways to celebrate. We’ve put together a guide to the best music, great podcast episodes, concepts to dream about, wallpapers to set, and more so that you can get ready. Hunker down, because there’s a lot to go through.

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