Apple announces iOS 15, major updates to FaceTime and AirPods
Yahoo Finance’s Daniel Howley reports the latest news on Apple’s WWDC 2021.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Welcome back to “Yahoo Finance Live”. Apple today kicked off its week-long annual developer conference in Cupertino, California. Of course, this one had to be virtual because of COVID. But news is already coming out of the conference, which just started about an hour ago. And we also have app developers who are not very happy with Apple, due to the restrictions surrounding its app store. Our technical writer, Dan Howley, listened. He joins us now with the latest news. What catches your attention from the start, Dan?
DAN HOWLEY: That’s right, Alexis, so far we’ve seen Apple launch its new iOS 15. It’s the operating system that powers your iPhone, the millions of iPhone devices around the world. This brings changes to apps like FaceTime. You will now be able to share videos and music in FaceTime. So if you want to watch something with someone from a distance, you can do that. It would have been a bit more useful at the start of the pandemic, but still something very welcome if you have distant friends and family. You could make them control the video and that will come from services like obviously. Apple TV +, but Disney + as well as Hulu and the NBA Game Pass I believe.
And then there are also privacy changes, which is what they’re talking about as we speak, basically saying they’re going to do whatever they can to block further tracking by internet companies. And then we made some big changes to iPadOS 15. This includes all of the changes to iOS 15, which also includes updates to the Photos app. But iPadOS, which they do, essentially lets you replace your entire Home screen with widgets, so it’s more functional for tasks like work. And that’s kind of a complaint about the iPad for years, is that it’s more of a consumer device than a creation device. But Apple is clearly trying to change that narrative with these updates.
They’re also rolling out a new feature that lets you take notes anywhere on the iPad. So you slide your finger up from the bottom of the screen, then quickly take a note. It’s context sensitive, so if you’re in an app like Safari, for example, they didn’t mention Chrome, but Safari, you’ll be able to quickly add a link from that website right to your note. And then those notes would be saved so that you can view them on macOS, iPadOS, and iOS.
And one of the other things they managed to highlight was a split view and a side view. So what you have with the iPad is the ability to multitask, but it’s always been a bit of a burden when you want to do something like a split view where you have the app side by side. There has always been that awkward swipe feature where you have to swipe in a certain way. You cannot sweep too far or too short. This will now add buttons at the top of the apps so you can quickly multitask with the apps. And this is something that I think is very welcome, again, to make the iPad something of a replacement laptop device.
Not necessarily exactly a laptop replacement device, as there just aren’t that many apps available that offer this kind of capability on the iPad. But it’s interesting to see what they’re doing to make it more of a creative device and less of a consumer device in the future. And it will obviously work well on all iPads, but especially the iPad Pros that the creators really love.
Yes, this widget thing is really good news, and FaceTime changes are welcome too. I think you’re right, you could have used it a bit earlier in the pandemic, but not like the present. Okay, I know you’re busy. Go back to listen to the conference. Dan Howley, thank you very much for being with us.