From alerts to remind you to take medication to new lock screen features and tools that aim to help victims of gender-based violence. These are some of the news for the iPhone announced this Monday by Apple at WWDC 2022, its global developer conference. The new features that will come with the iOS 16 operating system will be available in public beta (in test version) starting in July and for all users in the fall.
In recent decades, the Cupertino company has manufactured multiple best-selling devices such as the iPod —which has stopped manufacturing this year after more than 20 years on sale—, the iPhone or the Apple Watch. Several leaks pointed out that WWDC 2022 would be an event remembered for some announcement around Apple Glasses, augmented reality glasses. But there has been no luck, so we will have to wait to see if the technology finally presents them and is capable of turning them into mass devices. Instead, much of the protagonism of the event has been taken by the company’s new operating system. These are the main new features of iOS 16.
A more personalized lock screen
If last year Apple released the concentration mode of the iPhone and FaceTime video calls from any mobile, this time the Cupertino company has presented new functions for the lock screen. “It’s the first thing you see every time you pick up your iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. With iOS 16, widgets ―microapplications that facilitate access to certain functions of the mobile― come to this panel.
For example, it will be possible to quickly consult the next events on the calendar, the weather, the alarms, the battery or the sport performed. All this without the need to unlock the mobile. In addition, Apple will allow more customization. Photos can be placed in front of the time to create an effect of depth. By pressing and holding the screen, the user will be able to choose between different styles, change the colors of the main image or choose different fonts for the time.
Follow live events
“Today, there are many ways to keep up with your favorite sports, such as asking Siri about players or teams,” said Rubie Edmondson, an Apple employee. The tech giant wants to go further. The new live activities feature is designed so that users can be aware of all the events that are happening in real time just by looking at the lock screen. For example, a basketball game, a practice session, an Uber ride, or a food order.
Delete messages and improved voice dictation
The new operating system incorporates some novelties in the Messages App, such as the possibility of editing a text that has already been sent or deleting it and marking conversations as unread to return to them later. Robby Walker, senior director of Siri and language technologies at Apple, has claimed that voice dictation is used 18 million times each month. With iOS 16, the keyboard remains open when dictating to the phone to make it easy for the user to switch between speech and typing modes. In addition, the system also incorporates punctuation in the texts and allows you to dictate emojis.
Live text and visual browser
Live Text allows you to use the mobile camera to copy and share text from an image. With iOS 16, this feature can also be used with text that appears in videos. Another interesting tool for interacting with images is the visual search engine, which now allows you to select the subject in a photograph, separate it from the background and send it by message. It would be something similar to a creator of stickers. “It seems like magic,” Walker said after testing an image of a dog.
Alerts to take medications
Apple, like other technology companies, is trying to gain a foothold in the health sector. With iOS 16, it aims to help those users who usually set alarms on their mobile phones to remind them to take drugs. The Health app launches Medication, a section that allows you to prepare and manage a list of medications, create calendars and reminders and keep track of the pills, vitamins or supplements that a person takes. “In the United States, it is enough to point the iPhone camera at a package insert to add a drug, obtain more information about a person’s treatment and receive a warning in the event of possible critical drug interactions,” says the company. It will be necessary to analyze what privacy guarantees are granted to users.
The company has also announced some improvements for the wallet and payments. Apple Wallet will allow to present an identification to those applications that request age verification. “In order to guarantee privacy and security, only the information necessary for the transaction will be provided to the app, and the user will be able to review and confirm by Face ID or Touch ID if they want to share it,” says the company. In addition, with Apple Pay Later, users in the United States will be able to pay for products and services from the iPhone in up to four installments in six weeks “without interest or commissions of any kind.” The technology has not specified if this function will reach other countries such as Spain.
Up to 15 stops on the routes
Apple has also announced routes with up to 15 stops in the Maps app. “When you drive, you can also ask Siri to add new stops by keeping your eyes on the road,” said Meg Frost, an employee of the company. Users will also be able to automatically sync routes from Mac to iPhone when they’re ready to go. The Maps app will also display information about public transportation. Some users will be able to see how much a trip will cost, add transport cards to the Wallet app and recharge them.
A tool against gender violence
Katie Skinner, an Apple employee, has explained that “many people share passwords and access to their devices with their partners.” Something that, in some cases of gender-based violence, “can affect personal safety and make it more difficult for the victim to get help.” The new Safety Check function seeks to put an end to this problem. In addition to allowing you to quickly remove access to this information from other users, it includes an emergency reset that supposedly serves to leave iCloud easily on all other devices, reset privacy permissions and limit messaging only to the device that is in use. hand.
New operating system for the Apple Watch and an improved chip
At WWDC 2022, Apple has also presented other operating systems such as watchOS 9. “The Apple Watch is all the rage around the world because it helps users stay in touch with their loved ones, lead a more active life every day and take better care of your health,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. In addition to new spheres, the operating system improves the Training app to offer more detailed performance data. In theory, the user will be able to add new alerts for pace, power, heart rate and cadence to know how the training is going at all times. The Apple Watch will also be able to detect when users enter the phases of light, REM or deep sleep.
Also among the big announcements at WWDC is Apple’s second-generation M2 chip, which is featured in a new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Cupertino company said goodbye to Intel in 2020, by stopping opting for its processors and starting to manufacture its own, based on the ARM architecture. The new M2 chip achieves higher efficiency than its predecessor. In the case of the MacBook Air, the performance is almost 40% higher than the previous generation in demanding tasks such as video editing.