The Apple WWDC 2021 Keynote Live Blog (Starts at 10am PT/17:00 UTC)

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01:54PM EDT – Now on to iCloud

01:54PM EDT – (Moving to on-device is a big deal from a resources standpoint)

01:53PM EDT – Going on-device also means that Siri voice recog is usable even without an internet connection, and can respond more quickly

01:53PM EDT – So no more reaching out to Apple’s servers to handle voice recog

01:53PM EDT – As for privacy, Apple is moving to on-device speech recognition for Siri

01:52PM EDT – Siri is up to 600mil users, and Apple is adding some new voices

01:52PM EDT – Now on to Siri

01:52PM EDT – A section that tracks how apps handle the user’s privacy

01:51PM EDT – App Privacy Report

01:51PM EDT – Hides IP address to keep mail senders using tracking pixels and the like from tracking readers

01:51PM EDT – New feature: Mail Privacy Protection

01:50PM EDT – (It has not made them very popular with Facebook)

01:50PM EDT – (Apple’s been big on privacy; if nothing else, it helps to better set them apart from Google)

01:49PM EDT – Now on to privacy

01:49PM EDT – Can now build iOS/iPadOS apps right on an iPad

01:48PM EDT – And a guide to creating your first app

01:48PM EDT – Improved code completion

01:48PM EDT – Apple is adding the ability to build Playgrounds apps on the iPad

01:48PM EDT – Now on to Swift Playgrounds

01:47PM EDT – It’s available system-wide. macOS, iOS, and iPadOS

01:47PM EDT – And auto translate with voice translation

01:47PM EDT – Integration with handwriting recognition

01:47PM EDT – The Translate app is coming to iPad

01:46PM EDT – Quick Notes can be created on macOS as well. And accessed from iOS

01:46PM EDT – Access your saved notes in the Notes app

01:45PM EDT – Quick Notes is aware of the active application

01:45PM EDT – Drag from the corner of the screen to create a note window

01:45PM EDT – New Feature: Quick Note

01:44PM EDT – Adding hash tag support to notes to categorize them

01:44PM EDT – Shared notes and an activity view

01:44PM EDT – Now on to iPadOS Notes

01:44PM EDT – A new set of keyboard shortcuts are being added to aid these features

01:43PM EDT – Minimize windows to the Shelf for later use

01:43PM EDT – A new multi-tasking area Apple is calling the Shelf

01:42PM EDT – Showing off app split view on iPad

01:41PM EDT – (Craig casually tossing an iPad)

01:41PM EDT – Access to it is built into the Docks

01:41PM EDT – App Library is coming to the iPad

01:40PM EDT – Adding a new larger format for widgets designed for iPad’s larger display

01:40PM EDT – New widgets like FindMy

01:39PM EDT – iPadOS 15 will be making a big update to widgets

01:38PM EDT – Now on to iPadOS

01:37PM EDT – And macOS on M1-powered Macs

01:37PM EDT – Spatial Audio is coming to tvOS

01:37PM EDT – And separating alerts to inform users if they’re leaving their AirPods behind

01:36PM EDT – AirPods can be located via FindMy in iOS 15

01:36PM EDT – (Sounds like a quasi-hearing aid mode)

01:36PM EDT – Use ML and filtering to help people better hear conversations

01:35PM EDT – Conversation Boost

01:35PM EDT – Now on to Apple’s AirPods

01:35PM EDT – With more in iOS 15 than Apple had time to get to in this keynote

01:35PM EDT – And that’s iOS 15

01:34PM EDT – Including an augmented reality view to help users figure out where to go on the streets

01:33PM EDT – Follows yout transit route to let you know when to get off and where to go once you get off

01:33PM EDT – Improvements for transit as well

01:33PM EDT – (The turn lanes will be especially useful, in my experience)

01:32PM EDT – Additional road details for driving as well, such as turn lanes, medians, and bus/taxi lanes

01:32PM EDT – Maps in iOS 15 will include details like elevation, landmarks, and more for major cities

01:31PM EDT – Maps now offers a globe view

01:31PM EDT – Recapping the updated base map and what countries it’s been rolled out to

01:30PM EDT – Now to Apple Maps

01:30PM EDT – Apple is adding weather maps to the app

01:29PM EDT – Now on to the Weather app

01:29PM EDT – Apple has also been working with the TSA to get the service approved & used

01:29PM EDT – Will require the participation of the states

01:29PM EDT – Can store state ID cards

01:29PM EDT – Identity cards are coming to Wallet

01:28PM EDT – And hotel keys; Hyatt will be launching a program this year

01:28PM EDT – Support for corporate badges

01:28PM EDT – Wallet will add support for car keys using Ultra Wideband (UWB)

01:27PM EDT – Now to Apple Wallet

01:27PM EDT – So AM has identified the style, beat, etc

01:26PM EDT – Sounds like this relies on metadata Apple has attached to the songs in the Apple Music collection

01:25PM EDT – Matching the pace of the photos to the music beat

01:25PM EDT – So playing a specific song alongside a Memories-generated video

01:24PM EDT – Apple is adding Apple Music support to their existing Memories feature

01:24PM EDT – Photos Memories

01:23PM EDT – Even Spotlight can search photos by text

01:23PM EDT – Understands 7 languages, including Simplified Chinese

01:22PM EDT – Works with photos “across the system” including photos from the web

01:22PM EDT – Directly select text from photos/images

01:21PM EDT – Auto text recognition and OCR in the Camera and Photos apps

01:21PM EDT – Now on to Live Text

01:20PM EDT – Focus rules are shared among Apple devices

01:19PM EDT – This is part of a larger new feature/app that Apple is calling Focus

01:19PM EDT – Do Not Disturb mode will notify Messages users that someone is in DND – and offer a way to override that as necessary

01:18PM EDT – Intelligent collation of notifications from apps to try to deliver the most relevant ones at the right time

01:18PM EDT – Introducing “Notification Summary”

01:17PM EDT – Notifications are being revised

01:17PM EDT – Now on to the subject of focusing

01:16PM EDT – And that’s Messages

01:16PM EDT – There are shared with you sections in other apps as well, including Music and Photos, collating music and photos from Messages respectively

01:15PM EDT – “Shared with you”: articles linked via Messages are collated into Apple News

01:14PM EDT – Demoing messages

01:14PM EDT – Now on stage: Mindy Borovsky

01:14PM EDT – Now on to Messages

01:13PM EDT – Screen sharing works across Apple devices

01:13PM EDT – SharePlay will have an API to allow devs to integrate their apps into Facetime so that more than just Apple AV services can be shared

01:12PM EDT – Picture-in-picture-in-picture

01:11PM EDT – (Apple’s half-way to turning Facetime into a video conferencing app, it would seem)

01:11PM EDT – SharePlay: add audio/video playback and screen sharing to Facetime

01:10PM EDT – It sounds like Apple is adding a web version of Facetime?

01:10PM EDT – URLs work on Android?!

01:10PM EDT – Facetime links: generate URLs to join Facetime calls

01:09PM EDT – Blur the background (ala a lot of today’s video conferencing apps)

01:09PM EDT – Portrait mode is being added to Facetime

01:09PM EDT – Also offers a “wide spectrum” mode to pick up everything as it is now

01:08PM EDT – Using machine learning to isolate the user’s voice (i.e. filter out background noise)

01:08PM EDT – Voice isolation is being added as well

01:08PM EDT – Spatial audio is coming to Facetime to make them sound more like they’re in the room

01:07PM EDT – Apple is looking to make Facetime calls more natural and lifelike

01:07PM EDT – Which has seen particular importance in the past year given the pandemic and associated lockdowns

01:07PM EDT – First subject: Facetime

01:06PM EDT – iOS 15

01:06PM EDT – With Craig on stage

01:06PM EDT – (I wonder if Apple will ever go back to charging?)

01:05PM EDT – All for free

01:05PM EDT – This year’s event offers more than 200 sessions, labs with Apple engineers, and more

01:04PM EDT – Last year’s WWDC was the most watched ever, with 25mil viewers

01:04PM EDT – And now on (virtual) stage: Tim Cook

01:03PM EDT – Tim and Craig as rockstars? Sure, why not?

01:02PM EDT – Apple’s gone meta this year – a video about what the Apple WWDC video should be

01:01PM EDT – Starting with a typical Apple-style opening video

01:00PM EDT – And here we go

01:00PM EDT – And hopefully (for us), some hardware news!

01:00PM EDT – So I expect Apple will fill this presentation with as much as possible

12:59PM EDT – Apple’s event is once again virtual this year, and based on prior Apple events I’m expecting it to move extremely quickly. With no need to take time to pause for applause and gaffs, Apple’s speakers can move at a rapid rate

12:58PM EDT – Joining me this morning is our resident Apple Silicon guru, Andrei Frumusanu

12:57PM EDT – Welcome to AnandTech and to another year of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference

As things slowly get back to normal, Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference is taking virtual place this week in its traditional early-June slot. As always, Apple kicks off WWDC with their big keynote event, which though aimed first and foremost at developers, is also used as a venue to announce new products and ecosystem strategies. The keynote starts at 10am Pacific (17:00 UTC) today, and AnandTech will be offering live blog coverage of Apple’s event.

A rapid-fire, two-hour run through Apple’s ecosystem, WWDC keynotes cover everything from macOS and iOS to individual Apple applications and more. On the hardware side of matters, last year we saw the official announcement of Apple’s shift from x86 processors to Arm processors for their venerable Mac lineup of computers, and while it’s unlikely Apple is going to have anything to top that for WWDC21, the company is not even half-way through its transition to Arm SoCs. So this year’s WWDC gives Apple ample opportunity to reflect on the Arm transition thus far, as well as what’s coming next for the company’s more powerful Macs.

So join us at 10am Pacific to see just what Apple is working on for this year and beyond.

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