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Apple WWDC 2021: 10 things you might have missed

Apple has added a range of new features and services for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch users. Here's a peek:

June 08, 2021 / 03:15 PM IST
iOS 15 will offer SharePlay in FaceTime, among other features. However, those who don't want to upgrade to iOS 15 right away, can get the security upgrades on iOS 14 too. (Photo: Business Wire via Associated Press)

iOS 15 will offer SharePlay in FaceTime, among other features. However, those who don't want to upgrade to iOS 15 right away, can get the security upgrades on iOS 14 too. (Photo: Business Wire via Associated Press)

Apple took the covers off its next version of the operating system for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and AppleTV during its WWDC developer conferences. Within the two hours of the event, Apple announced multiple things – some were explained in detail while others just glanced over. We give you 10 things you might have missed during the event.

1. Choice of iOS version

Not everyone wants to immediately jump on to a new version of iOS when it's announced. However, Apple recommended that the latest iOS version should be installed for security. Now, Apple will be offering the user choice to upgrade to iOS 15 when it's available or continue with iOS 14 but still install the critical security updates. You can move to iOS 15 when you are ready to experience the new features, and are satisfied that any bugs or issues have been removed.

2. New contacts app for Watch

The contacts app on watchOS offers minimal functionality of starting a call or sending a message. With watchOS 8, Apple is finally updating the contacts app for watch users. You will be able to now add or edit contacts directly on your watch's screen.

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3. Recording indicator for Mac

iOS devices already show a small orange or green indicator on the top bar to indicate if an app is accessing the microphone or camera of the iPhone/iPad. The same feature is now being added to the control centre of Macs with macOS Monterey – an orange indicator will be visible next to the control centre icon if any app is accessing Mac's microphone.

4. Per-app custom display settings

A new accessibility feature in iOS 15 and iPad OS 15 will now let you customize display settings for each app you have installed. This means that you can choose the text size, contrast level, change colours or add colour filters individually for each app as per your preference.

5. Digital Legacy program

Until now, if the family members wanted access to a deceased person's Apple ID, the process required them to arrange and submit a court order to Apple. With the new Digital Legacy program, users can assign family members or friends as Legacy contacts. In case of the account holder's death, the legacy contacts will be able to access the Apple ID account and any information associated with the account.

6. Built-in Two-factor authenticator

Many users now prefer to enable two-factor authentication across various online services. With two-factor security, a service required your password followed by a verification code generated by an app or sent as a text message. Apple will be adding its own Authenticator feature with iOS 15 – users will be able to access it under Passwords in Settings. You would no longer need to install third-party authenticator apps on iOS devices – your phone will automatically generate verification codes and auto-fill them on the site.

7. iMessage Photos in Gallery

Any photo received in iMessage is stored under the Messages section by default. To access or view it in Photos, you have to individually open the image and then save it to Photos. With iOS 15, your device will automatically identify Photos that include the user and save them directly to the Photos app. You will get a new save button in the message conversation for other images to be saved to the Photos app.

8. Safari Extension on iOS

Safari extension on the Mac enables a lot of added functionality for the browser. With iOS 15 and iPad OS 15, users will add web extension to the Safari browser on their iPhone/iPads. The web extension can be installed only from the App Store for security.

9. Friends and family for account recovery

If you forget your Apple ID password and don't have access to a trusted device or the trusted phone number, your account must be put in recovery. This process can take several days before you can re-access your account, and is usually frowned upon by Apple users who have been through it. Apple will now be adding a new option for adding Account Recovery contacts. You will be able to choose one or multiple people you trust to receive verification codes for your account to help reset your password and avoid going into Account recovery.

10. iCloud Storage on loan

When switching Apple devices, it's usually seamless to move over information from one device to another if you have a computer backup or have everything backed up in iCloud. However, not all users keep all of their data in iCloud, making it an issue when switching devices. Apple understands this, and will now be offering temporary iCloud Storage to transfer your data when you buy a new device. There is no limit on how much iCloud Storage you can use to backup all of your data, and the information will be saved for up to three weeks to ensure you can move everything to your new device.
Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi
first published: Jun 8, 2021 03:07 pm

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