Apple Announces New Operating Systems During WWDC 2020

As part of its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference, Apple announced updates to several of its operating systems.

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Every June for the past several years Apple has dominated the tech headlines by announcing new products during its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

Opening its WWDC 2020, Apple introduced updates for its Mac computers, iPhones and iPads through via its new MacOS Big Sur, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 operating systems (OS).

Apple says that its new operating systems are huge updates that will improve the user experience of each product line to better empower users. 

Based on the information provided by Apple here is an overview of each of the new OS updates:

MacOS Big Sur

At the WWDC 2020 event, Apple previewed its newest Mac OS called Big Sur. 

MacOS Big Sur includes a new Safari start page, more powerful tabs and a new privacy report. Apple says the OS’ updated Messages app enables users to send and receive more expressive messages, while having the ability to better organize those messages. 

“MacOS Big Sur is a major update that advances the legendary combination of the power of UNIX with the ease of use of the Mac, and [it] delivers our biggest update to design in more than a decade, says Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, Apple. 

“With its modern and clean look, huge improvements to key apps, including Safari, Messages and Maps, and new privacy features, we think everyone is going to love the breakthrough experience that macOS Big Sur Offers.”

Other advancements included in the Big Sur OS include a customizable menu bar that features a new Control Center, as well as an updated Notification Center, and a new design for core apps that provides greater organization to multiple windows. 

Apple comments this update is its biggest advancement to its computers’ operating systems the introduction of OSX.  

iOS 14 Provides Options for Home Screen

Another operating system that Apple previewed during its WWDC 2020 event is its iPhone’s iOS 14 platform. 

Apple states this upcoming update to iOS provides users with the biggest update it has ever offered to its Home Screen pages, as well as redesigned widgets and App Library, and a new way to tap into the App Store with App Clips. 

According to the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics company, the new widgets provide timely information and that information can be pinned in different sizes on any home page screen. 

Home Screen pages can also display widgets that are customized for specific tasks that include work, travel, entertainment and sports. At the end of the Home Screen pages is the App Library, which is a space that organizes users’ apps into an easy-to-navigate view.

Some of the other newly revised elements of iOS 14 include FaceTime, phone calls and Siri interactions taking place in a design that allows users to stay in the context of their activities. What this means for example is that users can take part in a FaceTime call while using other apps. 

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” comments Federighi. 

“With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use.”

Touching upon the updates to Messages, Apple says users can now pin conversations to the top of their messages list. Users can also customize conversations by setting up group photos using images or emojis. 

Additionally, Apple has made updates to Maps and provided more privacy features for increased transparency and control. 

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” comments Federighi. 

“With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use.”

Touching upon the updates to Messages, Apple says users can now pin conversations to the top of their messages list. Users can also customize conversations by setting up group photos using images or emojis. 

Additionally, Apple has made updates to Maps and provided more privacy features for increased transparency and control. 

iPadOS 14 Incorporates Features Specific for iPad

Talking about some of improvements that are a part of iPadOS 14, Apple points out the new OS takes advantage of iPad’s large, Multi-Touch display. 

The iPadOS 14 incorporates a compact design for incoming FaceTime and phone calls, Siri interactions and Search functions. Apple emphasizes the apps have new sidebars and toolbars that consolidate control into a single location.

Supporting the new Apple Pencil, the operating system provides Scribble for iPad that allows users to create handwritten notes. 

“With iPadOS 14, we’re excited to build on the distinct experience of iPad and deliver new capabilities that help customers boost productivity, be more creative, and have more fun,” notes Federighi. 

“With new compact designs for system interactions and new app designs specifically tailored to iPad, even better note-taking capabilities with Apple Pencil, and more powerful AR experiences, iPadOS 14 delivers an amazing experience that keeps it in a class of its own.”

Like the iOS 14 operating system, Apple adds iPadOS 14 provides enhanced privacy for more user transparency and control. 

Apple explains these privacy features require apps to obtain user permission before tracking. Later this year the electronics giant says that App Store product pages will feature summaries of developers’ privacy policies displayed in an easy-to-read format. 

Moreover, Apple stated during the WWDC event that users can upgrade existing accounts to Sign in with Apple by choosing to share their approximate location with app developers, rather than giving a precise location when giving an app location access. 

These new operating systems will be available this fall as free software updates from Apple. 

About the Author

Robert Archer
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Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; both schools are located in Haverhill, Mass.

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