Apple’s continuous improvement of its operating systems will give us iOS 14 and other OS updates this September. These will be previewed and tested by developers come Apple’s WWDC on June 22, but here’s a quick peek at some of the new apps and features.
Nifty app tweaks
Apple is developing new features for some of its prominent apps, and these tweaks may just make the cut come September.
- Mention will let users tag people with the @ symbol, just like in Slack. This will also allow users to mute conversations but receive push notifications whenever they are directly mentioned.
- Mark as unread will allow users to highlight messages so they would not forget requests or tasks and get back to these at a later time.
- Retract will enable users to delete messages they’ve sent, with the deletion action visible to both sender and recipient.
- Kids mode on the watchOS 7 will track movement time instead of calories burned. This is because the first metric is deemed healthier to track (from a mental health perspective) for children.
- Sleep tracking will grant users the ability to set sleep goals and receive tips for improving slumber.
- A new notification feature will let users receive alerts when someone does not arrive at an expected place and time. For example, parents would be notified if their child does not make it home on time.
This will let users pair their iPhone and/or Apple Watch with their NFC-enabled vehicles. They can then lock, unlock, and start their ride with their Apple device instead of the car’s physical key. The electronic keys will be kept in the Wallet app, and “duplicates” can be shared with friends and family via the Messages app. Based on the leaked screenshots and code of the feature in development, BMW might be the first brand that CarKey works with.
iCloud Keychain features
In development are:
- A way to store two-factor authentication (2FA) codes, which would purportedly allow the Keychain to generate its own codes and let the user forgo the need to use a separate 2FA app
- Password reuse warnings that remind users to create different passwords for different accounts
Codenamed “Clips,” this feature will let users interact with certain content in third-party apps without having to download those apps. By scanning a QR code that’s linked to an app, the user opens a floating card that contains the interactive content. The card gives users the option to download the app, or open the app if it’s already installed.
This new app, which is expected to be named “Fit” or “Fitness” once released, will allow users to download from a wide library of fitness videos and receive help for completing workout activities. Activities include core exercises, strength training, stretching, yoga, dance, and running, among others.
This standalone app will coexist with the Activity app and will be available on iOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7. This means that you can sync your fitness routines across many Apple devices — i.e., you can watch workout videos on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, and track your progress on your Apple Watch.
As of this writing, it appears that Apple won’t charge users anything for workout routines, though whether the app and its functionalities would end up on the final versions of the OSs remains to be seen this September.
Augmented reality app
This app would grant users access to information and experiences by triggering QR code tags or iBeacon transmitters (i.e., IoT devices that activate apps in nearby mobile devices) that are placed in specific spots or items in a certain location. For instance, if a user is in an Apple Store, they can check the QR code tag of a particular device to receive information about that device.
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