Apple gave its first look at its new iPhone operating system which will come out later this year. The newest feature is widgets that can be placed on the home screen which will allow for more functions and data to be accessed without using the phone. There are also automatically organized app libraries to make it easier to use and access apps that are sometimes lost deep inside the phone. Another new feature is picture-in-picture which means that you can watch a video while doing other things on the phone.
This is an innovation that sprang from China's WeChat which has "mini-apps" within its product that don't require a lengthy download or installation and offer bare-bones functions. App clips are Apple's take on this and can be paid by Apple Pay. In essence, it's very, simple apps that can run without a download like a web application. This feature is in its infancy and developers will certainly innovate on it in unpredictable ways.
While iOS 14 and App Clips were the biggest new developments, there were several, new features for the Apple Watch. Users can trade watch faces with other users with a new program called "face-swapping". It's added fitness tracking for dancing and is supposedly the first, fitness-tracker to do so. It's a cool way to demonstrate the accuracy of the watch's gyroscope and accelerometer. It also has a new feature to track handwashing which is a coordination between the microphone which listens to the sound of water, a timer on the watch face, and the gyroscope which tracks hand movements.
Like the handwashing feature, a lot of the new announcements will only be relevant for a small, group of people, but it demonstrates that the company's products keep evolving. Apple debuted a new, more detailed series of emoji with more age options, emotions, and accessories. For most people, it's not a big deal and for some people, it's a really big deal.
There's also an update to Apple Maps for cyclists which has information like elevation, stairs, or bike lanes. Currently, it's only available in major cities but will be rolled out everywhere in the coming months. There's also an update for electric vehicles which adds charging station information to Apple Maps. Another new feature is "digital car keys" which basically will allow cars to be opened and turned on using an iPhone. So far, this is only compatible with the BMW 5 series