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Apple's top 5 announcements at WWDC 2021

Apple's top 5 announcements at WWDC 2021

Apple's world-wide developer conference began with a two-hour keynote address on some of its new software innovations. The keynote was packed with details about iOS 15, macOS Monterey, and iPad OS 15. We've picked out five of the best features users can expect after launching this fall.

Apple announced a slew of features for FaceTime that will make virtual meetings more enjoyable and meaningful. SharePlay, a feature that allows a user to share their media with other conference participants, expands the app's capabilities.

Once enabled, SharePlay will let users share their media from video streaming apps and even music to all participants. That way, socially distant friends and family can still enjoy media without ending calls or using another device.

Apple's Shareplay feature is working.
Apple Share Play will let FaceTime participants watch the same movie to mimic the virtual theater experience. Source: Apple.
SharePlay will initially work with Apple TV and Apple Music and partners including Disney, WarnerMedia, MasterClass, Paramount, Hulu, HBO Max, ESPN+, Twitch and TikTok. Users can also pop the stream to an Apple TV for viewing on the big screen.

When sharing music, SharePlay Share will support measurable playback controls and a shared music queue. SharePlay will also support real-time screen sharing for those instant tech support moments.

However, the initial rollout is just the beginning. Neither Netflix nor Spotify are part of Apple's SharePlay partnership, at least for now. Apple has also released the SharePlay API so that developers can build advanced sharing features into their apps.

In addition to just sharing media, developers will be able to enable collaborative tasks such as drawing and editing through the SharePlay API.

FaceTime in Android and Windows
While most teleconferencing apps support multiple operating systems and platforms, Apple's FaceTime has always been Apple-exclusive. Sure, it worked on iPhones as well as Macs, but it didn't exist anywhere else.

This is no longer the case with the upcoming iOS, iPad OS, and macOS releases. With them, users on Android and Windows will be able to join FaceTime calls through their browsers.

While this is good news, it is still unclear whether browser versions will support newly announced features like SharePlay.

message overhaul
Messages, Apple's default messaging app, will make a huge difference to the way conversations are organized.

First, Messages will group all the items shared with the user into the new Shared with you section. Inside, it will have web links, photos, music and videos. The sender will organize the content, or the user can choose to pin messages that are most relevant to them.

How multimedia items are grouped in a group shared with you
Images and other media shared in Messages will be grouped together. Source: Apple.
In addition, Messages will compile multiple photos into a collage or stack, depending on how many are shared together. Pictures shared via Messages will also automatically appear in the Photos app, supporting search by subject and location.

iCloud+ Private Relay & Hide My Email
iCloud will get a premium subscription tier, called iCloud+, with enhanced privacy and email features.

For users who want to better hide their Internet presence, iCloud+ will bring Private Relay. It is essentially a VPN service that encrypts traffic from Safari and sends it through two internet relays to hide personal details and traffic origins. Apple says that the service does not log any personally identifiable information. However, there are restrictions as Apple has confirmed that Private Relay will not be available to users in China, which has heavily restricted Personal VPN.

iCloud+ also brings two big email features: Hide my email and Custom email domain.

Hide My Email will let users generate random email addresses that forward messages to a personal inbox—useful for signing up with random websites without forfeiting the primary email address. The generated addresses can be deleted at any time.

While many temporary email services exist, most sites today block addresses generated through them. Apple's solution keeps the iCloud Mail domain name intact. It is very difficult for sites to distinguish any alias from the actual email address.

On the topic of domain names, iCloud Mail customers will be able to create a customized domain name that can be shared with other iCloud Mail users.

privacy enhancement
Apple has also extended privacy beyond its iCloud+ privacy features. Mail privacy protection is a big one. Once enabled, the Mail app can hide a user's IP address to prevent the sender from guessing the recipient's location. advertising agency

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