Apple’s new software features focus on post-pandemic life. Here’s what’s getting an update.

apple wwdc 2021
Apple kicked off its annual WWDC conference for developers with a keynote address showing off its new software features.

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Wondering why your engineering team stopped responding to you yesterday afternoon? Apple kicked off its annual WWDC conference for developers with a keynote address showing off its new software features.

So…what’s new?

Apple’s preparing for post-pandemic life with…a lot of tools that would have been helpful during the pandemic.

FaceTime updates: Video calls will get screen sharing capabilities, integrations with other apps like social media, and crisper audio. Users will also be able to schedule and send links to FaceTime calls (even to their Android friends).

Focus tech: To help you stay on task from 9-5, Apple will let users batch notifications and order them by priority, add a Focus mode to limit interruptions from non-work-related apps and friends, and add work, sleep, or do not disturb statuses to their Messages app.

Privacy: To bolster its reputation as Silicon Valley’s privacy leader, Apple is adding on-device speech processing for Siri, extra private browsing on Safari, and the ability to disable tracking pixels in email.

  • Tracking pixels? Apple users will be able to block tracking by email senders, a change that could mean big disruptions for businesses that depend on email marketing. If a user disables pixels, companies won’t know if their email even gets opened.

Other highlights: New features for developers to build apps in the cloud. Uploading your ID to Apple Wallet to use for TSA screening. Unlocking your car or front door from an iPhone. Fancier maps. And trusted contacts to get you back into iCloud after you forget your new password.

Between the keynote lines

This WWDC wasn’t unique just because execs spoke before a crowd of Memojis. Yesterday, Apple defended itself and said the App Store has paid over $230 billion to developers since opening in 2008.

The company wrapped up a trial last week with Fortnite maker Epic Games, which is accusing Apple of monopolistic practices for the 30% cut it takes on in-app purchases. If Apple loses, the company may have to rewrite the rules of its money-printing App Store.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple is rolling out Siri to some non-Apple devices – but you might need a HomePod to use the digital assistant

Apple HomePod
A HomePod smart speaker.

  • Apple said smart home device makers can work with Apple to integrate Siri into their devices.
  • However, the devices need to already be compatible with HomeKit, Apple’s universal remote-like app.
  • It’s unclear if customers will be able to use iPhones or will need a HomePod to make Siri requests.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Apple said Monday that it would start allowing customers to make requests via Siri through non-Apple devices.

The company made the announcement at its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference, where it also unveiled its iOS 15 software update.

Apple said in a press release that starting immediately, smart home device makers can work with Apple to integrate Siri into their products.

Apple said Siri can be enabled on accessories that are compatible with HomeKit, Apple’s universal remote-like app that you can use to control smart home devices.

Third-party accessory makers will be able to “relay requests through HomePod or HomePod mini and will support features such as Personal Requests, Intercom, timers, and alarms.”

Read more: Apple’s new major iOS change lets you decide if you want brands to track you across apps. Most people are opting out, and it’s already crushing advertisers.

It’s unclear if customers will be able to use iPhones to make requests via Siri on their third-party devices, or if the service is only available through HomePod and HomePod mini. Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Apple said in March that it was discontinuing its original $350 HomePod smart speaker, but it will still focus on its $99 HomePod Mini, which is launched in fall 2020.

As Tom’s Guide notes, Apple’s HomeKit isn’t compatible with as many third-party devices as Amazon and Google’s digital assistants are.

And when Apple launched its original HomePod in 2018, it competed with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home but fell flat with consumers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple’s secret keynote formula, explained

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Before we get a new iPhone, we get an Apple keynote.

Tim Cook: We’ve got some really exciting things to share with you, and we’re gonna have some fun along the way.

Narrator: Apple has been holding this style of presentation for over 20 years. But it isn’t just showing new products; it’s telling a story. Over the years, the presentation has gotten flashier, but the story hasn’t changed.

The keynotes always open with a video, which conveys a theme or idea that the keynote echoes. It’s the introduction to the story. But it usually isn’t about products. It’s about imagination, accessibility, or even New York City.

♪ I happen to like New York. I happen to like this town ♪

Apple includes several more videos throughout its presentation. These build suspense leading up to a product reveal. And make a product feel larger than life.

Then, it’s time for a history lesson. Tim Cook takes the stage, says “good morning.”

Cook: Good morning.

Narrator: And shows how Apple has been in your life for years. He also explains the positive impact Apple has had. Part of that impact is growing communities. Apple products aren’t presented as just computers or phones. The devices bring people together. And improve their lives.

You might have also noticed that they exaggerate…a lot. Apple describes everything with superlatives. Just listen to this description of the Apple Watch. That same segment says beautiful seven times. Repetitive exaggeration drives home Apple’s message about a product. If a speaker keeps saying revolutionary, you walk away thinking this phone is revolutionary.

But you won’t find too many specs in an Apple presentation. Apple talks in percentages more often than specifics. It’s 40% lower power.

Phil Schiller: 40% more energy efficient.

Narrator: Or five times faster.

Tom Boger: Five times faster than before.

Narrator: You just need to know that this new version is better than the old one.

Schiller: The iPhone XS Max.

Narrator: Apple doesn’t spend time talking about RAM or milliamps. It prefers fancy marketing terms, like Retina or 3D Touch.

Then it improves on its own terms. Plus to Max. Retina to Super Retina. But it still manages to keep the message clear and simple, often using a single phrase per slide.

It also helps that Apple’s presenters are experts at keeping the audience engaged. They tell you exactly what to think.

Schiller: Well, you are going to be blown away with the pictures you can take with the iPhone XS’s camera.

Jeff Williams: We think you’re gonna love everything about the new displays on Series 4.

Schiller: We all love the cameras in our iPhone.

Narrator: And they talk in a conversational tone.

Cook: Wasn’t that a fun video?

Narrator: It feels like a small presentation you were invited to. Not a livestream that millions are watching. Apple’s keynotes started a trend that many other tech companies have followed. But companies like Google and Samsung aren’t nearly as effective as Apple. Compare the introduction of the Galaxy Note 10 to the iPhone XS.

Drew Blackard: The Note 10 is built for a new generation. It’s a generation that’s reshaping everything about how we work and how we live. These days, we’re catching up on work email one minute and gaming with friends the next. The line between work and play has pretty much disappeared. And that means we need technology that can seamlessly flow between the two.

Schiller: I am so excited to tell you all about iPhone XS. It is made of a surgical-grade stainless steel. It has a gorgeous new gold finish, on the front and on the glass. It is the most beautiful iPhone we have ever made.

Narrator: Apple is specific. It shows instead of just telling. And you’re made to believe this is the most beautiful iPhone ever because of Phil Schiller’s delivery. Samsung tries to be everything at once, and the message gets lost. But Apple is able to tell a cohesive story that keeps you engaged.

Layering these techniques creates a presentation that feels important. Nothing may be new, but it all feels groundbreaking.

Cook: That uses intelligent software to make the most stunning portraits. This was only previously possible with pro-level equipment.

Narrator: He’s just talking about the iPhone’s camera. Nothing specific or new. Apple uses bold statements to reinforce its importance.

Laura Legros: Now, the MacBook Air set the bar for great battery life in a thin and light computer, and the new MacBook Air is no exception.

Schiller: What the team has done is truly, truly break through. It’s called the A12 Bionic. Your photos look stunning on iPhone XS.

Narrator: And it works. These presentations build huge anticipation before a product launch. With Apple products, it often feels as though the design is more important than what’s inside. The same is true of these keynotes.

Apple is selling the brand, not an iPhone. And these presentations have become an essential part of that sale.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in September 2019.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How Apple makes its keynote presentations so engaging

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Before we get a new iPhone, we get an Apple keynote.

Tim Cook: We’ve got some really exciting things to share with you, and we’re gonna have some fun along the way.

Narrator: Apple has been holding this style of presentation for over 20 years. But it isn’t just showing new products; it’s telling a story. Over the years, the presentation has gotten flashier, but the story hasn’t changed.

The keynotes always open with a video, which conveys a theme or idea that the keynote echoes. It’s the introduction to the story. But it usually isn’t about products. It’s about imagination, accessibility, or even New York City.

♪ I happen to like New York. I happen to like this town ♪

Apple includes several more videos throughout its presentation. These build suspense leading up to a product reveal. And make a product feel larger than life.

Then, it’s time for a history lesson. Tim Cook takes the stage, says “good morning.”

Cook: Good morning.

Narrator: And shows how Apple has been in your life for years. He also explains the positive impact Apple has had. Part of that impact is growing communities. Apple products aren’t presented as just computers or phones. The devices bring people together. And improve their lives.

You might have also noticed that they exaggerate…a lot. Apple describes everything with superlatives. Just listen to this description of the Apple Watch. That same segment says beautiful seven times. Repetitive exaggeration drives home Apple’s message about a product. If a speaker keeps saying revolutionary, you walk away thinking this phone is revolutionary.

But you won’t find too many specs in an Apple presentation. Apple talks in percentages more often than specifics. It’s 40% lower power.

Phil Schiller: 40% more energy efficient.

Narrator: Or five times faster.

Tom Boger: Five times faster than before.

Narrator: You just need to know that this new version is better than the old one.

Schiller: The iPhone XS Max.

Narrator: Apple doesn’t spend time talking about RAM or milliamps. It prefers fancy marketing terms, like Retina or 3D Touch.

Then it improves on its own terms. Plus to Max. Retina to Super Retina. But it still manages to keep the message clear and simple, often using a single phrase per slide.

It also helps that Apple’s presenters are experts at keeping the audience engaged. They tell you exactly what to think.

Schiller: Well, you are going to be blown away with the pictures you can take with the iPhone XS’s camera.

Jeff Williams: We think you’re gonna love everything about the new displays on Series 4.

Schiller: We all love the cameras in our iPhone.

Narrator: And they talk in a conversational tone.

Cook: Wasn’t that a fun video?

Narrator: It feels like a small presentation you were invited to. Not a livestream that millions are watching. Apple’s keynotes started a trend that many other tech companies have followed. But companies like Google and Samsung aren’t nearly as effective as Apple. Compare the introduction of the Galaxy Note 10 to the iPhone XS.

Drew Blackard: The Note 10 is built for a new generation. It’s a generation that’s reshaping everything about how we work and how we live. These days, we’re catching up on work email one minute and gaming with friends the next. The line between work and play has pretty much disappeared. And that means we need technology that can seamlessly flow between the two.

Schiller: I am so excited to tell you all about iPhone XS. It is made of a surgical-grade stainless steel. It has a gorgeous new gold finish, on the front and on the glass. It is the most beautiful iPhone we have ever made.

Narrator: Apple is specific. It shows instead of just telling. And you’re made to believe this is the most beautiful iPhone ever because of Phil Schiller’s delivery. Samsung tries to be everything at once, and the message gets lost. But Apple is able to tell a cohesive story that keeps you engaged.

Layering these techniques creates a presentation that feels important. Nothing may be new, but it all feels groundbreaking.

Cook: That uses intelligent software to make the most stunning portraits. This was only previously possible with pro-level equipment.

Narrator: He’s just talking about the iPhone’s camera. Nothing specific or new. Apple uses bold statements to reinforce its importance.

Laura Legros: Now, the MacBook Air set the bar for great battery life in a thin and light computer, and the new MacBook Air is no exception.

Schiller: What the team has done is truly, truly break through. It’s called the A12 Bionic. Your photos look stunning on iPhone XS.

Narrator: And it works. These presentations build huge anticipation before a product launch. With Apple products, it often feels as though the design is more important than what’s inside. The same is true of these keynotes.

Apple is selling the brand, not an iPhone. And these presentations have become an essential part of that sale.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in September 2019.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple will host WWDC entirely online for the second year in a row

Apple WWDC 2021
  • Apple will host WWDC entirely online for the second year in a row.
  • Apple typically unveils new software at WWDC. This year’s event will start on June 7.
  • The annual developers conference is one of Apple’s biggest events of the year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Apple will host WWDC entirely online for the second year in a row.

The iPhone-maker announced Tuesday that its annual developers conference will take place from June 7 to June 11. The conference, which is free and open to all developers, will take place online rather than at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.

Apple also hosted last year’s WWDC event online, canceling the in-person conference for the first time in 31 years due to the pandemic.

Read more: Inside Apple’s ambitious next decade, where it could redefine consumer tech with a VR headset, foldable iPhone, and even an Apple Car

WWDC is one of Apple’s biggest events of the year. The company typically takes the wraps off its new software for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, and occasionally unveils new hardware products – Apple debuted the HomePod in 2017 and the Mac Pro in 2019.

At last year’s WWDC, Apple revealed that it would start shifting away from Intel and making its own processor chips for Macs.

In addition to unveiling new software and hardware products, Apple will host online sessions and 1-on-1 labs for developers, as well as ways for designers to connect with Apple’s engineers and designers. This year’s event will also feature a coding challenge for students.

Read the original article on Business Insider