Apple is preparing to announce several new software updates for its iPhone and iPad at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. A report from Bloomberg mentions several details on what to expect, thanks to insiders at Apple.
Of course, WWCD will be where official details for iOS and iPadOS are released, but for now, here are some of the most noteworthy takeaways:
A new User Status feature will tell your device how to alert you to new notifications. Based on what your status is—like Sleep Mode or Do Not Disturb—notifications will (or will not) play a sound. This feature might also allow you to set automatic replies to messages depending on your status, which is something currently only available to you while you’re driving.
Unnamed new features for iMessage might make it more able to compete with Facebook’s WhatsApp. These features are still in development, but it could have the app acting more similarly to a social network.
The iPad home screen will be updated, and might (finally) give users the ability to use the widgets that were added to iOS last year. No more details about this were provided, but Bloomberg believes the update will be “the most significant update to the device’s Home screen since first launching the product in 2010.”
A new menu will make it easy for users to view privacy data—like which apps are collecting data about them, and what specific data is being collected. Additionally, users will be able to view the privacy menu from the iOS Lock Screen, which is also set to receive an update. This will likely use similar data to the privacy nutrition labels announced last November.
We may also see smaller updates to tvOS and watchOS. With macOS updating to Big Sur less than a year ago, it’s unlikely we’ll see large updates there though some small ones may be in order.
These additions are fairly iterative and expected. There’s nothing groundbreaking about adding features already existing on other platforms to iOS and iPadOS, but they are all certainly welcome. The possibilities opened by having an M1 chip in the latest iPad Pro are truly exciting and will surely open the doors to more powerful features on the platform in the future.
And while we wait to hear what iOS 15 brings, iOS 14.5 will start rolling out next week. That update is bringing support for AirTags, FaceID unlock via the Apple Watch, changes to Siri’s voice, and Apple’s new podcast subscription feature.