Apple enhances productivity between devices, pushes more granular privacy and health features

Apple’s WWDC conference didn’t feature one groundbreaking announcement, but there was renewed focus on customer privacy, interoperability between devices, as well as improved personal health for wearable users.

Apple CEO Tim Cook opened and closed the keynote but made no mention of the recent trial with Epic Games, nor did he address ongoing tensions with its developer community.

  • Personal health was a key focus for Apple who added trends tracking and health sharing to its Watch: Apple Watch can now measure health insights over time and identify changes or trends in user behavior. Health Sharing allows caregivers visibility into a patient’s vitals, and in-app health record storage helps safely relay collected health data to medical professionals.
  • Apple’s privacy push intensifies: The Mail app on iPhones and Macs will be able to hide user IP addresses and locations, prevent senders from learning whether an email was opened, and stop tracking and data collection. Apple also added a VPN function to its paid iCloud+ backup and storage service.
  • FaceTime takes on Zoom and will work with Android and Windows devices: Apple’s FaceTime app received improved audio and video, as well as blurred backgrounds and a tiled interface similar to Zoom. FaceTime users can also invite Android and Windows users into video calls provided they use a browser to connect to the call.
  • Macs aren’t getting touchscreens, but you can now seamlessly integrate iPads into your workflow: The new Universal Control on macOS Monterey makes it possible to share the mouse and keyboard of a Mac with a nearby iPad to drag-and-drop files across devices.
  • iPad users can finally develop iOS apps using the Swift Playgrounds app: Apple has touted its iPad as a next-generation computer but that device was useless for developing apps. iPadOS 15 will allow developers to code on iPads and submit apps to the App Store right on iOS.
  • WatchOS will extend digital car key support to include home, office, and hotel smart keys: Apple will also let users securely store driver’s licenses and state IDs on the Wallet app on their devices.