The coronavirus pandemic has prompted giants like Google and Facebook to cancel their annual developer conferences. But Apple has followed through on its plans. A presentation without audience or applause opened Monday the WWDC 2020 (Worldwide Developers Conference) with news of scope: Apple will replace Intel’s processors with its chips. Its developer conference, one of its most important events of the year in the world of technology, will be held until June 26 for the first time exclusively online.
The Cupertino company has announced the leap from Intel processors to its chips based on the ARM architecture and custom-designed for its Mac desktops and laptops. This move can be a before and after in Apple computers, that since 2006 have used Intel processors based on X86 architecture. The new processors will be called Apple Silicon and will be released later this year. The full transition will be in 2021.
Apple would thus have greater control over the components of its devices. Popular Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained in March that the change would allow the company to save 40% to 60% on the cost of its processors. Also, it noted that Apple would no longer rely on Intel’s roadmap to update its devices and considered it a step forward to improve performance and further differentiate itself from Windows-based computers. Kuo expected Apple to launch the first computers with ARM processors in late 2020.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has started the act remembering the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. The apple company has also presented updates to the operating systems of its iPhone (iOS 14), iPad (iPadOS 14), and smartwatches (watchOS 7) and computers (macOS 10.16, called Big Sur). Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, explained that macOS Big Sur brings “the biggest design overhaul since macOS 10,” with “a revamped design for all system applications.”
One of the main novelties of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 is the arrival of widgets for any application. The purpose of widgets is to facilitate access to frequently used functions and to provide visual information to the user. Thus, you could check messages or tweets without opening your applications.
Apple’s Apple Pencil stylus has been updated to iPad OS 14 with handwriting-friendly features like Scribble, which allows handwritten notes to be converted to text automatically, even in Apple apps like the address bar Safari that the hand-drawn geometric figures become straight. Scribble also detects items on its own, such as phone numbers, that connect to the app telephone.
Apple has also introduced App Library, a new function for organizing applications, and Translate, a Siri application for translating conversations in real-time that can work offline. For those who forget keys frequently, the company’s solution is Carley. It is a new way of opening and starting the car without having to have the keys. Directly with the smartphone. Users will be able to share those phone keys with family and friends. The first vehicle it will work with will be the BMW 5 Series from 2021.
Control for washing hands
Among the improvements in watchOS 7 are sleep monitoring and a new sport mode designed to monitor users while they dance. To follow sanitary recommendations during the pandemic, the watch will detect when we wash our hands and countdown to get it right. Meanwhile, tvOS 14 will have a mode that will allow you to watch different content on television at the same time—for example, a movie while exercising.
Although the event was originally intended solely for developers, it has increasingly gained more prominence among users.
Every year the apple company conducts WWDC in San José (California) in person. But now it is being held exclusively online for the first time. “The current health situation has forced us to create a format for WWDC 2020 that includes all the usual programming in the form of keynote and online sessions. It will be a great learning opportunity for developers around the world,” said Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Marketing.
This is a remarkable change, since attending the WWDC required an entry whose price used to exceed 1,000 euros. Also, it was not easy to get a pass due to the limited capacity of about 10,000 people, according to the La Manzana Mordida portal. Tickets used to be finished in minutes. Those of WWDC 2011 sold out in two hours. Those of 2012, in one hour and 20 minutes. In 2013, they only lasted 71 seconds.
FURY OVER MONOPOLY ALLEGATIONS
The Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 is held in a context of enormous uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But also in an atmosphere of tension and discontent among a large part of the developer community. Why is not new. For years, many professionals have complained about the way Apple manages the App Store, the app store, and the restrictions it imposes.
Critics view Apple’s review processes for accepting which apps will be available in its digital store as opaque and arbitrary; that the commission of 30% of the sales of payment applications and purchases within the applications are excessive, and that the company creates its applications that compete advantageously with those of third parties.
The European Commission announced last week two investigations against the company for alleged anti-competitive practices through its App Store, first, and its Apple Pay payment service.