Apple will introduce its newest software innovations in a few weeks, during the main WWDC 2021 keynote that’s scheduled for the morning of June 7th. Apple will host a virtual developer conference event for the second year in a row, as the coronavirus pandemic makes in-person events of this magnitude somewhat risky. Even so, WWDC 2021 is one of the most anticipated tech events of the year. That’s where the next versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS are unveiled, and the first betas make it to Apple devices soon after the event.
As with previous editions, iOS remains the most anticipated announcement from WWDC, as that’s the operating system that powers Apple’s most popular product. Apple will unveil all the new iOS 15 features that it can talk about during the software-centric event without giving away any potential iPhone 13 features. As with previous editions, some of the new iOS 15 features have leaked before the show.
MakeUseOf’s Connor Jewiss (via AppleTrack) posted on Twitter a list of purported iOS 15 features that he had access to.
According to Jewiss, iOS 15 (and iPadOS 15) will bring Dark Mode UI tweaks, Messages app tweaks, support for food tracking and other features in the Health apps, new notification settings, and a new lockscreen design. He also said that he could confirm the “UI changes from previous screenshot rumor).
Jewiss did not provide any visuals for any of these user interfaces upgrades, however. Some of these upgrades seem logical, including the Messages and Health apps, as well as the new notifications and lockscreen redesign. It’s unclear what the new Dark Mode UI tweaks are supposed to be.
When I said I’d seen some iOS 15, I’m not going to disappoint:
◼️- Dark Mode UI tweaks
💬- Messages app tweaks
🍴- Food tracking and other new features in Health
🔧- Confirmation of UI changes from previous screenshot rumor
🔴- New notification settings and look on lockscreen
— Connor Jewiss (@connorjewiss) May 25, 2021
A previous leak from Bloomberg also mentioned some of these features. Apple is reportedly going to make significant changes to notifications, tailoring the notification experience to the user’s behavior. You’ll be able to set different away modes, including driving, working, or sleeping — or a custom category. Notifications will play sounds or remain silent depending on the new modes, and automatic replies will be adapted to them.
Bloomberg also said at the time that iMessage is getting upgrades “with the eventual goal of acting as more of a social network and better competing with Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp.”
The iPhone is getting a new lockscreen, and iPadOS 15 will bring a new home screen to the iPad, the report said. Bloomberg did not offer any leaks or mockups for the rumored iOS 15 features at the time.
Apple already announced a slew of accessibility features a few days ago that could have been part of the iOS 15 demo segment at WWDC. Some speculated the event might be chock-full of announcements, so Apple had to trim some of the planned reveals. But Apple said its accessibility announcement was in celebration of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 20th). Among the new features Apple teased, there’s a brand new gesture-based interaction method for the Apple Watch that might tease Apple’s plans for AR devices.
Apple will stream online the main WWDC 2021 keynote on June 7th at 10:00 AM PST (7:00 AM EST).