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WWDC 2020 Roundup: Big changes coming for your iPhone, iPad and Macbook

Apple WWDC 2020
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is a chance for the tech giant to introduce the big new features across all of its platforms, and this year's WWDC 2020 didn't disappoint. In fact, it's almost as if the company ticked off dozens of items that had been requested over the last few years, and every product seemed to have a moment to shine.

To save you wading back into two hours of footage, we've rounded up all the upgrades coming to your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac computer, and smart home devices (including Apple TV) in the coming months (or as soon as July if you're feeling brave enough to install the public betas).

WWDC 2020: iPhone iOS 14 

Kicking off with the big one, Apple jumped straight into iOS 14 which will offer a redesigned home screen for the first time... ever. Users will be able to use new widgets that come in multiple shapes and sizes, and drop them in their existing app layout.

There's also a handy new App Library view that automatically organizes your apps into categories and suggests ones you may want, as well as picture-in-picture viewing for video content, so you can carry on watching videos while replying to texts or making notes.

Siri is also getting a facelift, and will no longer take up the whole display when triggered. It's also getting smarter, as well as the ability to send voice messages and dictate more accurately. Siri also feeds into a new app, Translate, that works offline and enables realtime conversation translations and not just small phrases.

Apple WWDC 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

Elsewhere, Messages is getting the ability to pin important conversations to the top of your inbox, new Memoji options, and the ability to reply inline and mention other users in group messages. Apple will curate guides for the Maps app, with recommended places to visit, as well as Cycling directions in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Shanghai, Beijing and more.

CarPlay users can get new wallpapers, and digital car keys that are stored in Apple Wallet are on the way, starting with BMW cars next year.

Finally, the App Store is introducing App Clips. Essentially small chunks of an app that allow for limited functionality without needing a full download, you'll be able to pay for parking or order coffee without needing to download an app.

All these new features are sure to keep Apple's iPhone lineup at the top of our best smartphones (opens in new tab) rankings, whether you're looking for flagship handsets like the iPhone 11 Pro (opens in new tab) or budget options like the iPhone SE (opens in new tab).

WWDC 2020: iPadOS 14

iPadOS is getting the same tweaks from the iOS 14 release, as well as redesigned interfaces for some of the stock apps. Notably Photos, Notes and Files are getting a new sidebar, as is Music which also gets a new full-screen player with support for lyrics.

Calls will no longer take up the whole screen, and Universal Search will allow you to find apps, contacts, and files from anywhere.

Apple WWDC 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil users will have the ability to write into any text box and iPadOS will convert it to text. Dubbed "Scribble", this feature recognizes multiple languages and will let you cut, copy, and paste any handwritten text.

Apple also called out AirPods in this section, and promised automatic device switching so you can move from your Mac to your iPad to your phone automatically. There's also spatial surround sound coming that Apple promises will ensure your device feels like a movie theater you can enjoy anywhere.

WWDC 2020: WatchOS 7 

WatchOS will now let users add multiple complications on a single watch face, and watch faces will now be shareable via "Face Sharing". 

Cycling directions are coming, but perhaps most importantly WatchOS 7 will finally introduce sleep tracking, as well as hand washing notifications. Finally, the Dance workout is being added, and the Activity app is being rebranded the Fitness app. 

Apple WWDC 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch is comfortably sitting at the top of our best smartwatch (opens in new tab) rankings and these changes, while relatively minor, should help it keep the top spot for a while longer.

WWDC 2020: Privacy 

Apple is well known for its ironclad privacy settings, and there's room for updates here too. Apps will be allowed to know your approximate location, and if an app uses your mic or camera you'll be notified.

Finally, not only will apps that require tracking need to ask your permission, but apps that collect data will need to explain what they collect, on their App Store page.

WWDC 2020: Home

The Home App will now recommend new automations when you set up a smart home device, and any cameras you've set up will be able to use a smart area to prevent constant notifications if you live on a busy street. You'll also be able to see who's at the door via data from faces tagged in the Photos app.

WWDC 2020: tvOS 14 

tvOS will be able to show a picture-in-picture view of any cameras you've set up in your home, and Apple Arcade is getting multi-user support on the platform (as well as support for the Xbox Elite Controller 2 and Adaptive Controller).

Elsewhere, Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) is coming to Sony and Vizio TVs, and a new sci-fi show, Foundation, will premiere on the service in 2021.

WWDC 2020: macOS Big Sur

Yes, really, the next macOS is known as Big Sur. Your Macbook Pro (opens in new tab) and Apple iMac (opens in new tab) will be powered by Big Sur. We have no words.

The headline feature here is a visual overhaul which reaches every facet of the operating system. Icons and sounds have been redesigned and remastered, while the likes of the Mail app are finally getting a facelift.

Apple WWDC 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

Control Center, allowing for quick access to WiFi toggles and audio devices, makes the jump from iOS, and the notification center will allow widgets and grouped notifications. Messages is finally being updated with improved search on Mac, as well as a more intuitive photo picker and the same enhancements found on iOS 14.

Safari is also being revamped, with more visible privacy reporting on trackers, improved extension functionality, and a new customizable start page.

The biggest news of the day was saved for last, with Apple finally confirming that, as previously rumored (opens in new tab), upcoming Macs will be built with Apple Silicon, the company's own brand of processors. This not only negates any supply chain disruption from the current Intel partnership, but will also allow for more power with a lower rate of power consumption. It'll also be easier for developers to port their apps to Mac from iOS and iPadOS.

The intention is for Macs running Apple Silicon to ship by the end of 2020, with a transition period of two years. If you've recently picked up an Intel-based Mac, however, you'll be pleased to know that they'll be supported for "years to come".

Lloyd Coombes
Customer Advisor, Computing

Lloyd Coombes is Top Ten Reviews' Computing Customer Advisor, and a freelance writer with a specialism in tech, gaming, and fitness. Since starting out as a blogger, he’s written for sites like IGN, TechRadar, and more.

An expert on all things Apple ever since he got a second-hand iMac, Lloyd can regularly be found testing software on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac — when he’s not testing the platforms themselves, that is. He’s also’s Games Editor, and a podcaster.

When he’s not writing, you can probably find him running after his son, playing Destiny 2, or at the gym.