Passenger team

What’s new: WWDC 2022

Apple has major software and hardware updates lined up for 2022 and some intriguing new tools with exciting potential for app developers.

7th Jun 2022

The annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) took place online on June 6 2022, offering insights into the future of Apple’s new technologies, tools and frameworks. 

Following a marathon keynote, that caused Passenger’s Mobile Team Lead Nick Watson to remark “I can’t remember seeing as many new devices or features as were just introduced at WWDC22”,  Apple revealed plenty of exciting news and shared a look at the anticipated macOS Ventura, iOS 16, the M2 chip and a new MacBook Air.

 “iOS 16 offers new intelligence sharing and communication features that are going to enhance so much of what you do with your iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering, during the event. “And those come together with an incredible set of new personalisation features that will make your experience feel fresh and completely you.”

At Passenger, we track the latest announcements from the major players in the mobile space to ensure that our apps and websites make use of the latest capabilities of devices and features of the operating systems for riders.  

It was also very exciting to hear about added support for a little something called Apple Passkeys. This essentially replaces the password, letting users sign in to various websites with just an iPhone or Mac, and might rid us of insecure and meddlesome passwords forever.

The iOS 16 update brings a totally revamped and customisable lock screen interface. This lets users add custom wallpapers, change the date and time’s font and colour, as well as add new widgets, adjust the depth of field with background images, integrate elements of Focus and more.

We also saw plans to improve dictation features, which can be useful as an accessibility tool. Apple says that dictation is used over 18 billion times each month, since it can be faster than typing. Now, Apple plans to improve automatic punctuation, with what’s described as an “all-new on-device dictation system.” The system keeps the keyboard open as your dictate so you can quickly switch between typing and voice while composing messages.

iOS 16 will also introduce a Door Detection mode for blind and low vision users, to help ensure they reach their destination safely. The new accessibility features also include a Live Captions for FaceTime calls on iPhone, iPad and Mac. It’ll also be available for third-party streaming services, enabling deaf or hard of hearing users to read along with videos. Meanwhile, twenty more languages are about to gain support for the VoiceOver screen-reading feature.

Nick said “I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on what Apple calls “Live Notifications”. Developers will be able to adopt this feature with a new Live Notifications API – iPhone notifications have been, historically, not very well managed. With the new changes, Apple is finally catching up to Android in having a versatile way of managing notifications. 

Interestingly, as a way of improving the ability of third-party apps to integrate with Siri, Apple debuted the App Intents API. It lets apps integrate with Siri with no special setup. We are already looking forward to what we will be able to achieve with these tools in the future”.

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