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WWDC2021 full review – iOS15 new recognition function & Apple “family bucket” four screen linkage update

On June 7, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference WWDC2021 was held, which was the second time after WWDC2020 that Apple was completely online-based. Compared to last year’s empty venue, this year the audience on stage was replaced with Memoji and the WWDC scene was lively again.


Table of Content


WWDC2021 full review – iOS15 new recognition function & Apple “family bucket” four screen linkage update

There was very little overlap between the content of this year’s launch and the previously predicted features, so WWDC2021 had a few surprises in addition to surprises: keywords such as user experience, product productivity, social, and privacy all became themes throughout the launch.

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iOS15: focus mode; scanning text function; “FaceTime” update; “share” function; notification page update

iPadOS 15: Swift Playgrounds to create apps; multi-screen interaction; Xcode Cloud service; App repository feature; split screen feature; quick memo

watchOS 8: Breath monitoring; portrait dial; send motion pictures

macOS Monterey: multi-screen interaction; cast screen function

tvOS 15: content recommendation function

AirPods Pro: lost find

Privacy: Digital Legacy Program; Mail/Safari browser privacy protection; App privacy reporting; Siri support for offline use; iCloud+


iOS 15: More focus on sharing and communication

Clearer Notification Center

iOS15 has a new notification interface. The contact avatar and App icon in the message alert become larger, and the information is displayed more clearly; the notification information is sorted according to priority, so that users can easily see important notifications; in addition, the information summary function is added, and the system will summarize the information push into an overview of information, so that users can see the received messages more clearly.


New “Focus Mode”

With the addition of Focus Mode in iOS15, users can set multiple scenarios and experience different forms of message notifications to avoid distracting phone messages, and these states can be synchronized with other devices.


Scanning Text Function

iOS15 arranged on the intelligent recognition of picture text function, after updating iOS 15 iPhone can directly copy the recognized text, open the recognized website, dial the recognized phone number, send email to the recognized email address, and even directly search the photo in the album contains text to locate the picture, etc. Currently, this function supports English, Chinese, French, German, Italian Spanish and Portuguese.

FaceTime” update

First to debut this year is the “FaceTime” update for iOS 15, which reflects Apple’s increased focus on face-to-face communication in the context of the epidemic.

After the “FaceTime” update, Apple users will get a better video calling experience: space video is added to make online chatting more realistic; video noise reduction is added to effectively reduce background noise and highlight the human voice; a new portrait mode is added to defocus the background and thus highlight the object being videoed.

FaceTime links can be generated and shared, so even if you are an Android or Windows user, you can join the video call through FaceTime links.

In addition, users can share what they want to share with family and friends through SharePlay, including music, video, and even real-time content on your screen.


Ubiquitous “Share” features


The “Share with you” quick sharing feature has been added, so that shared connections, pictures and other content that appear in messages will appear in the sharing menu of the relevant app. Video” and other apps.

Smart Life

Wallet, which previously offered Apple Pay for bank and bus cards, will include “keys” in iOS15, supporting door cards, work badges, house keys, hotel room cards, etc. It is reported that later this year, users in the U.S. will be able to add driver’s licenses, etc. to Wallet.

A high-resolution in-app map and animated backgrounds have been added to the “Weather” app, and the new full-screen HD weather backgrounds will follow the weather as it changes.

New live maps for more countries are now available in Maps, with 3D maps and road landmarks added to some areas for a better navigation experience and clearer driving directions, plus more detailed road and public transit information.

Memoji new emoji

Memoji can choose costumes and use new stickers, as well as multi-colored headgear, custom cochlear implants, oxygen tubes and soft helmets.

Safari browser interface updates

The Safari browser on both iPadOS and macOS has undergone significant changes, such as an overall cleaner web layout and tab bar that automatically shifts with the web color. And on iPhone, since the screen is still not big enough, a simple improvement was made to move the tab bar to the bottom and automatically hide it when swiping. Also, the Safari browser in iPhone and iPad can be installed with extension plug-ins.


iPadOS 15: More focus on productivity and user experience

What iPadOS brings will be more exciting for developers than what iOS 15 unleashes, and Apple’s intent to make the iPad a more capable productivity machine is clear.

Swift Playgrounds to create apps

The programming tool Swift Playgrounds has more powerful features that allow developers to create – write – publish iPadOS and iOS apps from scratch directly on iPad and upload them to the App Store. this is the first time iPad supports self-coding, iterating and building apps.

Universal Control feature supports multi-screen interaction

The new Universal Control feature allows iPad, MacBook and iMac devices to work together, linking all four screens to form a complete ecosystem that will enhance iPad productivity across the board.

Xcode Cloud Service

For developers, Apple has launched Xcode Cloud service, which allows development teams to write applications directly in the cloud and shorten the application development cycle.

App Repository Features

The widget and repository features introduced in iOS 14 are also perfectly replicated on iPadOS 15, supporting custom placement of widgets on the home screen.

Split Screen Functionality

The new multitasking menu in iPadOS 15 will zoom the current task to one side when picking an app, making it easy for users to pick split-screen apps. In the left and right split screen state, you can also continue to call out small windows, and even go inside the background task list to combine and split multitasking windows.

Quick Memo

iPadOS 15 supports Quick Notes. When using iPad, swipe the Apple Pencil stylus from the bottom right corner of the screen to the middle of the screen to open Quick Notes, which supports handwriting and keyboard input, as well as the ability to drag in links and tabs. Notes will also be automatically synced to other Apple screen devices, so you can continue editing on other devices.

watchOS 8: A better health companion


Portrait dial

WatchOS 8 primarily updates the portrait dial so that portrait photos taken on other devices can be synced to Apple Watch, using an automatic layering of portrait and time numbers. Photos from other devices will also appear on Apple Watch as a collection of memories, and photos can be easily shared on the watch using iMessage and email.

Support for sending motion pictures

Past watchOS supported voice dictation and handwriting input, but text was never a complete representation of your true emotions. WatchOS 8 supports sending GIF motion pictures to make communication more vivid.


Breath monitoring

watchOS 8 introduces new detection items under the “Sleep” app. The past Sleep was designed to help users reach their sleep goals by tracking their sleep duration, heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, etc. The new detection can track the user’s breathing rate while sleeping and monitor their health status.

New popular physical training

In Sports & Health, watchOS 8 adds two new popular physical training exercises: Tai Chi mode and Pilates training.


Breathe” renamed to “Positive Thinking

Apple says modern people are more aware than ever of the importance of taking time to train in mindfulness meditation. Breathe has become an increasingly popular app, especially in the epidemic-ridden era of the last year. This time, the Breathe app has been renamed the Mindfulness app, and in addition to the previous breathing exercises, it will also induce you to focus on a short but thought-provoking topic to enhance the user’s meditation practice.


macOS Monterey: Apple’s “Family Bucket”

The launch of macOS Monterey is not only a name change and a stunning purple theme, but also a highlight of Apple’s deep ecological integration.

Universal control feature supports multi-screen interaction

Like iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey also supports Universal control, which supports multi-screen interaction. You can freely move the cursor between Mac devices and iPad devices, drag and transfer files to each other, and even drag files across three screens.

In yesterday’s live demo, the iPad was placed next to the Mac, and the two devices could be connected to each other. iPad could act as the secondary screen of the Mac, and the Mac could also directly control the iPad through the keyboard to drag and drop files and process them. In addition to iPad and Mac, iMac can also achieve the same function through external keyboard and mouse, and Apple’s “family” of devices has reached a new level of cooperation.

Screen Casting Support

macOS Monterey also supports overhead playback, so you can play and display almost anything. If you want to cast a video from your phone to your Mac device, it can help your device display that content. In addition, macOS Monterey also supports Quick Command, “Share with you”, Focus Mode, Quick Memo and other features, which are described in detail in the previous article and will not be repeated here.


tvOS 15: Focus on the home scenario


tvOS 15 adds the function for all members of the family, which provides content recommendations in combination with playback history. In addition, in tvOS 15, HomePod mini finally works as a speaker for Apple TV 4K and supports features like spatial audio playback when Apple TV 4K is connected to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Apple has improved the AirPods Pro to solve the problem of AirPods Pro being easily lost: If AirPods Pro is lost, the lost AirPods Pro will send out a Bluetooth signal that will be recognized by a passing iPhone and uploaded to iCloud to reach the user’s “Find” app. With Find, you’ll have a chance to retrieve your AirPods Pro.

In addition to the major OS updates, Apple’s efforts in privacy protection were a highlight of the launch, with features that allow users to better protect their personal information and app usage trails.

The “Mail” app adds privacy protection to email messages, so that the IP address of the email, the user’s location, and the open status of the email are not available to anyone else unless the user gives permission, and Safari also supports privacy protection to prevent tracking of IP addresses.

Apple has further aggregated private data usage for users. iPhones upgraded to iOS 15 can see when each app has viewed your private data on the Privacy Reports page, such as the third-party domains accessed, how often the app uses contacts, microphone, geolocation, and other data.

Siri supports offline use

In addition to providing more voice options, Siri supports offline voice recognition and response on the device side. For privacy purposes, Apple emphasizes that it handles data as locally as possible, which also allows for simple commands that don’t require an Internet connection, such as opening a notepad or playing music.

iCloud+ protects user privacy

For example, iCloud brings a new way to recover Apple accounts, allowing users to set up a “recover contact” and Apple supports password recovery through contact verification, similar to that of WeChat and QQ friends. The newly introduced “Digital Legacy Program”, after adding legacy contacts to the account, if the user passes away, his legacy contacts can request access to the user’s iCloud account and transfer the data stored by the user to inherit the “digital legacy”.



The new features of the systems released in WWDC2021 do not overlap much with the previous prediction posts, and many of the features released are outside of everyone’s expectation. The keywords of the release revolve around “sharing”, “productivity”, “user experience”, “ecological integration, four-screen linkage”, and “privacy protection”. “The “privacy protection” agenda has been carried over from last year and is also an important part of the whole event.

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