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ARM-Based Mac Chips, macOS Big Sur, iOS 14 And No New Hardware

Update June 22 below. This post was first published at 3PM EDT, June 22.

Apple’s most important moment of the year is today. The annual World Wide Developers Conference started with a Special Event keynote, at 10AM Pacific, 1PM EDT, 6PM BST (U.K.) and 7PM CET.

Update June 22. Okay, it’s all done and dusted. Absolutely no hardware, but a dizzying round of software updates for all the platforms. With no pauses for applause or jokes or even for people to get on and off stage it felt more full-on than ever, but the biggest announcements – like how Apple is switching the Mac to its own silicon was strikingly done.

For sure, the absence of developers was noticeable as this was an all-virtual WWDC, and it certainly kept everything moving apace.

New design in macOS looks smashing and the Apple Watch will get sleep tracking. Oh, finally. It was certainly a flashy show, with cool videos moving between the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple Park and underground laboratories. There was no shortage of information, a huge amount of enthusiasm and enough detail to make your brain spin.

I’ll be diving into some of these topics during the week but in the meantime, the live blog is below. Start from the bottom for the chronological experience. If you want to watch the event again, it’s still available on YouTube.

Here’s what happened…

We’ll expect to see coverage of all the software platforms, from iOS to iPadOS, macOS to tvOS and watchOS. There’ll be a lot of nitty-gritty details aimed squarely at developers, jollity and jokes (especially from Craig Federighi, a WWDC super-popular stalwart) and some indepth revelations.

Above all, Apple likes to put on a great show, and that won’t change, just because this is a virtual keynote. True, there’ll be no whooping and cheering from the attendees (well, not audibly, who knows what they’re all doing at home), but it’ll still be a great watch.

You can watch it yourself on YouTube, here, on the Apple TV app, on apple.com or in several other ways if you’re a developer.

The liveblog starts below a little while before the event itself. It will be updated all the time, so please refresh the page to see the latest updates right on top. I will be writing as fast as I can, so please pardon my typos. Stay tuned, and the updates will begin shortly.

11.49 And that’s it, we’re out. I hope you enjoyed the live blog.

11.48 All the app platforms will get dev betas from today and public betas from July.

11.47 Apple Watch to get a public beta for the first time!

11.46 A truly historic day for the Mac, according to Tim Cook. The timing for the transition will be pretty quick: the first Mac with Apple silicon will be on sale this year. But more Intel Macs will go on sale soon, too.

11.45 A quick start program to make apps universal will be made available to developers along with transition kit including a Mac mini powered by the latest iPad Pro chip!

11.44 iPhone and iPad apps will run natively on the new Mac. That’s quite a big deal.

11.40 To make things seamless for users, Rosetta 2 is a program that automatically translates existing apps so they work with the new chips.

11.38 Final Cut Pro, Photoshop and Lightroom are all working brilliantly on the new silicon, apparently.

11.36 Microsoft Office is already running on the new Apple processor, and Federighi is commenting on the performance and design improvements.

11.34 A common architecture across all product lines will be helpful for developers and create much better products, Apple says.

Transitioning to Apple’s silicon will be smooth and seamless thanks to native apps, we are promised. That’s according to Craig Federighi, who is back.

11.33 Performance is just part of the story. Other benefits like battery life and a new level of graphics performance are promised.

11.31 CPU performance has improved by 100x, Apple says. The latest iPad Pro is 1,000 times faster than the first iPad. The Watch silicon has also put Apple ahead, it’s claimed.

This move to Apple’s own silicon will change the performance levels, Apple says.

11.28 Now it’s time for a huge leap forward. The Mac is “transitioning to our own Apple silicon”.

Tim Cook is going to introduce something “truly profound.” ARM processors, perhaps?

11.27 Tabs in Safari look good: too many to see what you’re looking for? Hover over one for a clean graphic preview. Safari will also be able to translate dynamically, too.

11.23 There are new customizable Start pages, with what Apple’s calling a clean, fresh look.

11.20 Safari is updated – its biggest since it was launched, Federighi says. Page loading is faster, over 50% faster than Chrome, he claims. Privacy is key here, too. Users can click on a privacy report button and Safari can monitor safe passwords.

11.18 Maps will be updated with Look Around and more, and ability to see friends who’ve shared their destinations with you.

Mac Catalyst, which also helps developers make apps that can work on both formats and there are more features for developers to take advantage of.

11.16 The new design looks similar to the iPad – the overlap between the two is more striking than ever. Adding widgets on the new Mac will be straightforward. Now, we’re on to Messages which was predicted to be updated.

New search capabilities, Memoji editing in Messages and those cool Message effect previously only seen in iOS.

11.13 There are new designs for the finder and many app icons. Photos looks different with the sidebar found elsewhere and others like Podcasts and Notes.

11.11 New design features with unified Apple symbols, depth and translucency will help simplicity. It looks very different. I have to say I really like it.

11.09 We’re on to the Mac. What’s the name for the next update? It’s macOS Big Sur.

11.07 Apple TV+ is reaching 1 billion streams, Apple says, and now there’s a plug for a new Apple Original: Asimov’s Foundation. Sneak peek is playing now.

11.05 tvOS 14 extends picture-in-picture, have AirPlay show up in a picture-in-picture window.

11.02 Smart lights will gain access to adaptive lighting in HomeKit. Home cameras will be able to define activity zones and facial recognition.

11.01 Privacy at home is important, so there are new home features coming. All designed to be easy to use. Products are designed to work better together thanks to HomeKit. There are new interoperability standards set with other organizations.

10.59 Apps have to ask before they track you from now on. App privacy policies will be shown in the App Store to see before you download the app.

10.56 One quick drone flight and we’re back with Craig Federighi who’s talking about Privacy, a fundamental human right, Apple says. Sign in with Apple is an example and over 200 million Sign in with Apple accounts have been created. People have said they wanted to sign in using their existing account and this will now be possible.

10.55 This is cute – an app to encourage you to wash your hands and to make sure you do it for long enough. The microphone is listening out for the sound of water and “squishing soap”.

10.53 You can choose when to go to bed, as well as your alarm time. Wind Down helps you to get to bed. It tracks your sleep measuring micro-movements and shows your battery level to remind you to charge in the morning.

10.52 The Dance workout capability sounds sophisticated. Oh, and the Workout app is being renamed Fitness. And here we go – Sleep tracking.

10.50 Cycling directions are coming to Maps. can tell you when to get off your bike. There are new workouts, and dance is being added in watchOS 7.

10.49 You can share Watch faces with other people, straight from the Watch.

10.48 First, though, there are more rich complications, including a chronograph face. and a new large face.

10.47 Now we’re on to Apple Watch. I’m hoping for Sleep tracking.

10.44 Possibly the coolest thing yet, AirPods will automatically switch between devices like your iPhone and iPad instead of you having to switch them. New audio filters can create an immersive sound experience, Apple says. It even uses the accelerometer so it knows which way your head is facing and ensures the sound comes from the right place.

10.40 In a step away from software, we’re on to enhancements to Apple Pencil. Now, handwriting will be as powerful as typed text. Scribble will turn handwriting into typed text.

10.39 Search will look different, great for launching apps, finding contacts, files, and start web searches. It looks similar to Search on the Mac.

10.37 Siri on iPad is also redesigned, and Calls will no longer take over the whole screen.

10.35 Photos has a new sidebar for better navigation. The same sidebar will be in Notes and Files. There are streamlined toolbars and drop-down menus.

10.34 Over 1 million apps designed just for iPad and now the design language is being enhanced, starting with the widgets found on iPhone.

10.33 And now it’s iPadOS.

10.31 It’s all about getting the right part of an app, say for paying for parking, or ordering takeout from Maps. There’s a special visual and NFC code to tell you when there’s an App Clip. Yelp can create App Clips for all the places it works with. They’re quick to launch, so they have to be under 10MB big.

10.28 The App Store is the next topic. “What if you can have the right app right when you need it. There’s an App Clip for that.”

10.27 You can unlock compatible cars – BMW has the first one – using your iPhone. You can share your key with others, too. The first car comes next month and it’ll work in iOS 13 when iOS 13.6 is released.

10.25 This is a big one: CarKey is coming.

10.22 Cycling routes are being added. Hurrah! It’ll take elevation into account so you know if you’re going uphill. Or need to carry your bike upstairs. NYC, LA, San Francisco Bay Area are the first in the US to get this. Oh, and there’s EV routing so you know where to recharge.

10.20 Apple Maps is going to be updated with privacy in mind. Advanced maps coming to more countries including the U.K. There’s help for finding great places, Apple says. Apple will work with trusted brands to create Guides to find cool places to go.

10.18 Now we’re on to Messages with updates to help you navigate. Now, and things are moving fast here, we’re discussing Memoji. More age options, more stickers.

10.16 Yael Garten is talking about how Siri is updated with a new app called Translate. Designed to work in 11 languages. It looks pretty cool.

10.14 Now, we’re on to Siri. The new design doesn’t take over the home screen, just appear on it. In the meantime, Federighi has talked about picture-in picture on the iPhone screen.

“We’re excited to see how people will customize them in their own way.”

10.10 Now we’re on to widgets which are “beautiful and data-rich”. You can drag them and put them on the home screen.

10.07 Suddenly there are bigger apps, widgets and more. The App Library is a way of organizing apps so you don’t forget the apps you have but have forgotten about.

10.06 The home screen hasn’t changed, he says, which tells you it’s about to.

10.05 This is a more somber start than in other years, though Cook has often begun on a serious note. “In some ways we’re going to be more together than ever.”

And now Craig Federighi is starting with iOS 14.

10.00 And Tim Cook is onstage!, From an empty Steve Jobs Theater. He’s talking about racism and the pain following the death of George Floyd.

09.59. Appropriately enough, an Apple TV style screen saver is showing us the Earth from a satellite with music suited to a lullaby.

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