WWDC 2020: Everything Apple just announced, ranked

Apple provided developers a lot of news to ponder and a big Mac transition that overshadowed updates to iOS, watch OS and iPad OS.

WWDC 2020 highlights: iOS 14, Apple Silicon, and more

Apple's virtual WWDC conference was highlighted by a plan to transition the Mac to Apple processors over time, but much of the groundwork has already been laid with a redesigned Mac OS. There were also updates to iOS, iPad OS, and watchOS to ponder.

Here is everything announced in order of importance.

1. Apple silicon Mac available to developers

Apple's transition plan looks solid. Apple said:

"Apple Developer Program members can start moving their apps to Apple silicon today by applying for the Universal App Quick Start Program. The program provides access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, and includes the limited use of a DTK, which will enable developers to build and test their Universal 2 apps. The DTK, which must be returned to Apple at the end of the program, consists of a Mac mini with Apple's A12Z Bionic SoC inside and desktop specs, including 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a variety of Mac I/O ports. Developers can apply to the program at developer.apple.com, and the total cost of the program is $500."  

Must read:

  • Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud will support Mac Arm natively CNET
  • Apple WWDC 2020: Mac devs can order Mac Arm silicon starting this week CNET
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2. Processor transition will take two years

Apple's transition from Intel-based Macs to Apple silicon will take two years -- with product support going longer. Apple had no choice but to offer that support, but buyers will have to consider what processor to bet on. (Hint: Apple chips are the correct answer, but you need to wait to see how apps work in the real world.)

Must read:

  • Apple's own apps like Final Cut will support Mac Arm from Day 1 CNET

3. watchOS 7 is a health nag

watchOS 7 will give Apple more of a footprint in health care and even watch your handwashing hygiene. Yes, the Apple Watch is your new nag about handwashing, but given COVID-19, maybe that's not a bad thing. Here's to hoping Apple Watch calls people out when they pee and don't wash hands at all.

Must read:

  • iOS 14, iPadOS 14, Apple Watch and everything business pros need to know TechRepublic
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5. iOS 14 yawner

 iOS 14 didn't wow anyone. Apple gave iOS 14 some nice perks and the app organization and widgets are handy, but in a lot of ways the operating system was all about incremental updates. That's why it went first.

Must read:

  • Apple will move 亚游手机客户端homeKit more deeply into your smart 亚游手机客户端home in iOS 14 CNET

6. Support for developers

Developers are getting code support, private forums and transition help as Mac moves to Arm. Apple knows it needs applications to transition to two processor support for a few years.

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7. Siri updated

Siri is minimized, but hopefully smarter. The Siri update is worth noting since the digital helper is basically a punchline at this point. But at least Siri won't have a big jarring presence on the iPad and iPhone anymore. 

Must read:

  • Apple's Siri: A cheat sheet TechRepublic
  • Apple's WWDC 2020 privacy updates want to tell people how apps are tracking them CNET

10. Where was AR?

AR wasn't mentioned. Yes, we know that we're ranking an announcement that wasn't made, but the silence was a bit deafening.

Best of the rest:

  • WWDC 2020: Apple shows off new TVOS 14 CNET
  • Apple TV Plus: Everything you need to know about Apple's take on streaming CNET