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Upcoming Apple features

We’re taking our time going over everything coming to Apple’s platforms this autumn, now that Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is over. As usual, there were much more changes than Apple mentioned onstage, and even more have surfaced as a result of watching the conference sessions, browsing through long pages of features, and keeping a gimlet eye on Twitter.

However, with so much information available, it can be difficult to determine which changes are likely to have a significant influence on Apple consumers’ lives and which will just slip into the pond without causing a ripple.

Surfin’ Safari 15

The revamp of Apple’s web browser is the most contentious change in the company’s newest set of updates. While I don’t have any statistics on hand, I’d be astonished if Safari wasn’t the most popular app on the iPhone and iPad. This means that even minor changes are likely to cause a stir, and Safari 15 is far from minor.

Safari 15 has a redesign of tabs as little rectangles that are subsumed into the window chrome, which now matches the color of the webpage you’re viewing. Apple’s declared goal is to remove the browser from the equation, but it’s debatable if this is a case of form over function.

It’s evident that Apple has considered some of these difficulties. Web Technologies Evangelist Jen Simmons mentioned in the company’s Design for Safari 15 WWDC talk that if Safari detects that the color of your page may negatively influence accessibility, the browser will override and default back to white. It also recommends web designers to consider the iPhone location bar while developing their sites.

Safari 15 has a redesign of tabs as little rectangles that are subsumed into the window chrome, which now matches the color of the webpage you’re viewing. Apple’s declared goal is to remove the browser from the equation, but it’s debatable if this is a case of form over function.

Shortcut

From AppleScript to Automator, automation has always been a cornerstone of the Mac. However, owing to Shortcuts, iOS appears to have overtaken those technologies as the automation king. That is why the Mac’s implementation of Shortcuts has so much potential.

Shortcuts is not only easier to use than Automator, but it also has the potential to be far more powerful, given to widespread support in both Apple’s own apps and third-party programs.

Early indications suggest that many iOS shortcuts will readily translate to the Mac, while Shortcuts on the Mac also allow power users to connect to automation tools like AppleScript and the command line. Because of the interoperability of Apple’s platforms, future upgrades to Shortcuts are likely to benefit consumers who live throughout Apple’s ecosystem.

Going splitsies

While it might not be the ground-up rethinking that some (including me) had hoped for, there are encouraging signals that it will nonetheless considerably change the performance for both power users and casual customers this year.

Making multitasking more evident is a significant part of it. Windowing now has its own icon, with controls similar to those found by hovering over the green symbol at the top of a Mac window.

Even though Slide Over remains an annoyance, the addition of a floating and resizable window for Apple’s new Quick Note function shows that a more sophisticated windowing system may work on the iPad.

Simply put, the more individuals who use multi – tasking mostly on iPad, the better it will become, and improved brightness and ease of use are primed and ready to usher a huge number of people into the reality of using multiple apps at once—which is a good thing, because it is still one of the iPad’s weaker qualities when particularly in comparison to a Mac.

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