There were several announcements from Apple at the WWDC 2021 keynote highlighting what’s coming on the software side for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch users this year. Announcements included previewing iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8. However, aside from major developments, the company announced a few additional details, mostly related to its offerings like Siri, AirPods, and Apple TV. Apple also didn’t have time to reveal details about things like a built-in authenticator and improved tracking through Find My Network. So we cover all of these announcements here.
Siri on third-party devices
Apple’s Siri was previously exclusive to Apple devices – in contrast to Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, both of which are also accessible on third-party devices. That trend soon seems to change, however, when Apple announced the arrival of Siri on third-party devices at the WWDC 2021 keynote. It is activated through HomeKit, which allows accessory manufacturers to activate the “Hey Siri” command on their devices. However, users will need a HomePod or HomePod mini to relay their voice commands to third-party devices. This is in contrast to how many non-Google and non-Amazon devices support the Google Assistant and Alexa, respectively.
The details available on the iOS 15 Preview website indicate that the HomePod devices must be running HomePod software version 15.0 or higher to enable the new experience.
Siri starts working offline
In addition to being accessible through third-party devices, Siri has been updated with the ability to handle a list of requests without an internet connection. These requests can concern access to pre-installed functions and apps, including Timers & Alarms, Telephone, Messaging, Sharing, App Launch, Control Audio Playback and Settings. The change will be done through processing on the device, which is also touted to allow Siri to respond more quickly. It will also allow Apple to gain an edge over its competitors and remove privacy concerns about unwanted audio recordings stored by companies that offer voice assistants.
According to the fine print on Apple’s website, users will need an iPhone with the A12 Bionic chip and above (iPhone XS, third-generation iPad Air, or fifth-generation iPad mini) to enjoy the offline Siri experience. This also requires the download of language models and is available in selected languages namely German (Germany), English (Australia, Canada, India, UK, USA), Spanish (Spain, Mexico, USA), French (France), Japanese (Japan )), Mandarin Chinese (Mainland China), and Cantonese (Hong Kong).
The introduction of iOS 15 improves the user experience on AirPods with new features. This includes a “Conversation Boost,” which is limited to the AirPods Pro and is designed to help people with hearing problems, especially if they are in a crowded place. Apple said the feature will allow the True Wireless Stereo (TWS) headphones to isolate the voice of the person in the foreground by offering specific sliders on the connected iPhone or iPad screen to adjust ambient noise.
AirPods also got the option to ask Siri to let them know what notifications are showing on their screen. This function is called “announce notifications” and is an extension of the existing possibility of reading messages and texts over AirPods. Apple has also added support for announcements based on location-based tasks recorded in reminders and time-sensitive notifications. In addition, the notification messages are read aloud based on the Do Not Disturb and Focus settings.
The ability to announce notifications is limited to AirPods (2nd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max in US English.
Additionally, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have received Find My support so that users can find their lost headphones right through the Find My network. The headphones can play a sound when they are called up with the Find My app – regardless of whether they are in their pocket or placed separately. There will also be separate alerts to notify users when they leave their AirPods behind.
Both AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have also received spatial audio support – aided by Dolby Atmos music support along with Apple’s dynamic head tracking. It will be available to Mac and Apple TV users.
Although there was no room for an official announcement during the keynote, a built-in password authenticator is available in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey to provide more security. “If a website offers two-factor authentication, you can set up verification codes under Passwords in the settings – you don’t have to download an additional app,” the company noted on its website.
Users of the latest iOS, iPadOS, or macOS can set up new verification codes by going to. walk Passwords > the settings. Once set up, verification codes will be automatically filled in when you log into the website, the company said.
The built-in authenticator rivals Google Authenticator, Authy, and Microsoft Authenticator and wouldn’t give Apple users any reason to go for third-party solutions.
Find My network remains useful when the iPhone is turned off
Apple is silently adding the ability to locate a lost iPhone when it’s turned off to the Find My network. This is especially useful if your missing iPhone doesn’t have enough battery to stay active or has been turned off by a thief until you can track its location. The location tracking feature will also work if the phone settings are reset to the default settings.
Users who have iOS 15 installed on their iPhone will receive a notification of the new experience as soon as the battery runs low for the first time, reports 9to5Mac. The feature appears to be on by default, although users have the option to turn it off in Find My’s preferences.