Although Apple’s 2020 WWDC was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, its latest operating system launches aren’t being pushed back: the company has just released iOS 14 and related operating systems for its mobile devices.
Versions 14.0 of iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS are becoming available as over-the-air system updates for the same iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs that were capable of running last year’s versions 13. watchOS 7.0 will also be available for the Apple Watch Series 3, 4, and 5, leaving behind the Series 1 and 2 devices that will continue to run watchOS 6.
While the iOS and iPadOS updates are fairly significant, including upgraded Home Screen widgets, a variety of improvements to the Safari browser, and on-device translation features, the tvOS and watchOS updates are smaller: tvOS gains enhanced picture-in-picture functionality, and watchOS adds sleep tracking and a hand washing timer. Additional features for each platform are likely to be exclusive to newly introduced devices.
Alternately listed as macOS 11 or 10.16, Apple’s newest Mac operating system Big Sur is likely to be released in October or November. Big Sur features a substantially redesigned Finder with new icons and windows, an updated Safari browser with enhanced user privacy protections, and an increasing number of overlapping iPad/Mac apps. It’s also the first version of macOS built to run on “Apple Silicon,” ARM processors custom-designed by Apple to deliver a superior balance of power and performance compared with Intel’s chips.