Home iOS WWDC: 12 small but important improvements you may have missed

WWDC: 12 small but important improvements you may have missed


I’ve already focused on some of the bigger announcements made at WWDC this year; here’s a look at  some of the smaller (mostly iOS) improvements Apple told us about last week.

Easier iCloud iPhone updates

If you don’t have a great deal of iCloud storage, but want to backup all your data while upgrading to a new iPhone, Apple has made things a little easier. In the future, when you purchase a new device, you’ll be given as much storage as you require to create a temporary backup while moving to the new phone. (The space will be available for up to three weeks.)

This should really help anyone stuck with Apple’s paltry 5GB of iCloud space, and will likely help many enterprises pros in the upgrade process.

You won’t be forced to upgrade

When iOS 15 ships this fall, Apple will give users a choice in the Settings app. You’ll be able to choose between updating to the latest version of the new OS on release or continue to use iOS 14 and all subsequent updates to that OS until you are ready to upgrade.

This is nice to have in terms of consumer choice, but necessary to enterprises — particularly those who must run any software update through rigorous compliance testing before it is installed. Believe it or not, some enterprises need to stay a step or two behind, though most make an exception for security updates.

Built-in authentication

I don’t think it got a mention during the WWDC keynote at all, but Apple is adding the capacity to create verification codes in Passwords in the Settings app. Made available on sites and services that offer support for this form of verification, this task has been handled by third-party apps until now.

Apple hopes that, by making this a system feature, the use of such codes will be made a lot easier, particularly as they will autofill when you sign into a site. This should be quite useful to enterprises attempting to convince employees to use this kind of protection. Passkeys in iCloud Keychain will also let you replace passwords with Face ID, Touch ID, or a security key.

Find My (switched off) thing

One welcome improvement in Find My (other than the growing AirTags ecosystem) is that the network will now help you find devices that are switched off or out of power. I’m not certain yet how this works and imagine the system will simply show you the last known location of your device before it goes offline.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.


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