The Coronavirus issue has sent a big shockwave throughout the globe and this causing a massive response from big tech companies while events gets cancelled as well. While the Apple’s WWDC 2020 won’t be getting cancelled due to the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19, the company had officially announced it’s plans for the rest of the year as far as the event is concerned.
Meanwhile, Apple had also closed down all of it’s retail stores right outside of China for the next two weeks even though it reopened the ones in China stating that the country has gotten grip of the pandemic as the World Health Organization now labelled Europe as the new center of the outbreak.
Also there have been couple of leaks about the new iOS 14 here and there with several sources claiming to have gotten a hold of insider takes about what the software will function like upon release. So let’s talk about the previous week’s Apple roundup here.
1. WWDC 2020 will be a digital-only event by June
Well, the MWC 2020 got cancelled completely, soccer leagues were paused and NBA season suspended so there is no big deal if Apple suspends it’s WWDC 2020 as the company announced that rather than cancelling the event in it’s entirety, it will be airing it digitally with no physical gathering of whatever sort and the event will take place by June.
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While the exact date isn’t yet official, the event will definitely be packed with contents for consumers, the press and developers. Also, developers will be given an early access with new software and engaged with the Apple engineers.
2. iOS 14 Leak to include improved iMessage fearures
Apart from the WWDC 2020, the iOS 14 leaks which has been souring throughout the internet this past week includes rumors about the iMessage feature which was shared on MacRumors.
It’s said that Apple is now testing a new Slack-like mention system that will allow users to tag others in their contact list with their names such as @Joe and @Jane. The feature is meant to enhance busy group conversations and chat so as to easily tag a buddy and it would be possible to enable the “Hide Alerts” settings and only receive push notifications when you are mentioned directly in a message by someone using the “@”
Other rumored features Apple is working on includes the ability to actually retract a message right after it’s been sent, typing indicators in group chats and even the option to mark the last message of a conversation as unread right after opening it.
3. Apple closed down stores outside of China
This one isn’t a leak or rumor but a confirmed news as the company closes down it’s retail stores right outside of China due to precautionary measures to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 disease from person to person.
The closure will be on for about two weeks until the 27th of March as the company formally announced several measures that includes flexible work arrangements with expanded leaves policies for it’s employees.
Apple’s rumored March event has allegedly been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in addition to WWDC, many other large events like Google I/O, Facebook F8, and GDC have also been canceled, postponed, or converted to digital-only.
4. iOS 14 Leak: Native Fitness App that allows you download Guided Workout Videos
This rumor was said about the next Apple Watch Series 6 to include a native Work-out application that allows you download guided workout videos. The application will not be limited to the WatchOS7 but also included in the iOS 14 ecosystem and then Apple TV, iPad and iPhones.
The app is said to be codenamed “Seymour” in iOS 14 but who know, it might be eventually called “Fit” or “Fitness” or jokingly called “iFitness” guess Apple had dropped the “i” off it’s brand name for “Air” these days so “AirFitness” might be a generic idea.
The release of the application is thought to come on with the iOS 14, WatchOS 7 and tvOS 14 and it’s going to likely be a standalone application and possibly free of charge.
5. iOS 14 leaks, Expanded Cursor Support on iPad Pro, New Apple TV Remote, and More
A smart keyboard might be coming to the iPad Pro according to MacRumors with the improved keyboard including a trackpad and it’s also rumored that the iPadOS 14 will have the expanded cursor capabilities and a new gesture feature as well.
Apple is also said to be working on a more powerful health monitoring hardware to be included in the software of the iOS 14 and WatchOS 7. A blood oxygen level montioring, new watch face sharing, AR app codenamed “Gabi”, Apple TV remote, Parental control and much more.
6. New MacBook Air could be announced just Next Week
Other interesting rumor includes Apple’s plan to announce the new model of the 2020 MacBook Air just this next week. While this isn’t yet confirmed, there have been tips about how true this information will be according to the MacRumors.
But more information will definitely be revealed if that rumor is true about the release just next week. According to the MacRumors, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who is a well reputable analyst indicated Apple as planning the release of both MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with Scissor Keyboards by the second quarter of 2020.
Kuo also said Apple plans to launch MacBook models with its own custom processors in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021, followed by MacBook models with an all-new design in the second or third quarter of 2021.