At its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, June 7 (June 8, Philippine time), Apple said it will offer the ability to store state-issued identification cards digitally on iPhones and that it is working with the US Transportation Security Administration to accept the digital IDs at airports, one of several updates to the software that runs on its devices.
It also showed updates to its FaceTime video chat app, adding the ability to schedule calls with multiple attendees and making the software compatible with Android and Windows devices.
The move, which puts Apple in more direct competition with companies like Zoom that gained prominence during the pandemic, was the first major announcement from Apple’s annual meeting for software developers.
It also added features such as background blurring and audio improvements that Craig Federighi, Apple’s software chief, said were aimed at making video calls capture the nuances of in-person conversation.
Apple said users will be able to scan their state-issued ID cards in participating US states and the cards will be encrypted in a user’s digital wallet, where the company currently offers the ability to store credit cards and transit cards in some US cities.
At the conference, Apple also changed the name of its paid iCloud storage service to iCloud+ and added privacy features. One, called private relay, obscures a user’s identity and browsing behavior from both Apple and advertisers. Another lets users hide their email address when filling out online forms. Apple said iCloud pricing will not change despite the new features.
Also on the privacy front, Apple said it was updating its email apps to block senders using trackers that detect when an email is opened. The company also introduced a new way to track where third-party services apps send data, and said its Siri voice assistant will no longer need to connect to Apple’s servers to respond to some requests. – Rappler.com
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