WWDC 2021: 20+ improvements for enterprise pros

Apple’s WWDC 2021 announcements lacked the edge of last year’s Apple Silicon announcement, and the sad lack of MacBook Pro news is a tough pill to swallow for those hoping for new hardware.  But there was plenty of interesting news for enterprise professionals using Macs, iPads, and/or iPhones.

Here’s a short tour of what CEO Tim Cook and other execs talked up at Monday’s event:

Think remotely

Apple’s staff has been working primarily remotely for over a year and the company faces justifiable pushback from workers who want to continue to do so, rather than returning to a culture of presenteeism.

Along with the transformation of work practices, the COVID-19 pandemic also means Apple’s people have direct experience with some of the pain points of working remotely; WWDC ’21 saw the arrival of  numerous useful improvements to take the edge off some of these.

Take FaceTime, for example. It may not yet be truly cross-platform, but Apple will now let you use FaceTime to videochat with people on the Windows and Android platforms (using a web app).

That’s not a perfect solution, of course, but it means remote workers will be able to use FaceTime to speak with colleagues on other platforms. (Let’s face it, that bird has flown and right now we all use Zoom.) Apple also knows that; why else would it already allow third-party video-calling apps to exploit new FaceTime enhancements, including Voice Isolation, Wide Spectrum Audio, and Portrait mode?

Of course, yet another signifier of the remote working world in which most of us have lived, Slack users can now share user status in conversations.

iPad for Mac

We had anticipated Apple might do some work on the iPad user interface following its decision to pop an M1 processor inside the iPad Pro. It didn’t let us down.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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