Apple announces enhanced features for Autumn release

Apple has announced a series of exciting updates and new features for its services coming this autumn with the release of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, watchOS 11, visionOS 2, and tvOS 18. These updates aim to enhance user experiences across a variety of Apple services, including Apple Maps, Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, and more.

Apple Maps Enhancements
Apple Maps will now offer U.S. national park hikes and custom walking routes. Users can explore thousands of hikes filtered by length, elevation, and route type, and save them for offline use. Additionally, users can create custom walking routes for local exercises or city tours and save their favorite hikes and routes in a new Places Library.

Apple Pay Improvements
Apple Pay introduces features that provide more flexibility, such as redeeming rewards and accessing instalments. Users in the U.S. can redeem rewards with Discover and Synchrony, while the instalment feature will roll out in several countries including Australia, Spain, the UK, and the U.S. Users can also complete payments using third-party browsers by scanning a code with their iPhone and add credit or debit cards to Apple Wallet by tapping the card to the back of their iPhone.

images courtesy of Apple

Apple Wallet and Cash Upgrades
Apple Wallet sees enhancements in event ticket design, providing key information like venue maps, parking details, and in-seat food delivery. Additionally, Tap to Cash allows users to send and receive money by simply holding two iPhones together, streamlining transactions without needing to share phone numbers.

Redesigned Apple Fitness+
Apple Fitness+ receives a major redesign, featuring a personalized “For You” section, an “Explore” function for discovering new activities, and a comprehensive Library to track workouts, meditations, and custom plans. The search function and awards/streaks reminders are also improved to help users stay motivated and consistent.

Apple Music and Accessibility
SharePlay in Apple Music is updated to allow more users to share control of music, even if they don’t have an Apple Music subscription. Apple Music also introduces Music Haptics, enabling deaf or hard-of-hearing users to experience music through tactile feedback via the iPhone’s Taptic Engine. This feature will be available as an API for developers.

Apple TV Enhancements
The Apple TV app introduces InSight, a feature providing real-time information about actors, characters, and music from Apple TV+ content. Additionally, tvOS 18’s Enhance Dialogue feature uses machine learning to improve vocal clarity, and smart subtitles automatically appear in convenient scenarios like language mismatches or muted playback.

iCloud Mail and Apple Account Updates
iCloud Mail now offers better inbox management by categorizing emails into Primary, Transactions, Updates, and Promotions. iCloud settings are redesigned for easier access to personalized recommendations and status updates. The Apple ID is renamed to Apple Account for a more consistent sign-in experience across all devices and services.

These updates reflect Apple’s commitment to enhancing the usability and functionality of its services, providing users with more personalized, flexible, and accessible experiences across all their devices.

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