Apple Inc. is readying a major revamp of its mobile software that will include an upgrade to how users handle notifications, a redesigned iPad Home Screen, an updated Lock Screen, and additional privacy protections for its flagship devices, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The company is planning a new feature that will allow users to set different notification preferences, such as if the phone makes a sound or not, depending on their current status. The enhancement will come in the form of a new menu that lets users select if they are driving, working, sleeping, or custom categories of their choosing. The menu will be shown on the updated Lock Screen and in Control Center, the iPhone and iPad’s menu for quickly accessing settings.
There will also be an option to set automatic replies to messages depending on their status. That will be an improvement over the current auto-reply feature, which is only currently available while driving. Apple has added some unique notification features such as Do Not Disturb and Sleep Mode, but this will mark the first time the company offers a systemwide feature for changing notifications depending on a user’s status.
The report also says that Apple will add new privacy and security features that include a menu where users can see which apps keep tracking and collecting data from you. This looks like a bigger privacy wall to build on an already tall wall that Apple built on iOS 14.5 being App Tracking Transparency.
Another feature coming is equality between iPhone and iPad Home screens, where Apple will let iPad users add widgets anywhere on the home screen just like on the iPhone. Widgets on iPads have been limited only to the Today View column on the left side of the screen.
Gurman reports that Apple will launch minor updates to macOS, watchOS, and tvOS this year. Apple is scheduled to hold WWDC 2021 in June where the company will announce all new software updates for their hardware products.