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Image: Apple

With Apple's slew of software announcements Monday, what stood out was just how many new features are coming simultaneously across different types of devices.

Why it matters: Apple continues to maintain some distinctions between iOS — the operating system for iPhones and iPads — and the Mac, but more features are being shared across the two.

Driving the news: At its Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, Apple previewed iOS 15 as well as MacOS Monterey, the next versions of its mobile and computer operating systems. Both are in developer beta now, with final releases planned for the fall.

  • The key features Apple announced — including shared music and video playback, improvements to FaceTime, and simplifications to Safari — are all coming to iPhone, iPad and Mac this fall.
  • Even among the features that were specific to the Mac or iPad/iPhone, many were bringing over features that were already on the other. For example, Shortcuts, an iOS feature for automating frequently repeated tasks, is coming to the Mac.

Between the lines: This is part of a years-long effort to bring the Mac and iPhone software closer together. Already, many Mac and iPhone apps can run on the Mac thanks to a developer toolkit called Catalyst.

  • Both platforms already share a common OS core and Apple is in the process of shifting its Mac line over to the same Apple-designed chips that power the iPad and iPhone.
  • One of the signature features coming this fall is "Universal Control" — the ability to use a single mouse and keyboard to scroll across a Mac and iPad. Items can even be dragged from one device to the other.

Yes, but: Touch input remains a key distinguishing factor, with Apple still steadfastly avoiding offering a touchscreen Mac, as Wired's Lauren Goode noted.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Jun 7, 2021 - Technology

Live updates: Apple details the future of iPhone software at WWDC

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the online Worldwide Developer Conference 2021. Screenshot: Axios, via YouTube

Apple used its annual Worldwide Developer Conference to detail new features coming to the next versions of the company's software for iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Why it matters: The online-only gathering comes amid growing pressure from developers and regulators for Apple to loosen its tight grip on the App Store and related payment mechanisms.

Developer war brewing over app store commissions

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Rivals circling Apple and Google are courting developers and creators who are growing increasingly frustrated with the fees those tech giants charge in their app stores.

Why it matters: In-app purchases have emerged as a key way for developers looking to make money from their apps, and Apple and Google tightly control the payment mechanism for such transactions.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

NTSB probes crash that killed 10 in Alabama as storm lashes Southeast

Flash-flooding in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday that it's investigating a fiery multi-vehicle weekend crash in Alabama that killed 10 people, including nine children, as storms swept the Southeast.

The big picture: Saturday's crash on Interstate 65, south of Montgomery, occurred amid a tropical depression that left 13 people dead in Alabama as it triggered flash floods and spawned tornadoes that razed "dozens of homes," per AP.