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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
Sep 15, 2021 - Technology

Apple banks on subsidies

Apple CEO Tim Cook, introducing the iPhone 13 on Tuesday. Photo: Apple

With the iPhone 13 lineup providing only modest updates to Apple's flagship smartphone, the company may be even more reliant on promotions from wireless carriers to keep the sales momentum going.

Why it matters: Apple counts on the iPhone for a huge chunk of its own sales, while such sales are also critical to the rest of the mobile industry, including network providers and component suppliers.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 13, 2021 - Technology

Epic may not benefit from Apple's App Store changes

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"Fortnite" creator Epic Games' Apple lawsuit failed to level the walls of the App Store, though it did leave some cracks in Apple's fortress.

Yes, but: The modest changes Apple now has to make are more likely to benefit other iOS developers than to help Epic itself, unless the game-maker backs down from an all-or-nothing approach.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.