Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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.

At a high level, Apple detailed iOS 15, which is coming in various forms to iPhone, iPad and the Apple Watch, along with MacOS Monterey, the next version of the Mac operating system.

  • As usual, Apple is giving developers access to beta versions of the new software immediately, with public betas in July this fall and a final release this fall.

Here are some of the specific improvements:

FaceTime
  • Apple is adding the ability for those using Android or non-Apple devices to join scheduled FaceTime calls via a browser.
  • FaceTime will also begin allowing users to share screens, watch movies or listen to music within a video chat. It's working with a bunch of partners including Disney+, TikTok, Hulu and HBO Max, among others.
  • Apple is also adding spatial audio and voice isolation, to make sound from video chats more clear.
iPad
  • Widgets can finally be placed anywhere on the home screen alongside app icons, adding a feature long available on Android.
  • Improved multitasking in iPadOS 15 makes it easier to discover and switch among different views, such as split screen.
Apple Watch
  • WatchOS 8 adds new mindfulness features, such as a guided reflection. Apple Watch will also be able to begin tracking respiratory rate while sleeping. Apple is also adding Pilates and Tai Chi to the types of workouts that can be tracked.
  • Apple is also improving photo handling on the watch and adding the ability to find items from the watch.
Mac
  • MacOS Monterey, the next version of the Mac operating system, adds support for Universal Control, which lets people use a single mouse and keyboard to work across a Mac and iPad or multiple Macs.
  • The Shortcuts feature is being brought over from iOS to MacOS Monterey and the Mac will also become an option in AirPlay for playing music or movies.
iCloud
  • A new digital legacy feature will make it easier to give access to someone in the event you die.
  • Apple is adding new features to paid iCloud accounts including an internet relay service for encrypted, more private browsing and a separate "hide my email" feature for filling out Web forms without revealing your actual email.
AirPods
  • A conversation boost feature will help those with mild hearing loss
  • Siri can read time-sensitive notifications automatically
  • iOS 15 will let AirPod Pro and AirPod Max be more easily located using "Find My" app.
Photos, Messages and more
  • A new Focus setting offers options beyond simple "Do not disturb" for indicating if one is working, spending time with family or otherwise unavailable.
  • In Messages, Apple is adding the ability to flag items for later reading.
  • Apple is expanding the ability to use your iPhone as a digital key beyond cars to homes, hotels and workplaces.
  • Apple will also let you scan your Driver's License in participating states later this year. The TSA is working to implement this Apple said.
  • Apple is adding systemwide language translation across iPhone, iPad and Macs.
  • On the privacy front, new mail privacy protection feature hides IP address so e-mail marketers can't determine location or link to other activity. Meanwhile, an app privacy report gives an overview of how different apps use your information. Apple will also handle voice recognition for Siri on device by default.
  • In health, Apple is adding a walking steadiness feature to see if you are at increased risk of falls. Apple will also let family members share health data with one another, including that of kids or older parents.
  • Home devices from other companies will be able to access Siri for voice input as part of a new program.

Our thought bubble: Apple began its keynote focused on specific features, not operating systems, as it typically does. It's a sign of how Apple is breaking down the historic boundaries around software for different devices.

Go deeper

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

Roblox CEO: Lower app store commissions would benefit developers

Roblox CEO David Baszucki told "Axios on HBO" that if Apple and Google cut their app store commissions, his company could send more money to developers, which it would like to do.

Why it matters: App store commissions have become a lightning rod for conflict between the mobile giants and developers. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has sued both companies seeking to be able to use its own in-app payment system on their mobile platforms.

Updated 2 hours 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" over the weekend, per AP.

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.