Apple Developer Conference Unveils Digital ID Privacy Wallet Updates

Apple Developer Conference Unveils Digital ID, Privacy, Wallet Updates

June 08, 2021 at 12:32AM

A myriad of updates and announcements came out of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Monday (June 7), notably including the introduction of a digital identity card within the Apple Wallet, according to a press release.

With the update, users can create a digital identity card by adding their state ID or driver’s license to their Apple Wallet. The ID is encrypted and stored in Apple’s Secure Element to maintain user privacy and will be able to be used at airport security checkpoints, the release stated. Apple has also introduced the ability to add house, office and hotel digital keys to a user’s wallet, an expansion of the feature that was added last year that allowed for digital car keys.

The updates also extend to watchOS 8, allowing for even more contact-free ways users can pay and interact, according to a separate press release.

Apple Watch also got a redesigned Home app, giving users better control of their accessories at home, like viewing who is at the door and broadcasting messages to others in the house, the release stated. And in family Setup, users can now add transit cards from select U.S. and mainland China cities, as well as from Japan and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, FaceTime now allows users to “share experience” together, like listening to songs and watching TV and movies in synchrony, the first press release stated.

The updates were accompanied by several new privacy protections built into iOS 15, watchOS 8, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey, according to another press release.

“Privacy has been central to our work at Apple from the very beginning,” said Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi in the release. “… This year’s updates include innovative features that give users deeper insights and more granular control than ever before.”

The company introduced Private Relay, an internet service built into iCloud that allows users to browse the web privately. The solution encrypts the user’s device to prevent anyone else — including Apple — from accessing and reading any website they visit, the release stated.

And with App Privacy Report, users can view how often apps have accessed their location, camera, photo, contacts and microphone, and change their settings if desired, according to the release.

Apple also highlighted privacy in its health and wellness updates, a separate press release stated. Users can share health data with others, like family members and doctors, in an effort to spot important trends and insights, while maintaining “granular control over which data types they choose to share and with whom.”

Finally, Apple announced several new solutions for developers, including Xcode Cloud, which provides a variety of tools to build, test and deliver apps via cloud services, another press release stated. In-App Events and Custom Product Pages allow for greater communication between developers and users, and augmented reality (AR) technology will help developers improve the realism of their AR-created app experiences.

Maps also got an AR update, used to created more accurate displays of walking directions, according to the first press release. The app will also show greater details of city neighborhoods, buildings, landmarks and more with the update.