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Apple Reportedly Prepping Major iPhone and iPad Software Revamp

Apple is reportedly preparing a major revamp of its mobile software that will include a redesigned iPad home screen, an updated lock screen and more.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report reportedly is preparing 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.

Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported Thursday that the in-development changes are planned to be included in major iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 software updates for the iPhone and iPad.

Cupertino, California-based Apple will announce the software updates - codenamed Sky - at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference beginning June 7, according to Bloomberg.

The iPad line, which gained new iPad Pro models earlier this week, will also see software changes, including a more flexible way to add widgets - miniature apps that can display the weather, appointments, and other data - anywhere on the home screen. Users will also be able to replace the entire app grid with only widgets.

While major software updates are a regular occurrence for Apple users, the anticipated upgrades could bring the operating systems that run Apple’s mobile devices and plugged-in computers, laptops and other devices closer together.

Specifically, Apple 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, according to Bloomberg.

Other big changes include a new menu that allows users to select if they are driving, working, sleeping or create custom categories. The menu will be shown on the updated lock screen and in the iPhone or iPad’s control center menu.

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.

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Apple reportedly also is working on upgrades to iMessage with the goal of acting as more of a social network and an alternative to Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report-owned WhatsApp, according to Bloomberg.

There also will be more privacy protections, according to Bloomberg, including a new menu that will show users which apps are silently collecting data about them. 

Apple faces additional headwinds through 2021, including increased competition, increased regulatory scrutiny on alleged anticompetitive practices in how its products and services operate, and courtroom battles with Facebook, Epic Games and even Spotify (SPOT) - Get Report.

In the interim, investors and analysts will get a chance to see Apple’s latest earnings numbers on April 28. The Apple Maven will review Apple the earnings report and conference call via live blog, starting that day at 4 p.m. ET.

For a taste of what to expect, check out Apple Maven’s most recent real-time report on Apple’s financial performance in the fiscal fourth period of 2020. 

At last check, shares of Apple were up 0.3% at $133.90.

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