Ten “It’s About Time!” Features from WWDC 2021

Apple also took this feature to the next level, allowing you to designate people as Legacy Contacts. Then, in the event of your death, those people can access your account and personal information.

How does Apple know you have died? Do the Legacy Contacts have to prove it to gain access?

There are a couple of watchOS features that were not mentioned in the keynote but I’ll add them to a list of “Finally”:

  • Multiple timers in the timer app. I use the timer a lot for cooking, and having multiple timers will make things a lot easier.
  • An API for always on display for third party apps. Up until now, all third party apps (and even some stock apps, like the Stopwatch app) will show only a blurred background with the current digital time in the upper right. Now third party apps will be able to show a dimmed version of their display, including allowing private information to be blurred while the display is dim. This is only a thing for Series 5 and Series 6 so far, but this will make third party apps much better for me.

I see a lot of handwringing about this, but judging from the presentation the digital version isn’t a scan like the ‘setup’ screen shows. The cop doesn’t handle your phone, you wave it over a reader and it calls up your info.

Just like you don’t hand your phone over to use ApplePay


That makes sense. Many states (including mine) have a 2D bar code on the license. If law enforcement will carry a reader, then they can scan the bar code off of your phone (just like an airline can scan a boarding pass).

If they are partnering with various state DMVs, then it should be possible for the software to download the bar code along with other relevant data like photo, birth date, etc.

I will be interested to see the finished product in action.

The question is one of trust. If I tell an officer who pulled me over, I don’t have my drivers license, but here’s a picture of it on my phone, it wouldn’t go well. How does he know I didn’t retouch it? Or I took a picture of someone else’s drivers license and change the picture?

For a drivers license app to work, it must be approved by the government. It must have a way of detecting that the information is accurate and hasn’t been tampered with.

And trust works two ways. I don’t want to hand my phone to a police officer where they can start pursing my data. The phone must remained locked while displaying the data. Even better, the officers can scan it with a device while I hold my phone. Like the way you can pay with a digital credit card on your phone without handing it to the store clerk.

Apple could have always made softness to store my credit card and maybe scan it in, but that Secure Enclave was needed for Visa and MasterCard to consider working with ApplePay and making the whole ecosystem work.

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I use 1Password to store PDF images of critical documents like Driver License, Insurance Cards, and Credit Cards.

And, Yes, I have used the stored PDF image of the DL on more than one occasion. Wherever possible, as with my real documents, I hold them up to the window or scanner rather than handing them to anyone.