Apple will add new software features to its iPhone smartphones Tuesday.
The company will add a feature allowing users to store virtual government identities on their phones along with an expanded video conferencing app aimed at becoming a competitor to Zoom Video Communications, Inc.
At the company's annual worldwide developers conference for software architects, Apple emphasized the need to increase user privacy and data security. Apple said the new virtual government identity feature would expand upon its existing wallet application that digitally stores physical cards such as credit and transit.
Apple said it would soon introduce the feature in several participating U.S. states. The company said it was currently working with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to develop a system that would allow airports to accept digital identities.
In consumer data protection, Apple announced an updated version of its iCloud storage service, which will soon include a paid feature that will "hide" a user's online activity even from the company. Apple said it would allow users to obscure their real email addresses - an identifier that is commonly used by digital marketers to track user activity.
Apple spoke of significant improvements to its existing FaceTime video chat application. Apple said it will be expanding the application's functionality to allow scheduled calls and multiuser conferencing - similar features to the popular Zoom video-conferencing application.
Apple announced some changes to its AppStore aimed at allowing developers to host live events and have those events featured in real time within the store. Apple said the feature would benefit video game developers - who will soon be able to host live tournaments within the AppStore.
The new AppStore feature is expected to intensify Apple's competition with Facebook, which recently announced plans to launch an online events business. Facebook said the feature would be free to use until 2023 - after which it plans to charge a commission lower than Apple's 30% fee.