At last year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple brought big changes to iOS with iOS 9 and OS X with the latest iteration “El Capitan”.
So what exactly is being announced at this year’s WWDC keynote address at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco? Check out below to see what Tim Cook & Co. unveiled for the present and future of Apple.
watchOS: Need for Speed
After Tim Cook took the stage to kick off the day, the first product announcements came from Kevin Lynch who addressed watchOS. watchOS 3 will keep favorite apps in memory, feature background updates, refreshed information, a control center, and instant launch for a speedier experience. The new “Scribble” feature will now allow wearers to write out responses (in English or Chinese) for text messages, while switching watch faces is now as simple as swiping across the screen. Oh, and Minnie Mouse now has her own customizable watch face.
Apple also unveiled a new feature called Dock, which lets you quickly switch between apps in watchOS 3. Apps are live in Dock and do not need to be fully launched. watchOS 3 also features SOS emergency services, which allow you to call 911 from the side button. It will also feature a medical card with personalized medical information.
Social activity is now better than ever on watchOS 3 with Activity Sharing, which lets you view friends and family members’ activity rings and statistics. Wheel chair users also get their own activity rings, and the new health-related app called Breath was announced to help with breathing sessions to alleviate stress.
Lastly, Lynch re-took the stage to talk new APIs for developers and announce that watchOS 3 is available as a free upgrade this fall with developers able to download in beta starting today.
tvOS: Apps Are the Future
Eddy Cue then took the stage to discuss tvOS and the availability of new apps as well as a new version of the Remote app, more similar to the Siri remote.
Speaking of Siri, Cue showed off some new Siri capabilities including finding YouTube videos and movies by specific topic searches such as “high school comedies from the 80s”.
Cue then announced Live tune in, dark mode, and Single sign-on which lets you sign in once on your Apple TV and get access to all of your TV network apps. Developers are getting several new APIs with more features for building new apps.
tvOS is available as a free upgrade this fall with developers able to download in beta starting today.
mac is the New OS
In the least surprising news of the day, OS X is now macOS. Meet “macOS Sierra”.
According to Craig Federighi, macOS Sierra is focused on Continuity, iCloud, and the fundamentals of the Mac experience. Sierra has a new feature called Auto Unlock that allows you to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch. The new Universal Clipboard feature enhances traditional copy and paste functionality. This feature lets you automatically copy text, photos, and more from an iPhone and paste on a Mac.
Related: See If Your Mac, iDevices Are Compatible with Sierra, iOS 10
To help save space, iCloud Drive sees some improvements. All files on your Mac will be available across all your devices. There are also new tools for automatically deleting old files and caches to free up space on your Mac.
Apple Pay also got some love, with a “Pay with Apple Pay” button, which will be available on websites that securely authenticate your purchases using Touch ID from a paired iPhone or Apple Watch. Apple Pay will expand to more countries in the next few months. In addition, tabs are coming to all multi-window apps and picture-in-picture is coming to macOS.
And finally, Siri has made it to the Mac. Federighi went on to show off Siri’s new Mac capabilities.
Predictably, macOS Sierra will be available in the fall.
The Biggest iOS Release Ever
iOS 10 was announced by Federighi next, with a slew of new features coming.
First announced were a redesigned Lock screen, rich notifications, quick interaction with apps, and expanded 3D Touch capabilities. The lock screen now has widgets, such as calendar that are compatible with 3D Touch. And when you 3D Touch on an app icon, there are now detailed widgets that provide quick information in addition to the traditional iOS 9 commands.
Next, Siri got some love with Apple now opening up the voice assistant to developers in iOS 10 meaning it will get a whole new world of capabilities added. Siri now supports payment apps, VoIP calling apps and much more.
The Photos app has new location and facial recognition features, and a Memories feature that clusters photos together based on location, people, scenes, and topics. Memories can create videos based on your photos and footage automatically.
Eddy Cue next took the stage again to discuss the redesigned Maps app. Maps will feature proactive suggestions and easier to access controls and also now has traffic en route that zooms in and out automatically. You can now search for amenities such as food and gas directly on your route in Maps. Cue also announced that Maps will be opened up to developers.
Apple Music was next on the list, with an all-new design that is said to be more intuitive and easier to navigate. There are also several minor new features and playlists added to Apple Music, which now boasts about 15 million paid subscribers.
Apple News now has over 2,000 publications and 60 million monthly active users. Apple News also gets a redesign for better discovery and navigation. News also adds a Subscriptions feature and breaking news notifications.
HomeKit “took a big step” Monday with a new app called Home. The app gives you the ability to see and control all of your HomeKit accessories, regardless of manufacturer. HomeKit is now built into Control Center, for quicker control with a simple swipe. Next up, was a long overlooked app: Phone. Phone now has voicemail transcription among other new capabilities.
Finally, Messages gets a refresh. New to Messages is more detailed “rich links”, Photo integration and a new, larger emojis and emoji predications (words can be tapped to replace with an emoji!). Invisible ink allows for “secret” messages unveiled with a swipe. And Messages will now also support hand-written messages and full-screen effects. Finally, per the theme of the day, Messages also has been opened to developers.
iOS 10 will once again be a free upgrade in the fall.
With the focus obviously on developers at WWDC, Tim Cook took the stage once again to announce the Swift Playgrounds before passing off to Cheryl Thomas for a demonstration.
Swift Playgrounds is an interactive app that will provide “a new way to learn to code with Swift on iPad” and will be available free in the app store in the fall.
Did WWDC 2016 live up to your expectations? Was there anything you wish would have been unveiled? Let us know in the comments section!
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