WWDC 2019, the annual developers’ conference for Apple, has kicked off. As expected, Apple is set to make a host of announcements including new versions of its operating systems. Tim Cook, the CEO for Apple, took the stage at the San Jose Convention Center to kick off the five-day developer-focused event. As part of the annual routine, Apple will hold more than 100 technical and design focused sessions with the help of its engineers to help app developers.
In addition to the sessions aimed at helping iOS, macOS, and watchOS developers, Apple will also hold a number of hands-on labs so that developers can learn how to implement latest features directly from Apple engineers. The company will also conduct consultations, get-together, special events, along with scholarships for students and members from STEM organization to further help its developer community.
Talking about the announcements, Apple has kicked things off by announcing the much-anticipated iOS 13, the latest version of the mobile operating system by Apple that will power all mobile devices. Considering that these announcements are significant in nature, let’s dive into everything announced in detail.
Apple has redesigned the home screen on the Apple TV to showcase full-screen previews of newly released TV shows and media. Tim also announced multi-user support on Apple TV OS showcasing the ease to switch between different users. Multi-user support means that each user in the home will have personalized recommendation, “Up Next” section and more. Apple TV 4K will also support Xbox One S controller and Sony Play Station Dual Shock controller for Apple Arcade. To conclude this section, Cook also revealed new under-water screen savers for Apple TV.
Apple Watch and watchOS 6
watchOS will come with a number of new watch faces, each with options to add more information to these watch faces. The company has also introduced taptic audio chimes to the Apple Watch where the watch will give a taptic feedback along with an audio cue to mark an hour. Apple also introduced the new Audiobooks app, voice memo, and calculator to the watchOS 6. However, the more significant part of this announcement was making apps independent of a companion iOS device. To do this, Apple is bringing the App Store to Apple Watch. With this users can browse apps meant for Apple Watch along with app description, screenshots, and app reviews. The company is also bringing more health capabilities to Apple Watch with watchOS 6. As part of this, the company is introducing Activity Trends to give users a sense of how they are doing.
Beyond this, Apple has just introduced two new apps, the first being the Noise app to alert users about dangerous noise levels around the user and the “Cycle Tracking” for women to keep a track of their cycles. To make this even more useful, the company is also bringing this feature to app the iPhones as the “Cycle Tracking” app in the Health app. Apple also revealed that it has redesigned the Health app on iOS to make it much more user-friendly. Other changes include built-in Shazam for song detection and more.
Apple iOS 13 and the Dark mode
Before introducing Apple iOS 13, Tim took a pot shot at Google for its less than stellar adoption rate for Android 9 Pie. Introducing Apple iOS 13, the company revealed that it is changing the way Apple iOS apps are packaged. This will result in 50 percent lighter apps while downloading, 60 apps lighter in size while updating and twice as fast while launching. However, the highlight of iOS 13 is the introduction of the Dark Mode. Apple also revealed that it has revamped the “Reminders” app along with new features in Safari, Mail, and Maps.
The company has rebuilt its Maps data from the ground up. Apple is planning to roll out the new Maps to all of the US by the end of the year along with some select countries. As part of the revamp, the company also showcased “Look around” that is just Google Maps “Street View” on steroids. The company also took shots at Google stating that it does not require users to slip a switch for privacy in Maps.
Talking about privacy, the company is also introducing “Sign in with Apple” to combat all the tracking and other Social login options in most apps. Apple also revealed that as part of the “Sign in with Apple”, the company will make a random private email address to apps in case users don’t want to share their actual email address.
Apple is introducing a lot of new customization to Memojis to make them more personalized. This includes hairstyles, makeup, imperfections in teeth, AirPods, and more. To take things to the next level, the company is also introducing Memoji stickers. These Memoji stickers are integrated into the system keyboard in an increasing number of apps.
Camera and Photos app on iOS 13
iOS 13 brings a number of new features in its new Camera app and Photos app. Some of these changes include new features like “High-key mono”, new portrait lighting controls, more photo editing controls, the introduction of video edition tools like video rotation and more. Apple also revealed an intelligent Photo sorting as part of a new “Photos” tab in the revamped “Photos” app. This tab makes it easier for users to discover their old photos and memories.
AirPods, HomePod, and CarPlay
Apple is finally introducing “Announcing messages” feature that allows AirPods to read incoming messages to you. The company also introduced easy sharing of content like movies and songs, and audio handoff to the HomePod so that it is easier for users to continue the music playback as soon as they get back inside the home. In addition to this, Apple is also introducing live radio on HomePod with about 100,000 radio stations.
Apple Siri Shortcuts will now be built in iOS 13 to make it easier for users to take benefit of the powerful integration feature. Apple also revealed that it will use Neural TTS (Text To Speech) to make it sound more natural with the help of AI and machine learning. Other features in iOS 13 include low data mode, sending spam calls to voice
Apple has finally separated the operating system for the more powerful iPad with the new iPadOS. This is a redesigned version of iOS that can make use of the more powerful hardware on iPad with much better multi-tasking, and split-view. Apple has also redesigned the home screen where users can also pin widgets on home screen along with the app grid.
The company has also added the Column view in the Files app on Apple iPad devices. Apple is also bringing SMB sharing, support for USB drives and SD card readers, iCloud Drive folder sharing, direct imports into apps like Lightroom, zip, unzip functionality and more.
Apple has finally introduced desktop-class web browsing on Safari for iPadOS. In addition to this, the company is also bringing download manager, keyboard shortcuts, per-site settings, text-size control, tab sets saving and more.
Text editing and more
Apple is introducing a small keyboard to make text editing much easier on the iPad. The company is also introducing fingerprint gestures and Apple pencil quick access to markup.
Apple Mac Pro
Apple has finally introduced the much-anticipated refresh of the Mac Pro. The new Apple Mac Pro will come with aluminum frame along with complete molecularity and access to the internals. It will come with a new Intel Xeon processor with up to 28-cores, 300-watt power, up to 1.5 terabytes of RAM, PCIe expansion, two 10 gigabit ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB Type-A ports, 3.5mm audio mini-jack.
Apple also introduced an MPX Module where users can add two Radeon Pro Vega II cards. To do this, the company is using a new “Infinity fabric link” to provide performance that is 5 times faster than the usual PCI bus. It will come with support for up to 500 watts along with a huge heat sink instead of using fans. Users will also use two MPX Modules along with one Mac Pro.
Apple has also introduced a new “Afterburner” card for video editors that allow users to transcode video files on the go so that users don’t need proxy files while editing 8K video files. To power the monster, Apple is providing a 1.4kW power supply in the new Mac Pro. To cool the entire package, the new design can pull in 300 cubic feet per minute of air from three big fans on the front. A number of companies including Adobe, Autodesk, Blackmagic, Epic, RED, Avid, SideFX, Unity, Pixar, and more are announcing support for the new Mac Pro.
Talking about the display that comes with the new Apple Mac Pro, buyers will get a 32-inch LCD display with 6016 x 3384 resolution 6K retina display which is about 40 percent larger that the 5K display on the iMac. The display comes with coverage for P3 10-bit color with anti-reflective coating along with nano-texture glass. The back side of the display acts as a heat sink allowing users to maintain 1000 nits brightness “indefinitely” with a peak brightness of “1600 nits” along with 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, Apple is calling the new display as the “Pro Display XDR” where XDR means Extreme dynamic range.
Mac Pro can support up to 6 displays and the “Pro Display XDR” will come with a counterbalancing arm to change the viewing angle with height and tilt adjustment. The base model with 8-core Xeon processor, 32GB RAM and Radeon 580x along with 256GB SSD comes at $5,999. Apple has priced the “Pro Display XDR” at $4,999. Both the new Mac Pro and the “Pro Display XDR” will be available starting this fall. The nano-texture display version will be priced at $5,999. Last but not least, the stand for the display is priced at $ 1,000.
Apple MacOS Catalina
As part of the new OS, the company is finally breaking iTunes into three different apps, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. Apple has also mode iPhone sync to the Finder. The company has also introduced a new “Sidecar” feature where users can use their iPad as a secondary screen with their MacOS devices and Apple Pencil as an input method for their MacOS devices. Users with disabilities can now control the MacOS Catalina and iOS 13 with their voice.
Apple is also introducing a new app called “Find My” that will allow users to find their iPhone, iPad or even MacOS-powered devices with the help of a single app. The stand out feature here is that users can also locate their offline devices with the help of this app. All Apple devices will send secure Bluetooth beacon to other Apple devices nearby so that in case someone loses their Apple device, they can get the location of the lost device. To improve the security, Apple is bringing Activation Lock to macOS-powered devices this means that if a user loses their macOS-powered device, the device will be rendered useless.
The company showcased its latest revamped apps that we saw in iOS 13, revamped Reminders app, Notes app and more. Next up the company talked about Project Catalyst that will allow users to create Mac apps based on existing iPad apps. This feature is now available on Catalina starting today and the interesting part about this is that developers simply need to check the “Mac” options in Xcode.
ARKit 3: RealityKit
Apple introduced a new version of ARKit known as ARKit 3. As part of this new version, the company also revealed RealityKit where developers can use photorealistic rendering along with camera effects and support for more complex environments. As part of the new version, Apple is also introducing real-time people occlusion which means that 3D AR objects go behind people in the real world. This feature also allows users to capture real-time motion from people in a frame. Developers can use this motion data to animate models and other objects made using ARKit 3. To showcase this, the company demonstrated “Minecraft Earth” based on ARKit 3.
Wrapping things up
Beyond this, the company also revealed SwiftUI, a native framework for developing Apple Watch apps, and apps for tvOS and macOS. To wrap things up at WWDC 2019 keynote address, Tim announced developer betas for Apple iOS 13, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS 6, and tvOS starting today with Public Beta coming in July. Apple is aiming to launch the new versions of everything by “this fall”.