To improve its devices and strengthen its connection to customers, Apple is planning to unleash a slew of new apps, features and development tools at its annual software conference next month.
About a month after Google I/O will reveal what they're cooking up for 2019, including Stadia, Apple's WWDC 2019 will reveal updates to the operating systems that run the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Highlights include upgrades to core iPhone apps such as Maps, Reminders and Messages; new apps for the Apple Watch that make it more independent from the iPhone, and enhancements to the health tracking capabilities of Apple devices, according to people familiar with the plans.
The new updates also give users access to the latest services like Apple Music and the upcoming TV+ video-streaming subscription, which give Apple a recurring revenue stream.
Some of the software features Apple is planning to announce at WWDC 2019, according to people familiar with the plans, include iOS 13 codenamed "Yukon."
- There will be user interface tweaks, including a new animation when launching multitasking and closing apps. The widgets that appear to the left of the home screen will also have a cleaner look.
- A Dark Mode, a black and grey-heavy interface optimized for viewing at night, that can be enabled in Control Center, the panel for quickly accessing settings.
- A revamped Health app with a new homepage that better outlines your daily activity from the day. There will be a section for “hearing health,” like how loud you play music on your headphones or the loudness of the external environment.
- The company is testing a new keyboard option that allows users to swipe across letters on the keyboard in one motion to type out words.
- A new feature similar to popular third-party apps Duet Display and Luna Display that will let users use their iPad as a second Mac screen with the ability to draw with an Apple Pencil, expand the viewing area. This very much sounds like we may see this patent come to life.
- iMessage gets an upgrade with a WhatsApp-like enhancement that lets people set a profile picture and display name, and choose who sees it. There’s also a dedicated menu in the conversation view to send sticker versions of Animojis, the virtual characters that users can control with the latest iPhone and iPad cameras, and Memojis, which are virtual representations of users themselves.
- Apple is also planning to let the HomePod speaker respond to different users’ voices, creating a much requested multi-user mode.
What’s coming for macOS 10.15:
- The biggest change coming to the Mac this year is the ability for iPad apps to run on laptops and desktops, as Bloomberg News previously reported.
For the first time, Apple will allow developers who write iPad apps to re-work their apps so the software can also run on the Mac. This will be useful for developers who are looking to simplify their development process, but it will also brighten the macOS app ecosystem with several new applications.
There's a lot more minutia to review in the Bloomberg report here. Nothing major was revealed.
Hopefully Apple will surprise us with some major announcement(s) and in fact Apple's CEO hinted as much. During Apple's Financial Conference Call for Fiscal Q2 2019 Tim Cook stated:
"Everyone here is hard at work to prepare for WWDC and it's always a privilege to get to share the future of our platforms with a community of world changing developers who bring it to life. You are not going to want to miss this one."
Hopefully Cook's last line will mean that they'll deliver a surprise that all fans want to hear at every keynote and usually don't always get.
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