Apple hosted its WWDC keynote address to developers today. The tech giant showcased updates to the operating systems of the Apple Watch, AppleTV, maciOS and iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad. Here’s how the highlights shook out.
WatchOS3 will be more responsive and boast quicker App load times. Users can also use a new software called “Scribble” to trace letters into a message, similar to the Swype messaging system. Two new watch faces were also shown, including a Minnie Mouse (to match the popular Mickey) and a revolving number face called “Numerals.”
In case of emergency, users can press a button on the right side of their watch that will automatically pull up emergency contacts. Holding it longer will automatically call the correct emergency service number in the country the user is presently in. After the call is complete, the screen switches to a medical ID listing allergies and other important info.
Apple’s Activity app is also getting a sharing upgrade on the watch. Users will have the ability to share each others “activity rings,” and can also send personal messages ranging from encouragements to recorded smack talk.
Apple also included Activity updates for wheelchair users. Now, the Activity app is tuned to record the activity of wheelchair-bound people, along with two new wheelchair-specific workouts.
Lastly, a new companion activity app called “Breathe” will guide users through deep breathing exercises to relieve stress.
For Apple TV, several new TV services will be supported, including Sling, FoxSportsGO and Molotov.
A Siri remote app will be available on the iPhone for use with the service. Users will be able to use voice search for broad topics (rather than just specific titles and genres), like “high school comedies from the ‘80s.” These voice commands will also be compatible with YouTube.
One of the most frustrating things about connecting network Apps to Apple TV can be an arduous authentication process. The new TV update will include a single sign-on that will allow users to simultaneously connect network apps like HBO Go and ShowTime, rather than connecting them one at a time.
The Mac operating system will now be dubbed macOS to match Apple’s other operating systems, with the latest version featuring the subtitle “Sierra.”
Continuity was one of the biggest topics discussed during the macOS briefing. Within the upgrades, a new auto unlock feature will allow users faster secure access to their device without needing to first sign on via the typical password screen.
Further, a new universal clipboard feature will allow users to copy an item on one device and paste it instantly on another device.
A new optimized storage feature was also shown that will move older files to the iCloud and get rid of obsolete files by using a smart search to clear storage gigs.
Apple Pay will also be available with web purchases on the Mac. A companion security feature on the iPhone will use the touchscreen to authenticate these purchases.
Finally, the new macOS will feature Siri. During the demo, the popular voice command assistant was used to for everything from ordering movie tickets to finding pictures for a work document.
The macOS public beta will begin in July.
The largest of the keynote’s four presentations, iOS 10 will introduce several incremental updates to the current iPhone and iPad operating system.
The iOS 10 lockscreen will be more dynamic and will allow users to respond to messages and access other apps while the phone remains locked.
Siri is also one of the many Apple software suites that is being opened to app developers. The hypothetical examples given included Siri’s future abilities to book an Uber or search for photos in Shutterfly or Flickr.
The iPhone photo album will also feature several new automatic filters that will organize whole people-based albums based on facial recognition.
Further, a new “Memories” feature will arrange photos into albums based on common settings, people and topics.
Apple Maps and the companion navigation app are getting upgrades to make them more responsive and will also be open to app developers, while Apple Music and News are getting reorganized with fresh redesigns.
A new app called “Home” will replace iOS 9’s Homekit to allow remote access to smart home accessories, even through AppleTV.
The actual “phone” app will see a new voice mail transcription feature as well as support for third-party call spam detection.
Messaging is getting a massive and glitzy overhaul. Links shared in the messages app will now feature associated photos and videos will automatically play within the transcript.
A new (ridiculous) option will highlight the words in a text that are “emojifiable” and will turn these words into their perspective emojis.
In addition, the conversation bubbles can now be animated with “bubble effects” that range from increasing the size of the bubble, to sending a handwritten electronic message, to hiding a message’s content in a veil called “invisible ink” that the receiver must wipe away and finally sending commands to animate the entire message screen.
Lastly, CEO Tim Cook showcased a new extension of their app-creating software that will be used to teach kids code. Called Swift Playground, this free app offers instructional lessons in the form of a video game to slowly teach users how to write their own code.
All of the updates will be released to users this fall.