Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose this morning with a two-and-a-half hour keynote, showing off everything the company has been working on for the past many months.
Want to know everything they announced, but don’t have time to watch the whole thing yourself? We’ve wrapped it all up for you in an easily skimmable package.
Console controllers for AppleTV:
AppleTV will soon be compatible with Xbox One and Playstation Dualshock controllers, allowing them to be used alongside Apple’s upcoming subscription gaming service, Apple Arcade.
Multi-user support for AppleTV:
Tired of seeing recommendations based on what everyone else in your house is watching? You can now have different profiles for each member of the family on AppleTV. Switch between profiles, and viewing recommendations will change accordingly.
Apple Watch Updates:
WatchOS is getting a bevy of enhancements, many of which are meant to make the Apple Watch more useful without having to pull out your iPhone.
- “Independent” apps that can run directly on the watch without the need for a companion iPhone app
- A built-in App Store interface for purchasing/installing Watch apps directly through the Watch itself.
- Dedicated voice memo, audiobook, and calculator apps
- Audio streaming APIs to allow for on-the-go streaming of sports games and other content.
- A “Noise” feature that detects the decibel level of your surrounding area, warning you when the nearby noise levels might be high enough to damage your hearing. Apple was quick to note that the noise app doesn’t record or save any audio.
- A cycle tracking app for helping women to keep track of their menstrual cycle (this will also be built into Apple’s Health app on iOS)
- Built-in Shazam support
As it does around this time each year, iOS is getting a big upgrade. The developer beta build goes live today; the public beta build will ship in July, and it’ll ship to everyone in “Fall”.
- App installs are now 50% smaller, while updates should be around 60% smaller
- Apps will launch 2x as fast
- Dark Mode: A new, darker interface for when the standard interface is a bit too bright.
- Swipe keyboard: Swipe-to-type keyboards have been a thing for about a decade now — but until this point, getting one on iOS meant using a third party offering. With iOS 13, swipe support is finally built in.
- Time-synced lyrics in the built-in Music app.
- The Reminders app is getting an overhaul, allowing it to do things like remind you to tag people onto a reminder to have it pop up next time you’re iMessaging with them.
- Sign in with Apple: Don’t want to share your email with every new app you install? Apple has built a sign-in solution that lets you log in to a service using your Apple account, authenticating with things like FaceID rather than a password. Its best trick: if you don’t want to share your actual e-mail address with a service, Apple will generate a random and unique forwarding email just for that app. Don’t want to get emails from that company any more? Just disable that unique address.
- To do things like determine if a moving object is a person or just some dust dancing in front of the lens, most networked security cameras send your video off to the cloud for computer vision-based analyzation. HomeKit Secure Video uses your local devices (rather than the cloud) to analyze footage, then encrypts it before sending it to iCloud for storage in a way that Apple says it can’t view. Logitech, Netatmo, and Eufy were mentioned as working on compatible cameras.
- Memojis are getting a bunch of new customization options, including makeup, piercings, different teeth, new hats, and, yes, AirPods. Apple is also going to automatically make stickers from your Memoji and offer them up in chats.
- Accidentally shoot a video in portrait rather than landscape? You’ll now be able to rotate videos (and do fancy things like color grading) right in the built-in Photos app.
- You can now have the Phone app automatically send unknown callers to voicemail
- You’ll now have the option to allow an app to detect your location just once, rather than either allowing it indefinitely or not at all.
- Armed with its own fleet of road-scanning cars, Apple has been completely rebuilding its Maps database. Its new maps are considerably more detailed, and come complete with Apple’s own alternative to Google’s StreetView.
- AirPods can now read incoming messages to you
- Audio Sharing allows you to take the audio from whatever you’re listening to and send it to multiple sets of AirPods
- You can now hold an iPhone next to a HomePod to quickly start streaming the audio from your phone to the speaker.
- CarPlay is getting a new interface, and Siri will now work with third-party apps including Pandora and Waze
The operating system that powers the iPad is now known as “iPadOS”, a standalone fork off of iOS.
- Widgets can now be pinned to the homescreen
- Faster switching between apps running on the iPad’s side-by-side slideover mode
- The Files app has been overhauled with better browsing modes, iCloud folder sharing, and it now supports external drives and SD Cards
- “Desktop-class browsing” in Safari. It’ll try to always default to a site’s desktop view rather than the mobile view, and now has a proper file download manager. It’ll also get 30 new keyboard shortcuts for things like saving pages, emailing pages, and opening links in a background tab.
- Apple Pencil latency has been shaved from 20ms to 9ms
- There’s a new compact keyboard mode which allows you to drag a tiny keyboard to the side of the screen for easier one-thumb typing.
- New gestures, like using a three-finger “pull in” gesture to cut and a three-finger “drop in” gesture to paste.
New Mac Pro:
Looks like Apple is done with the cylinder-style (or, as it’s sometimes, erm, lovingly referred to, “trash can”) Mac Pro, with the company returning to the classic tower look. It’ll ship sometime this Fall.
Here’s some of what they mentioned:
- Support for up to 28-core Intel Xeon processor
- Up to 1.5 terabytes of system memory
- 8 internal PCI slots (four double-wide, 3 single-wide, one half-length slot for an IO board that has two USB-3 ports and two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 1.4 kW power supply
- “As quiet as an iMac Pro”
- Wheels! For those who move their towers around a lot, there are optional wheels you can add to the bottom
- The base model will be an 8-core Xeon with 32GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, and will start at $5999.
Pro Display XDR:
The oh-so-pricy Mac Pro is getting an equally pricy new Pro Display.
- 32-inch display, with a resolution of 6016×3384 (6k)
- It can handle up to 1000nits of brightness indefinitely — the entire back of the device acts as a heatsink, drawing the heat away from the panel.
- Anti-reflective glass, with a “nano-texture” matte option wherein the glass itself has been etched to further reduce glare.
- Pro Display XDR will cost $4,999, while the “nano-texture” etched version will cost $5,999.
- The stand isn’t included — that’ll set you back another $999.
After macOS Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave comes… macOS Catalina.
- As rumored, iTunes is dead. Or, rather, iTunes is being split up. After years of increasing bloat, iTunes’ functionality is being divvied up into three new apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV.
- No more iTunes pop-ups every time you plug in your iPhone! Fixing an annoyance that has plagued users for decades, plugging your iPhone into MacOs will now automatically do… nothing. If you want to sync your iPhone, you’ll now find the option quietly hanging out in Finder.
- Sidecar turns your iPad into a secondary display for your Mac, complete with Apple pencil support. (There are already a few third-party apps built to do exactly this, so they’re probably not too stoked today.)
- “Find My Phone” and “Find My Friends” is being combined into one “Find My” app, which will now also exist as a macOS app. Even if a device is offline, you can search for it using a Bluetooth mesh network made up of all other iOS/Mac devices.
- Macs are getting activation lock, which lets you send a signal to effectively brick the device after it’s stolen or lost.
- Deeper and dramatically more capable voice controls
- Project Catalyst (formerly codenamed “Marzipan”) lets app developers more quickly retune their iPad apps for macOS, using the iOS app’s existing codebase as the foundation.
New stuff just for developers:
As you might expect from a Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple also announced some new stuff for the developers in the audience. Things like:
- ARKit 3, a new version of Apple’s augmented reality framework with support for motion capture and people occlusion (allowing AR objects to render in front of/behind people in view, as demonstrated in an early build of Minecraft Earth pictured above)
- SwiftUI, a new framework for building interfaces for Swift apps. It’ll automatically support features like screen rotation, and the newly introduced dark mode.