WWDC 2019: All the major announcements from Apple’s annual software conference

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New iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac software announcements for all!

In brief

  • Apple’s WWDC 2019 has kicked off in San Jose, California
  • iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch software updates are pending

Apple’s annual software developer’s conference (WWDC) is the company’s platform for announcing new software updates and features for its range of products, across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

iOS 13 for iPhone

Unlocking with Face ID will be in iOS 13, and downloads will be and , Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said, adding that as on iOS 12.

The long-awaited for iPhone received a hearty reception in the conference hall from the assembled developers. The new mode changes the background of apps and menus from white to black, with white overlaid text. You can also swipe to type along the keyboard, a bit like Microsoft’s Swiftkey.

The app has been overhauled, using AI to predict when to remind you about inputted text, and allows you to tag people to notify you when you talk to them in Messages.

A new version of is coming this year for the US and next year for select countries, with new features including favourites, for access to commonly-visited spots, collections to organise favourites or make lists to share with friends. A new binoculars button opens a new Look Around window, a hi-definition 3D view (which resembles Google Maps’ Street View incredibly strongly), complete with a smooth zoom feature through streets. You can also share your ETA with friends.

New privacy features include new protections. Sharing your location once triggers reports letting you know it’s still running, and social media log-ins on sites such as ‘Sign in with Facebook’ or ‘Sign in with Google’ will be replaced with a ‘ button. It’s a “fast, easy way to log in without all the tracking,” Federighi said, referencing the tracking cookies deployed by other companies. Users can also choose to provide a randomly-generated email address to forward messages to their account (when using services such as public Wi-Fi), to avoid having to hand over their real email address.

analyses video footage captured by a security camera and stores it in the Cloud, and automatically firewall connected devices to prevent compromising a home’s network.

will now auto-support an image of a user when exchanging messages, and will be updated with make-up, accessories, hats and glasses (and AirPods). Memoji will also be available through a set of digital stickers, automatically created for each Memoji the user makes, which can be used in Mail, Messages across all devices with an A9 chip or later.

A called HighKey Mono is being introduced, allowing you to adjust the intensity of the lighting effect. Picture edits now give you the chance to exercise greater control over picture quality, and you can now rotate video.

The app will now automatically remove duplicates, and pictures will be organised into Days, Months and Years.

Unknown callers will also be sent automatically to voicemail to avoid spam calls.

iPadOS for iPad

For the first time, iPad’s software will be broken away from iOS, which it has shared with iPhone since its inception in 2010, into .

The iPad’s , allowing you to pin widgets onto the home screen alongside existing apps for the first time, like on Android. Sliding along the bottom of Slide Over shuffles between open apps, and has been redesigned to include third party alongside native apps, such as Microsoft Word. Ultimately, this will support better multi-tasking and allow the iPad to act more like a full laptop.

will have a column view and new iCloud Drive folder sharing, and USB-drives can now be plugged into the USB-C connector on the latest iPad Pro.

The on iPad will support desktop class viewing, showing the desktop . version on a website instead of the mobile-optimised version. It will also sport a download centre to house downloaded files.

will support three-finger gesture control to copy, paste and undo for enhanced text editing, and ‘s latency has been reduced from 20 milliseconds to 9 milliseconds.

 

macOS Catalina for Mac

Apple revealed its new high-end Mac Pro, designed to be used by scientists, filmmakers and designers, with 1.5 terabytes of system memory and an Intel Xeon 28-core processor, and a close resemblance to a cheese grater. It also contains two thunderbolts and two gigabit ports. Graphics performance is enhanced thanks to an MPX Module, and an Afterburner.

The new macOS will be known as Catalina (10.15), and from being previously housed in iTunes. Plugging an iPhone into a Mac will no longer bring up iTunes automatically, but it can still be accessed. Apple TV on Mac will have 4K HDR playback on newer Macs.

New feature enables the use of an iPad as a secondary monitor for a Mac, and an iPad with Apple Pencil support can be used wirelessly with an Mac with all Mac apps that support tablets for precise drawing.

New for less able-bodied users allows users to scroll menus, select items and send messages through dictation and numbered items.

New feature ‘‘ combines Find my iPhone with Find my Friends into one app, and can now access Apple devices which are offline, using other Apple devices nearby as beacons to relay its location. will also be brought to Mac for the first time, for the monitoring of how much time you’ve spent using the computer.

AirPods, HomePod, CarPlay and Siri

Siri will now read incoming messages to your phone aloud when you’re wearing your AirPods, and simply tapping your iPhone against someone else’s will share what you’re listening to on Apple Music.

Handoff is coming to HomePod, by holding your iPhone close to the speaker to transfer what you’re listening to. Live radio is now (finally) available, with more than 100,000 stations around the world to choose from. HomePod can recognise which family member is talking and can personalise its response accordingly, and extends to Messages and other apps too.

CarPlay has received a big overhaul, and Siri has been updated to work with Pandora and Waze. For the first time, Siri’s voice will be 100 per cent generated by software thanks to a new feature called Neural Text to Speech, designed to sound more natural.

 

watchOS 6 for Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is receiving , including a gradient face, roman numerals, a digital numbers face, and a new California dial including complications support, and a solar face tracking the sun’s progress throughout the day.

are being introduced for all faces, a quick burst of bird song which plays on the hour, every hour.

Voice memo support, audio books and a calculator apps are all new native apps, and developers can now create , without having to build it for a paired iPhone.

A new native UI framework is coming later this year, and the , allowing users to search the full library through audio dictation or via scribble.

New health and fitness capabilities include – comparing your progress over the past 90 days across nine key metrics compared to the previous year. For example, it compares your cardio fitness, walking habits and activity logs to a year ago.

A new uses the inbuilt microphone to alert the user when they’re in a particularly noisy environment, such as a construction site, for 30 minutes or more. It periodically samples sound, and does not constantly record, the company said.

is new period tracking feature is a “simple, discreet way to keep track of your cycle”, allowing women to log the level of their flow and frequency, and is integrated with the wider Health app on iPhone. Health data is either encrypted in the Cloud or stored on a user’s iPhone.

 

tvOS for Apple TV

Apple’s TV platform on Apple TV now sports a redesigned home screen and , allowing parents to create separate profiles for different family members in the control centre.

A will also be available for each user profile, and Xbox One S and PlayStation DualShock 4 controllers will be supported in the new Apple Arcade system, released later this year.

Apple has also partnered with the BBC Natural History unit to shoot new , available when Apple TV goes into stand-by.

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