The day has finally come, and WWDC 2019 is flooding the airwaves with a slew of major Apple announcements. Both software and hardware took the spotlight during the company’s annual summer event, which highlighted the latest feature-filled updates to its entire family of products.
Along the way, viewers were treated to previews of iOS 13 — the newest edition of Apple’s groundbreaking mobile operating system, watchOS and its updated health features, the latest version of macOS — Catalina, as well as the newly announced and independent iPadOS. On top of all these software reveals, Apple unveiled a new computer targeted specifically at power users: the mighty Mac Pro, which packs enough strength to handle studio-caliber graphics and audio.
If you’re looking for all the latest Apple announcements in one place, Komando.com has you covered with our detailed overview of Monday’s keynote. Between new interfaces like Dark Mode to second-screen functionality for devices on Mac, WWDC 2019 brought loads of new features that fans have been craving while keeping a strong spotlight on developers and power-users. Even though the Mac Pro was the only major product reveal, the latest updates for Mac and iOS are some of the biggest to come out of Cupertino in years.
What did Apple announce for iPhone and iPad at WWDC?
The biggest updates from WWDC came, as usual, by way of Apple’s newest operating system: iOS 13. Just like with iOS 12, the new edition of Apple’s signature mobile software puts emphasis on stability and bug fixes, with new features being more supplemental than radical.
Dark mode: That’s not to say these updates are small, by any means! One of the biggest changes to iOS comes in the form of Dark Mode, which provides a clean, simple aesthetic for easy reading in dark environments.
In recent years, technology users have come out in droves to admonish the stark-white interfaces that previously dominated computers — with Windows 10 being seen as a great example of “dark done right.” For iOS 13, expect sleek black and grey menus overlayed with bright, eye-catching colors that you don’t need to squint to look at.
iPadOS: In a shocking announcement, Apple broke tradition and revealed that the iPad’s newest features won’t be coming via iOS 13, but instead by an entirely new operating system built from the ground up called “iPadOS.”
This new system contains identical functions to what’s found in iOS 13 but is optimized for iPad in order to take advantage of the device’s better screen real estate. A range of new gestures allows for in-app multitasking, copy/paste, and enhanced productivity that bridges the gap between iPad and laptop even closer.
And yes, it also includes Dark Mode.
App upgrades: Many of the core apps that Apple bundles with iOS received updates, including a fresh coat of paint on apps like Reminders, and the “Find My” apps for devices and friends. These two apps have been combined into one, which works in-tandem with maps for a smoother location experience.
Reminders, on the other hand, is now a fully functional “to-do” app that includes daily tasks, a new grid layout, and a feature that lets you flag entries by priority for easy sorting.
Maps and Messages received some upgrades for iOS 13 as well. Maps has re-imagined the popular “street view” function found in competitor Google Maps by focusing on fast loading times and cleaner graphics — resulting in a near-perfect virtual replica of locations in 360 degrees. You can now easily “look around” any spot on the map in a detailed virtual environment.
For Messages, the app now allows deep integration with Memoji — the popular avatar software bundled with iOS by default.
Now, even if you don’t have an iPhone with facial tracking, you can create a Memoji and use auto-generated stickers in messages, much like you’d do with ordinary emoji. This should prove popular among friends and families who love expressing themselves with stickers and emoji, especially since they don’t need to buy any extra “sticker packs” or apps to get this feature.
Of all of the app updates, the most interesting one takes place “under the hood,” so to speak. Apple is now making app development a cross-platform experience, meaning apps developed for iPad can now work on macOS. This will shorten development cycles, and allow for greater integration between these products in the coming years.
Call Screening: In a major rebuke to robocalls, Apple is now allowing users to send any unknown callers directly to voicemail in the latest iOS update. This can greatly help in the fight against spam calls, but it might cause your doctor to become a bit more annoyed with you than they already might be for ignoring calls.
Health tracking: As predicted, cycle tracking was included in Apple’s update — giving female users a major boost as Apple pivots its health-oriented approach. In addition to this, Apple is enabling greater integration with hearing aids and volume control, which allows users to monitor how sound is affecting their health.
Siri: Siri got a big upgrade in how she sounds thanks to Apple’s new “natural speech” programming. Using neural networks and machine learning, Siri finally comes within striking distance of her competitors by dropping her stiffer, more robotic cadence.
On top of this, she’s now able to integrate with Airpod products and read incoming messages over your headphones the moment they arrive. She’ll also understand replies, and will be able to respond to messages with nothing but voice commands.
With how woefully underpowered Siri has been for years, this is a much-needed upgrade that’ll be sure to make iPhone and iPad owners smile.
What did Apple announce for Mac at WWDC?
A new operating system was revealed for Mac in the form of Mac OS 10.15 Catalina, named after the beautiful island off the coast of Southern California. Like Mojave, Catalina brings a number of stability fixes and bug patches, as well as some new features that integrate Apple’s mobile ecosystem a little deeper.
Sidecar: One of the most anticipated new Mac features, Sidecar enables iPad owners to use their mobile device as a second screen for their Mac. This can save Mac owners from needing to buy a second monitor, and in an unexpected twist, the feature allows for its screen continuation to work wirelessly!
This means you can have your iPad act as a second display without needing a mess of new cables all over your desk.
R.I.P iTunes: iTunes is dead! Long live iTunes! The long-winded program may have overstayed its welcome in recent years — trying to be too many things at once and wrapping up movies, radio, music, and syncing into a single bloated program. But, we did come to depend on it.
Apple announced it is killing iTunes and replacing it with three streamlined programs: Apple Music, Podcasts, and TV. This will help users’ computers run smoother and take much of the burden off of its memory for organizing media.
Activation lock: Just like with iPhones, Macs can now lock themselves using AppleID credentials of users in the event of theft. This means if your computer is stolen, the thief won’t be able to use it at all if they don’t know your email address and password. Even erasing the computer won’t remove this lock, which already works outstandingly as a theft deterrent for mobile products.
The new Mac Pro: If you’re a media producer or power user, this will be the best news of the whole event for you. After the last Mac Pro languished for years without so much as an update, Apple unveiled a brand new computer built specifically for its most deeply-engaged consumers.
The Mac Pro can support up to a terabyte of memory and comes standard with an 8 core processor that can be upgraded to a 32 core if necessary. Plus, the entire side of the computer opens — making it easy for DIY user upgrades.
What did Apple announce for Apple Watch at WWDC19?
The Apple Watch can finally join its family members as a fully-realized device with an App Store of its very own! Starting with the newest version of watchOS, the Apple Watch will be able to download apps directly on to the device.
Many of these apps will be designed to function independently as well, meaning they won’t need interface or power from the host-phone in order to run. This will speed up the Watch significantly — especially for older models that can run the new operating system.
And just like with iOS 13, cycle tracking is built into the latest edition of watchOS, which can help women integrate their wearable device even better into their health and wellness routines.
Beyond this, expect a range of new watch faces as well — each with colorful layouts, clever “complications,” and a deeper connection between your device and body.
When is Apple’s next major announcement?
Following WWDC, Apple usually holds another major event for the year in September. This fall event is typically used to showcase the latest iPhone and operating system (in this case, iOS 13).
While we have no confirmed information on the upcoming iPhone model, a number of rumors online speak of an even more powerful camera and processor inside, with a slightly updated form factor to accommodate these changes. And, as always, we’ll be covering any future Apple events as they happen — keeping you up to date with the latest news from Cupertino as it’s released.
It’s a great time to be an Apple fan, and with so many software and hardware changes coming down the pipeline, it’s likely that our beloved devices will become even more vital to the way we live our lives in this digital world. The future is wild, and from the looks of it, Apple’s already seen what it looks like firsthand.