Today, Apple hosted their annual WWDC conference. With talks of new OS versions, Siri improvements, and even new iPhone and Macbook hardware, here are some of the major key announcments that were made.
As they drop the “X” for a much more elegant “mac”, quite a bit was updated for this iteration of macOS.
Continuity was key for a lot of the updates, with Auto Unlock, which gives you the ability to unlock your Macbook automatically with your Apple Watch, and Universal Clipboard, where you can now copy from iPhone and it will be pastable on your Macbook.
iCloud added cross platform desktop and there is now a feature called Optimize Storage where they put old files into the cloud or even deleting unused files.
Siri is also being added to macOS. You can now search files, photos, web, and even have Siri play a song for you through Apple Music.
Some smaller updates were to Apple Pay where you can now authenticate purchase through Touch ID on your iPhone or Apple Watch on your Macbook, a new tab features with apps, and Picture-in-picture.
Next to macOS, iOS is the big talk tonight with some major updates and changes to things like Siri, Maps, and Messages.
The first big change you’d notice when opening iOS 10 is when you lift the iPhone up, it wakes up. Raise To Wake helps with being able to see your notifications before the “Touch-ID-acted-too-fast-to-read-notification” problem people were once having. Along with that, notifications and almost all of the lock screen has been redesigned. Notifications are in little bubbles and you can interact with them via 3D Touch. When you slide from the right you will see Widgets, that were once in the Today view in the notification bar, and sliding left will bring up the camera. Now to unlock your phone you push the home button.
Both Siri and Maps developer kits were released which will bring new 3rd party functionality to both. Photos added some new features such as facial/object recognition and a new Memory tab where you can see old trips, dates, and people you have photos of. The Phone app will now have voicemail transcripts and caller ID to not answer those pesky spam calls.
Maps, Music, and News have all been redesigned. With Maps having better proactive search and navigation features with traffic on route and the ability to show you how long a stop at McDonald’s will add on to your daily commute. Music adding Lyrics and new discovery and daily curated playlists and News having Breaking new notifications and you can now subscribe to your favorite news organizations, such as the New York Times.
By far the biggest update was to Messages. Adding things like Rich Links, where they show photos and previews from the links, new bubble effects, where you can send cute messages with “invisible ink” or send a LOUD text with bigger font, and adding a lot of new features to Emojis. Apple made a big deal about how they are now 3 times larger for some reason and showed predictive Emojis and “Emoji-fy” which was when you click on the Emoji keyboard and it highlights words that can be used in place of Emojis. Other features are Handwritten messages and iMessage apps, which are pretty much what Facebook Messenger has been added as of late.
After a year of being out, Apple was able to figure out what they did good and bad with this wearable. With the version 3 coming out, Apple is able to fix a lot of the annoyances and make the Apple Watch much more streamline.
Most changes were to the functionality or adding new watch faces, but one of the most needed changes was to the speed. Apple has now made the Apple Watch preform 7 times faster.
Some changes to the layout of the watch screen is with Control Center, just like it’s older iOS brother, swiping up from the bottom you get a settings panel that was once hidden in the card feed before. They also added a Dock. This is replacing the quick contact button, below the digital crown, with a new live app preview page where you can see your favorite apps.
Apple added a feature called Scribble. This is a much needed way to respond to others on your Apple Watch. An area pops up where you can draw each letter to spell out words.
SOS was announced and can help save lives. This adds ability to call for help if something is wrong. This can be used when you hold down the power button and the SOS button will be there. Once pressed your Apple Watch will call 911 straight from your watch (either through wifi or cellular network), send locations to your emergency contacts and also will show your medical ID.
Other notable changes were new Watch faces; Minnie Mouse, Activity will show you your activity on the face, Numeral is a very clean a minimalistic face, and now you can swipe on the watch faces to change between each face you have. There was also changes to the Fitness app. They added Activity Sharing so you can share your stats with your friends to see who is keeping with their daily fitness goals. Apple also added the new Breathe app that helps lead you through deep breaking exercises.
Improvements come in the form of new add-ons with tvOS 10. Adding new apps, Siri functionality, and Dark Mode.
Some of the new apps that will be making an appearance soon are Sling, Fox Sports Go, Molotov, Photos and some games like NBA 2K, Minecraft, and Sketch Party. Something else we see coming is an updated Remote app for iOS. This app will basically do everything the Siri Remote does (even use the accelerometer to play games) but on your iPhone and oh, you can use the iOS keyboard to put in text.
Siri will be improved as well. Bring voice search for YouTube and topic search where you can now say things like “Find me new videos by Casey Neistat.” or “Find me superhero movies from 2002.”
Other notable add-ons are Single Sign ON, where you sign in once to your service provider and not need to sign in again into each app, and Dark Mode, where you will no longer damage your eyes by the bright white background at 4 in the morning when you’re binging on Netflix.
With everything that has been announced today, I have to say; I’m pleased. I believe there is tons of great new improvements and redesigns that could make the user experience much better.
Now all that we have to do is wait for the new hardware to be announced.