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Apple

All the Important Stuff From Apple's WWDC Keynote

We got a glimpse of the new Mac Pro, iOS 13 and a wave of new features to better integrate Apple devices.
All the Important Stuff From Apple's WWDC Keynote
Image credit: Brittany Hosea-Small | Getty Images via engadget
7 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget

Apple unveiled a slew of new features and updates at this year's WWDC that will impact every corner of its ecosystem. In addition to iOS 13, macOS Catalina and watchOS 6, Apple also unveiled the new iPadOS for, you guessed it, the iPad. Users can expect a long-awaited dark mode in iOS, a more natural-sounding Siri, an Apple Watch that can stream audio and an array of new editing features for Photos. Software changes weren't the only announcements at this year's WWDC, though. As expected, we're also getting a new Mac Pro this fall, complete with a new 6K Retina display with a revolving stand. Consumer demands for more security were also addressed with much-needed privacy updates, including a new "Sign-in with Apple" feature for third-party apps.

If there's any running theme in this year's WWDC, it seemed to be better integration across all of Apple's platforms. Changes seemed aimed at making all Apple devices -- from the iPhone to the iPad to the Mac to the Watch -- work better independently, as well as better with each other.

Here's a rundown of all the major announcements from this year's WWDC:

Apple watchOS 6

  • The Apple Watch will get its own app store. The latest update to watchOS will allow it to run more independently from iPhone. Users can download apps right on their wrist.
  • A new wave of first-party apps for Apple Watch include Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and a calculator.
  • A new streaming audio API lets users broadcast audio from third-party apps through their Watch.
  • You can pick from a wide array of new faces for your Apple Watch.
  • More advanced health and fitness tracking features are coming to Apple Watch, including an improved menstrual cycle tracking feature for Health. A loudness monitor can gives users an assessment of the noise levels of their current environment.
  • A new taptic feedback and chime can alert users every hour on the hour.

tvOS

  • The latest version of Apple's TV software will support both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers.
  • Karaoke just got a lot easier. Music you play on Apple TV will include an option to view lyrics.
  • You can also expect multi-user support through the latest tvOS, including personalized recommendations and watchlists for everyone in your household.
  • Apple unveiled the first trailer for the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind, directed by Seth Gordon.

iOS 13

  • Perhaps the most significant release unveiled today was that of iOS 13, the iPhone's latest operating system.
  • You can expect iOS 13 to be faster and more efficient, with "top to bottom" performance improvements. Apps will launch twice as fast and take up half the amount of space; updates to apps will be 60 percent smaller. Unlocking through FaceID will be 30 percent faster.
  • For night owls and insomniacs, Apple rolled out a system-wide dark mode.
  • Apple's built-in apps got an overhaul, including Maps, Reminders, Notes, Mail, and more.
  • new and improved Maps app will be unveiled by the end of 2019 that will include more detailed maps, 3]D satellite imagery and enhanced privacy protections for location sharing.
  • Another score for the security-conscious. A new "Sign In With Apple" feature promises to give users a quick way to sign-in to third-party apps without the added tracking baggage of using Facebook or Google. You can authenticate your log-ins with Face ID or Touch ID. Apple will even generate a random email address to be used on services if you don't want to use your real one.
  • Emojis are about to get a lot more personal. Apple's Memoji will come with a seemingly endless array of personalization features, including makeup, jewellery, accessories, and more. You can use Memoji as iMessage stickers, as well as third-party messaging apps like WeChat.
  • Photos will get a host of new editing and lighting options, including portrait lighting.
  • Browsing your photos will get a lot easier. Apple will use machine learning to eliminate the clutter; sorting duplicates and organizing photos into time-specific categories.

HomeKit

  • Apple wants to bring privacy to security camera footage. The company unveiled two new products; Apple HomeKit Secure Video and HomeKit for Routers that aim to protect the privacy of home surveillance systems.
  • HomeKit for Secure Video will encrypt video feed and store it on iCloud. HomeKit for Routers will create a virtual firewall between your network and any devices on that network.

Siri

  • A new and improved Siri will be better-integrated with CarPlay, AirPods, and the HomePod speaker.
  • HomePod can now be used by multiple users, and can even distinguish between the voices of different members of your household.
  • With the redesigned CarPlay, Siri can give you on-screen app suggestions as you drive.
  • If you're wearing AirPods, Siri will be able to read back your messages and let you reply automatically.
  • Siri Shortcuts, will automatically suggest Siri shortcuts for users based on their behavior and give users suggestions on multi-step shortcuts they can try.
  • Thanks to the power of neural TTS, Siri will sound more like a human.

iPad OS

  • The iPad is getting its own OS.
  • The home screen is more useful: it can display more apps to launch, and you can pin widgets to it so you can see them whenever you unlock your iPad.
  • The "slide-over" feature allows you to swipe between multiple apps on an iPad, much like you do on an iPhone.
  • Split view is more powerful. You can open the same app across split view, so you can work on two documents in the same app side-by-side. You can also have multiple instances of the same app open, like having Notes in split view open with both Safari and Mail.
  • Safari is now a "desktop class" browser that won't default to showing mobile views of websites. Apple also added 30 more keyboard shortcuts to make it faster to navigate.

Mac Pro

  • The wait is over for the new Mac Pro. We broke down the specs for the 2019 Mac Pro here.
  • The base model of the Mac Pro will include an eight-core Intel Xeon CPU, 32GB of memory, a 256GB SSD and the Radeon Pro 580X graphics card.
  • Video editors will no doubt appreciate the inclusion of Afterburner, a hardware accelerator card that enables the Mac Pro to play 12 streams of 4K video.
  • The base Pro will start at $5,999 and be released this fall.
  • A new 32-inch, 6K Retina display for Mac Pro will also be available this fall and costs $4,999.
  • Apple also unveiled a new, removable display stand, which can rotate, adjust for height, or tilt. The stand starts at a whopping $999, and will also be released this fall.

macOS Catalina

  • The latest version of macOS is called Catalina.
  • As we've learned, iTunes will soon be no more. Instead, your entertainment will be split into three apps; Music, TV, and Podcasts. Music will work with your local media library as well as Apple Music.
  • Sidecar allows you to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac. You can even use the iPad and Apple Pencil as a drawing canvas for Mac apps.
  • The TV app includes support for 4K video.
  • Finding lost Apple devices will get a lot easier. A new "Find My" app will help you locate any Apple devices using a secure Bluetooth signal. Thieves will have even less incentive to steal your Mac. A new activation lock with T2 security chip will require user credentials to install any new programs.
  • Project Catalyst will allow developers to easily create apps that work across Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Twitter is releasing a new desktop appthrough this initiative.
  • A greatly expanded Voice Control feature is designed to let people navigate the Mac using only their voice.

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