Last night WWDC for this year kicked off with the awesome keynote dedicated to the efforts made and enhancements done to the new generation of the Apple’s line of operating systems: iOS, tvOS, watchOS and the renamed OSX called the macOS. CEO Tim Cook commenced the event with a two-minute silence for the people and their families affected by the Orlando shooting the previous day. The two-hour keynote was interesting from the start till the end and was one heck of an event dedicated to the developers.
WWDC 2016 Announcements
This year’s keynote was all about the third-party software and the new iteration to the operating systems that make the Apple ecosystem. New iOS, tvOS, watchOS and macOS were announced last night and here we are with a full review. First up is the watchOS.
The new generation of the watchOS called the watchOS 3 is all about the optimization and the speed. The new watchOS accelerated the app launch time which is seven times faster than the previous version and apps get loaded almost instantly. The favorite apps are kept in the memory for the faster startup coupled with the background updates so that you are updated with your refreshed information. All of this works with the built in as well as the third party apps.
Some of the hardware functionalities includes: pushing the side will allow you to navigate through the favorite apps and launch them in the blink of an eye. Swiping from the bottom will reveal the control center just like the iOS for the most used controls and there is a new way to reply to messages apart from the smart replies called Scribble, which as the name suggests allows you to scribble your message using your fingers right on your Apple Watch.
There are new watch faces including Minnie, elegant Numerals and watch faces with your activity rings. You can now swipe from right to left to change the watch faces. Apple has also included the SOS feature that automatically calls the emergency services, your medical ID and sends your location to the important contacts when you double click the side button. The watch also identifies the emergency number automatically when you are in a different country.
It feels a little odd to not talk about health when Apple Watch is in the context. So here it is. Watch OS 3 allows you to share your activities with your friends and family and also packs the algorithms to manage the activities for the wheelchair users.
The new app in Watch OS 3 called Breathe reminds you to calm your mind and stay away from the stress using deep breathing sessions. There is so much more than the main announcements but there were the highlights for the watchOS 3. The developer preview is available now and will be available to the customers this fall as a free upgrade.
Next up is the tvOS.
“The future of TV is apps” and well this is absolutely the case. The new tvOS will allow you to use your iPhone and the new Remote App to control your Apple TV. There is an even better Siri integration which searches movies by events or titles and now also supports searching on YouTube with natural language. Watching the live channels using Siri was never that easy, just tell her to “Watch ESPN” and she’ll do that for you without any need to browse through the channels finding the right one. The single sign-on feature saves your time by eliminating the need to enter passcodes every time you subscribe to a new channel and the new tvOS supports the dark theme to give a better experience when in a dark room. tvOS also automatically downloads the apps to the TV which are downloaded using your other Apple devices.
That was a huge update to the tvOS with lots and lots of other features. The developer preview is available now and the customers will get it this fall. Next up is the OSX.
OSX or macOS
The heading has ruined it but the new OSX is now named macOS to align with the names of the other operating systems in the Apple ecosystem. The new version announced last night is named macOS Sierra. Sierra is all about Continuity, iCloud and the user experience. Continuity allows you to auto-unlock your Mac when it senses your Apple Watch (of course you should be wearing it) without the need of entering passwords every time.
The next feature is the Universal Clipboard which allows the user to clip a piece of text, video or a picture from one device and paste it in the other device without the need to do anything. All of this is possible using Continuity. With macOS Sierra, there is a better hard disk space management. What the OS detects as unusable files or has not been used in a long time is automatically transferred to the iCloud drive hence saving a lot of space on your computer. The space is also managed by automatic clearing of the cache and browsing history so you don’t have to worry about the space. With iCloud you can even share your desktops apart from the files on all of your devices.
With macOS Sierra, Apple pay is coming to the web which will eliminate the need to enter hefty passwords and card information and replaces it with the TouchID on your iPhone. Sierra leverages the power of tabs and allows default support of tabs in all of the applications developed without recoding them. Along with the tabs, Sierra supports picture-in-picture which pops out the videos playing on the web on your desktop into small resizable windows which works alongside all of your desktops.
The last major feature is Siri for the mac. macOS Sierra will come with Siri integrated right into it which can search your files in a blink using sophisticated queries. From playing music to completing presentations to sending messages to finding reservations to browsing the internet and whatnot, Siri is as legendary as it is expected. Sierra will be available in the fall this year. Next, let’s turn to iOS.
The iOS 10 was by far the most exciting release of this year’s WWDC. From amazing new user experience to the awesome upgrade to the new Messages. iOS 10 is going to be a major overhaul with the new user centered design.
Let’s start with the lock screen and home screen. iOS 10 has a redesigned lock screen notifications that do not hide your favorite wallpaper. The 3D touch is deeply integrated and allows you to manipulate your notifications using just a pressure touch to send messages or even add calendar events without even unlocking your phone. The phone wakes up when you raise your arm and you can clear all of your notifications using the 3D touch. The control center now has other control to control your music when you swipe across. 3D touching can now show more rich content from the apps on the home screen like getting a peek at your Activity circles or even mails and you can even add widgets using the 3D touch.
The most exciting news is that Siri is now available to developers to leverage its power and integrate their apps with the most intelligent personal assistant. Siri can now be used for message sending, ride booking, photo search, working out, VoIP calls and much more using the third-party apps now which will be integrated by the developers using SiriKit.
The QuickType feature in the iOS keyboard is now integrated with Siri Intelligence which understands the context on a next level. Apart from intelligent suggestions, QuickType now supports multilingual typing, recent addresses, intelligent scheduling, contact information and a lot of other features. The photos app has been enhanced and that’s what we’ll talk about next.
Photos in iOS 10 is integrated with deep learning right on the device and advanced face recognition and scenes and object recognition that sorts all of your photos by faces, places, scenes or even memories and even creates a small video of the best moments that the algorithm identifies as the best ones and fills it up with the relevant music containing your photos and videos to make a great slideshow.
The iOS 10 comes with a major release to the Maps department. Maps now show the current traffic conditions and also is integrated with the third-party apps to search for places like restaurants and make a reservation right from the Maps app to your favorite or filtered restaurants. There are quick controls to keep you right on track and also your daily commute is understood by the maps. Maps is also open to developers now to integrate their apps with the new enhanced maps.
Music on the iOS was revolutionized by the Apple Music and last night Apple announced the new redesign of the Apple Music with beautiful user interface and experience. The entire app is redesigned from ground-up. Lyrics are also displayed right below the currently playing song. Apart from the intelligent suggestions and a complete redesign, everything is same in the Music app. With the Music app, the News app is also redesigned and subscriptions were introduced last night which allow you to subscribe to your favorite magazines or any paper. News is also integrated with intelligent suggestions that track your reading habits and produces the content that you may find relevant.
Next up is the HomeKit. Apple announced a new app called Home yesterday which allows your iOS device to control your home. New categories like cameras and door locks were introduced which allows you to control your door locks and see the person behind the door. The home app shows you all of your accessories which can be controlled by just a touch of your hand no matter if it’s an iPhone, iPad or even the Apple Watch.
In iOS 10, all of your apps that you use to call people like Facebook messenger or Whatsapp are now integrated with the Phone app so you don’t have to switch between apps to take or make the calls using different services. Voicemail transcription is now possible and even a better spam detection is there in the iOS 10. Apple partnered with Cisco to enhance the enterprise calls.
The last feature and the most enhanced one is the Messages app. The messages now support rich content right in the app like linked videos and photos can be viewed right in the application. The new camera and photos shows the live camera output and all of your photos in a nice grid. The Emojis are now three times bigger and there is even a better way to emojify your text using emoji prediction and text to emoji replacement using only taps. There are now better ways to show your emotions using the messages which has some bubble animations for shouting and whispering and even smashing and don’t forget about the Invisible Ink feature that allows you to hide the personal message which requires a swipe to reveal. You can now like any message and can send your custom hand scribbled message right in the app. Messages now include the full screen effects to enhance your conversation’s emotions.
Messages is also now open to the developers to include their useful ideas. Apple also emphasized on the privacy of the user when using Facetime, Home and Messages and declares that everything is end-to-end encrypted.
That was all about the iOS 10 and the 10 new features announced at WWDC 2016.
Apple has also introduced Swift Playgrounds which is an iPad app to allow the youngsters to learn to code. It has a unique interface with lessons and challenges to go along while learning the Swift language from basic to advanced level. Apple believes that the schools should by default teach the students to code and hence a small initiative.
A small video to show why Apple believes everyone should code:
This was all that was announced at this year’s WWDC.