Apple held its annual conference Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC 2019 in San Jose on Monday and to say that the keynote session, was jammed with announcements would be an understatement.
This time Apple has really tried to innovate, it was not just the usual product hardware updates but also key features in the business, software space, along with a focus on privacy.
Some new products and services which were showcased included a Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, iOS 13 with a dark mode, MacOS Catalina and an operating system for the iPad called iPadOS. There was also a new privacy-focused sign-in, SwiftUI framework, and Feedback Assistant.
Needless to say, people were enthralled by the event and expressed their excitement on Twitter.
— Shane Wakefield (@ShaneyBoy112) June 3, 2019
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) June 3, 2019
— Nick Chapsas (@nickchapsas) June 3, 2019
New enhancements to Apple’s flagship operating systems
macOS Catalina in beta
Apple previewed a new version of Mac operating system, macOS Catalina (macOS 10.5) as a result of the expansion of the company’s Marzipan program — now called Project Catalyst — which brings iOS apps to the Mac. With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment apps — Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app.
It also has a new Sidecar feature which helps users extend their Mac desktop by using their iPad as a second display or as a high-precision input device across Mac apps. Catalina has new security features such as ‘Find My app’ and ‘Approve’ to keep users better protected. Voice Control lets users control their Mac entirely with their voice. It also has the Screen Time feature, giving users options such as monitoring usage, scheduling downtime, and setting limits for both apps and websites across all devices.
macOS Catalina will be available this fall as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later. For more information, see our detailed coverage here.
iOS 13 Beta
Apple previewed the latest update of its mobile operating system, iOS 13 at WWDC. It introduces dark mode, advanced photo and camera features, Sign in with Apple and a new Maps experience. Sign in with Apple allows customers to simply use their Apple ID to authenticate instead of using a social account or filling out forms, verifying email addresses or choosing passwords. The Sign in will protect users’ privacy by providing developers with a unique random ID. Siri has a new, more natural voice. HomePod can also distinguish voices from anyone in the home to deliver personal requests, including messages, music and more.
— Andric Tham (@astralwave) June 3, 2019
The developer preview of iOS 13 is available to Apple Developer Program members at starting yesterday, and a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month. New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 6s and later.
Read more about iOS 13 features here.
WWDC 2019 also saw iPad getting its own Apple iPadOS. Basically, iPadOS builds on the same foundation as iOS, adding intuitive features specific to the large display of iPad. It has a Split view allowing iPad users to work with multiple files and documents from the same app simultaneously. They can also quickly view and switch between multiple apps in Slide Over. It also introduces mouse support for both USB and Bluetooth devices.
Now Apple Pencil is even more integrated into the iPad experience. Customers can now mark up and send entire webpages, documents or emails on iPad by swiping Apple Pencil from the corner of the screen. The Files app also comes with iCloud Drive support for folder sharing. Text editing on the iPad receives a major update with iPadOS. It is easier and faster to point with precision and speed, select text with just a swipe and use new gestures to cut, copy, paste and undo.
iPadOS will be available this fall as a free software update for iPad Air 2 and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and later and iPad mini 4 and later.
tvOS 13 and watchOS 6
Apple also released tvOS 13 operating system for Apple TV 4K. With tvOS 13, Apple TV 4K now has a new Home screen; multi-user support for customers to access their own TV shows, movies, music, and recommendations; support for Apple Arcade; expanded game controller support for Xbox One S and PlayStation DualShock 4; and new 4K HDR screen savers.
tvOS 13 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
Apple previewed watchOS 6, offering users better health and fitness management such as cycle tracking and Noise app, gives access to dynamic new watch faces and the Activity Trends and App Store directly on Apple Watch.
New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 1 or later paired with iPhone 6s or later running iOS 13 or later.
Swift UI framework
Apple unveiled its SwiftUI framework at WWDC offering a simple way for developers to build user interfaces across all Apple platforms using just one set of tools and APIs. It features a declarative Swift syntax that’s easy to read and natural to write. SwiftUI Working with new Xcode design tools, Swift UI keeps code and design perfectly in sync. It also offers features such as automatic support for Dynamic Type, Dark Mode, localization, and accessibility. Swift UI got developers quite excited who compared it with React Native and Flutter.
Ohhh Swift UI framework – hopefully this kills interface builder for once and for all! pic.twitter.com/SrrSKRblOQ
— Chris Maddern (@chrismaddern) June 3, 2019
I thought eventually, if we were lucky, we’d get a new UI framework that was Swift from the start and cross-platform, but I did NOT expect it for years and years. I am blown tf away.
— 𝚠𝚒𝚕 𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚢 (@wilshipley) June 4, 2019
Too bad I’m currently not writing iOS Code. Swift UI looks like the new UI framework I (and many others) have been waiting for for years!
Probably time to deprecate a bunch of OSS projects that layer a React-like API over UIKit.
— Benjamin Encz (@benjaminencz) June 4, 2019
Apple aims to protect user privacy with Apple Sign in
Apple has a new way to stop third-party sites and services from getting your information when you sign up to an app. The “Sign in with Apple” button introduced at WWDC, can authenticate a user using Face ID on their iPhone without turning over any of their personal data to a third-party company. Often users are dependent on third-party apps for using a social account or filling out forms, verifying email addresses or choosing passwords. Sign in with Apple allows customers to simply use their Apple ID to authenticate. It protects users’ privacy by providing developers with a unique random ID.
Other privacy updates to the App Store
- Apps intended for kids cannot include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties.
- HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce.
- Apps that compile information from any source that is not directly from the user or without the user’s explicit consent, even public databases, are not permitted on the App Store.
- Apps must get consent for data collection, even if the data is considered anonymous at the time of or immediately following collection.
More privacy related announcements here.
New Mac Pro with Apple Pro Display XDR
At the WWDC, Apple also announced its all-new redesigned Mac Pro, starting at $5,999. The design is a homage to Apple’s classic “cheese grater” look, but it is far from a simple grater when it comes to features.
— Brian Tong (@briantong) June 3, 2019
- The new Intel Xeon processor inside the Mac Pro will have up to 28 cores, with up to 300W of power and heavy-duty cooling. System memory can be maxed out at 1.5TB, says Apple, with six-channel memory across 12 DIMM slots.
- It also has 32GB of memory, Radeon Pro 580X graphics, and a 256GB SSD.
- With this Mac Pro, Apple is launching a custom expansion module, the MPX Module. It has a quad-wide PCIe card that fits two graphics cards, has its own dedicated heat sink, and also has a custom Thunderbolt connector to hook into Thunderbolt 3 backbone that Apple built into the motherboard to deliver additional power and high-speed connectivity to components.
- The power supply of the new Mac Pro maxes out at 1.4kW. Three large fans sit at the front, just behind the new aluminum grille, blowing air across the system at a rate of 300 cubic feet per minute.
Alongside the new Mac Pro, Apple also introduced a matching 6K monitor, the 32-inch Pro Display XDR at WWDC, whose starting price is $4,999. The Pro Display XDR, which stands for extreme dynamic range, has P3 and 10-bit color with reference modes built in, as well as Apple’s True Tone automatic color adjustment for ambient lighting. It’s 40 percent larger than the iMac 5K display and has an anti-reflective coating, and comes in a matte option called nanotexture.
Feedback Assistant for Developers
Bug reporter is now replaced with Feedback Assistant which is available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and the web, making it easy for developers to submit effective bug reports and request enhancements to APIs and tools. When developers file a bug, they will receive a Feedback ID to track the bug within the app or on the website. Other features include automatic on-device diagnostics, remote bug filing, detailed bug forms, and bug statuses.
For more coverage of Apple’s special event keep watching this space. You can also stream the WWDC Keynote from the San Jose Convention Center here.