WWDC 2019

Apple held their 33rd WWDC today. Here is a list of what was announced during the keynote as well as some of my thoughts on what was revealed.


Announcements

Services

  • Apple Arcade | No updates (available this fall)
  • Apple Card | No updates (available this summer)
  • Apple TV+ | No updates except an introduction to the new Ron Moore tv show “For All Man Kind”

tvOS

  • Multi-User Support (switchable via Apple TV control center)
  • Lyrics for Apple Music
  • Xbox One S and Playstation DualShock 4 controller support*
  • Partnered with BBC Natural History Unit for new screensavers

watchOS 6

  • Several new watch faces
  • Taptic Chimes which give you a taptic or audible chime on the hour
  • Introduction of calculator (with tip calculation!), audiobooks and voice memos apps
  • Watch-independent apps (do not need companion iPhone app)
  • Some new APIs (e.g. runtime, streaming audio, etc..)
  • Native App Store on Apple Watch
  • Activity Trends with 9 key metrics and new Summary view
  • Noise app which intermittently checks if decibel levels are too high
  • Menstrual Cycle Tracking

iOS 13

  • Faster FaceID
  • 50% smaller firmware updates and 60% smaller app udpates
  • 2x faster launch speed
  • Dark mode*
  • Native Swype-style keyboard functionality “Quick Path”
  • Sharing suggestions in control center
  • Time-synced lyrics in the Music app
  • Assorted updates to Safari, Mail and Notes
  • Reinvented Reminders app
  • Updated Maps app (available in US by end of 2019)
  • “Lookaround” in Maps which is their version of Google Street View
  • New Privacy Stuff
    • Allow-just-once location access granting
    • Background location tracking alerts
    • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Protections
    • Sign in with Apple (single sign-on similar to those offered by Facebook and Google)
  • HomeKit Secure Video
    • 10-days of recording comes free and doesn’t count against iCloud storage
  • HomeKit-enabled routers (Linksys, Eero, Spectrum are some manufacturers that will have compatible routers at launch)
  • Memoji updates with accessories and makeup
  • Memoji Stickers
  • New photo and video editing as well as portrait effects
  • Video rotation as an edit feature*
  • Machine learning for showing best photos in Photos app
  • Music Sharing via AirDrop
  • Live Radio in Music app (100,000+ radio stations)
  • Updated Shortcuts app
  • Improved text-to-speech for Siri (sounds more natural)
  • Menstrual Cycle Tracking in Health app
  • Low Data Mode
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) for enterprise
  • Separate iCloud accounts for Work/Personal
  • Send spam callers directly to voicemail

iPadOS

  • Newly introduced iPadOS*
  • Tighter grid of icons on home screen
  • Pin widgets directly to home screen
  • Drag up or slide on bottom in Slide Over to switch to recently opened Slide Over apps
  • Multiple of the same app open at once
  • App Expose
  • Column View & Quick Actions in Files app
  • Folder sharing in iCloud Drive
  • SMB file sharing support
  • External Storage Support with direct import capability*
  • Desktop-class browsing in Safari*
  • Download manager for Safari
  • Custom fonts
  • Improved cursor, text-selection and other text-related gestures
  • Three-finger swipe-back for undo (an alternative to shake-to-undo)
  • Apple Pencil latency improvements (20 ms to 9 ms)
  • PencilKit API
  • Improved Markup capabilities
  • Compact (pinchable) keyboard layout

Mac Pro

  • New Mac Pro announced*
  • (up to) 28-core Intel Xeon processor
  • (up to) 1.5 TB of system memory
  • Supports (up to) 6 Pro Display XDRs at once
  • Starts at $6k and available in the Fall
  • Full specs can be found on the Mac Pro product page via Apple.com
Pro Display XDR
  • 32-inch Retina 6K LCD display (20 million pixels) - sold separately
  • Supports portrait mode rotation
  • Starts at $5k (wow thats pricy)
  • Full specs can be found on the Pro Display XDR via Apple.com

macOS Catalina

  • New Music app (now separated from iTunes)
  • New device sync options embedded directly in Finder (as opposed to being in iTunes)
  • New Podcasts app (separated from iTunes)
  • New Apple TV app
  • “Sidecar” capability to use iPad as second display for Mac
  • Voice Control which provides full control-by-voice for Mac as well as iPhone and iPad (great accessibility feature)
  • “Find My” app which combines Find Friends and Find My iPhone
  • Activation Lock for Mac
  • Updated Photos, Safari, Notes and Reminders apps
  • Screen Time for Mac
  • “Project Catalyst” (formerly Marzipan) which helps developers quickly create Mac apps based on existing iPad apps*
  • SwiftUI

Other

  • New watch bands including a “Pride” band
  • Handoff for AirPod
  • Speaker-aware responses with HomePod


There is of course much more not explicitly announced on stage for each of these products…


Thoughts

  • I’m excited about what the added Xbox and PlayStation controller support may mean for the upcoming Apple Arcade service. Hopefully this means more console-level gaming is coming.

  • I don’t like the look of Apple’s iOS Dark Mode. It is more of a Black mode. This may have some benefits related to OLED screens and of course this is a subjective feeling but I hope they come out with a more traditional “dark” or maybe “space-grey” mode.

  • The ability to edit videos from portrait to landscape is something I have wanted forever. I’m curious to see how this works exactly.

  • The new OS for iPad (iPadOS) seems very promising. However without a native command line, Xcode or virtualization capabilities, it is still far from a Mac replacement for me. Though it wasn’t announced on stage, iPadOS does now include mouse support which gets it one step closer!

  • External storage support over USB-C was a much requested feature and I’m happy they added it in iPadOS.

  • Apple announced “desktop class browsing” for mobile Safari on the iPad. This is misleading as all they mean by this is that sites will not render the mobile version on the iPad, rather they will render the full desktop version. Using the term “desktop class browsing” may lead you to think their browser is a full desktop browser (similar to Chrome on a chromebook) etc… With this said, this small change does allow the iPad to work properly with a number of sites that were previously broken or unusable (e.g. Google Docs, WordPress, etc…)

  • I’m no hardware expert nor have I ever owned a Mac Pro but the new Mac Pro offering certainly looks ridiculously impressive. At a 6k starting price plus the 5k pro display (sold separately), this is certainly out of range for any normal consumer. But hey, that’s why its a PRO device!

  • There was a pretty hilarious bit by Craig Federighi as he showed off mail and other apps embedded in iTunes (as a joke) right before he explains how iTunes functionality has in-fact now been pulled apart into several different apps. RIP iTunes: 2001-2019

  • Catalyst (formerly known as Marzipan) should bring a lot of awesome capabilities to the Mac by way of iPad apps. The iPad has a rich ecosystem of apps and many that I would love to see on the Mac.

Overall, a pretty solid showing by Apple. I’m excited to try it all out in the near future! (with the exception of the Mac Pro as it’s definitely out of the price and power range for me personally).