Apple’s annual developer conference is focused on software,and it outlined updates to all four of its platforms: iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.Last year Apple made several big announcements at WWDC 2015, the headline-grabber being Apple Music, a global music service that Apple says offers all Apple users access to all of the music they want all of the time.watchOS 3
It spent a good chunk of time on watchOS 3 which has quite a few useful updates, including ‘instant’ launching apps which can update in the background so are ready when you tap them. That’s great news for Watch owners fed up with the long loading times currently.The interface has been tweaked to make it a lot more intuitive and like iOS. It now has a Control Centre and it’s far easier to switch between watch faces, of which there are a few new ones. The Workouts app has been updated and you can now share your stats and compete with friends. Some of the new faces incorporate the activity circles.iOS 10
Most time, though, was spent on iOS 10. It gets a heck of a lot of new features, including redesigned lock screen notifications which are interactive, and there’s a raise-to-see gesture that shows them without you needing to press a button (or fly past them when you unlock your phone with Touch ID).Music has been overhauled and is much more intuitive – it’s much easier to navigate your library and see which music is actually downloaded to your phone. Similarly News has been improved so you can see which category a story comes under, and it will intelligently create categories where none exist, such as Formula 1.Photos gets intelligent and will use your iPhone (or iPad’s) power to do scene and face recognition and surface events such as trips “at the right time” for you to reminisce. It will also automatically create videos of events – you can edit and share them.Messages also gets a big overhaul, and is now open to developers. You can tap on words to automatically replace them with emoticons, and set bubble effects and even full screen effects. One highlight is the new ability to hide photos and text which the recipient can reveal. And thanks to third-party apps, you’ll be able to do other things (as you can already in other messenger apps) such as paying money you owe to friends, or using stickers.There’s a public beta of iOS 10 which you’ll be able to try when it is released in July. Read more about the new features in iOS 10.
Last September, Apple launched tvOS 9 with the latest Apple TV model so this will be the first major update since the fourth-gen Apple TV arrived. In fact, the update isn’t all that huge. Siri gets more capabilities and there’s a few new channels and interface tweaks, one being Dark Mode which is better for night-time viewing.A handy new feature is Single Sign-On which should do away with those annoying sign-in screens, codes and other stuff that gets between you and your viewing pleasure.
There’s more software to talk about, including Siri integration within macOS Sierra. The virtual assistant is making its Mac debut to compete with the likes of Cortana on Windows 10 after two and a half years of internal testing. Users will also be able to unlock their Macs using their Apple Watch, and pay for things using Apple Pay in Safari, authenticating payments with fingerprint recognition via Touch ID on an iPhone, using Continuity.For a lot of people, new hardware will be more exciting than software but despite rumours that Apple will refresh its MacBook Pro line this year, there were no announcements in the keynote. The MacBook Pro 2016 is tipped to get a boost in graphics performance thanks to a new AMD/Nvidia GPU, and will also come with the latest Intel Skylake chips.More recent rumours suggest that the MacBook Pro has undergone an Air-esque redesign, making it thinner and lighter than ever without compromising on power. Rumours also suggest it’ll include a Touch ID sensor and a touchscreen-enabled OLED display to replace the function keys, allowing customisable function keys in future.No surprises that Apple didn’t launch the Apple Watch 2, saying that with watchOS 3 “[the original Apple Watch] will feel like a new watch”. watchOS 3 will be launching to the public in September 2016.