Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is scheduled for June 3-7, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman already has a very long list of software features Apple is likely to launch with its new versions of iOS, macOS, and watchOS.
Highlights include a standalone App Store for watchOS 6, a Dark Mode and a new, revamped Sleep Mode for the iOS 13, and the ability for developers to easily port iPad apps to the Mac in macOS 10.15.
WWDC is typically where Apple launches new versions of its software platforms: iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. There’s little in the way of hardware; new gadgets and gizmos are usually reserved for separate events, the most important being the iPhone launch, typically in the fall.
This year, at least according to Bloomberg’s report, Apple Watch and its watchOS 6 will get the most substantial upgrades. Not only will Apple’s wearable get a standalone App Store, making it possible for users to download apps directly from the watch, but the company will also launch several new apps for the Watch, including Books, Voice Memos, and Calculator, as well as pill reminder app Dose and menstrual cycle tracking app Cycles. Other improvements include new watch faces, new Complications, and Animoji and Memoji stickers that sync with the iPhone.
The list of changes in iOS 13 is the most extensive, though many of are upgrades or tweaks of previous features, apps, and services. Highlights — besides the usual bug squashing and speed improvements — include Dark Mode (which we’ve been hearing about for a while), the possibility to use the iPad as a second Mac screen, a new Sleep Mode, and a new app (codenamed GreenTorch) which combines Find My Friends and Find my iPhone services and, possibly, adds the option to track a physical beacon (this bit of news comes via 9to5Mac).
Numerous iOS apps will get a redesign and/or new features, including Messages, Mail, Books, Screen Time, Reminders, Maps, Home, and Health, which will get a new homepage and additional features for menstrual cycle tracking.
With macOS 10.15, Apple will make it easy for developers to port iPad apps to versions that can run on the Mac. (This should expand to iPhone apps by next year, and in 2020, iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps will be merged into single downloads that can run on any Apple device, the report claims.) Apple will port a couple more of its iPad apps to the Mac, including Podcasts and the aforementioned GreenTorch app.
Other changes include Screen Time, effects and stickers in Messages, Siri Shortcuts integration, a new Reminders app, and Books upgrades.
Note that Bloomberg’s list of new features may not be complete — it’s certainly not officially confirmed by Apple — and that some features’ launches may be pushed to later dates.
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