Todays (June 13, 2016) is the opening of Apple’s 27th World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC 2016). This year’s WWDC has over 5,000 attendees from 74 countries. Apple now has 13 million registered developers with 2 million added in just the last year. The App Store has over 2 million apps that have been downloaded 130 billion times with almost $50 billion paid to developers.
There were no new hardware announcements at this year’s Keynote but Apple did focus on all four of their software platforms. For those of you not able to get a ticket, here’s a recap of what was discussed at today’s Keynote address.
The latest update to watchOS allows you to keep your favorite apps in memory, do background updates, get refreshed information and have instant launch. watchOS 3 will also have a Control Center. Like iOS, you swipe up from the bottom to reveal buttons for battery life, Airplane Mode, notifications and more.
watchOS 3 will now include a “Scribble” option which will allow you to write out responses right on the watch face. There are also several new watch faces, including Activity and Numerals and can be switched with just a swipe of your finger. Reminders and Find My Friends app as now part of the basic applications.
watch OS 3 is getting a Dock, which will keep apps live in the background so there is no need to relaunch them.
Perhaps the biggest addition to watchOS is a new emergency service app. When you press and hold the side button your Apple Watch will automatically call 911. The app contains a medical card with your name, date of birth, age, medical conditions and medications. Apple is also introducing a new health-related app called “Breathe”, which is designed to help you relive stress through the use of breathing exercises. The new app can be launched directly from the watch face.
The beta of watchOS 3 is available to developers as a beta, today.
tvOS now has over 1,300 video channels and more than 6,000 native apps with more on the way including Sling TV which is being added today and will finally bring live TV to the Apple TV. tvOS will supports Single Sign-On which will let you sign on to your Apple TV once and get access to all of your network apps.
tvOS is also getting a “dark” mode which will present a dark gray user interface, system-wide. Developers are also getting several new APIs including ReplayKit, PhotoKit and HomeKit along with many more features to help build exciting new apps.
Developers can get a preview of the new tvOS today with a free download to everyone this fall.
The big news is that OS X will now be called macOS. This creates a consistent naming convention across all of the various Apple platforms including macOS, iOS, tvOS and watch OS.
The next version of macOS will be called macOS Sierra and will focus on Continuity, iCloud and the “fundamentals of the Mac experience.”
Some of the new features introduced including:
Auto Unlock – allows you to unlock your Mac directly from your Apply Watch.
Universal Clipboard – allows you to automatically copy text and photos from an iPhone, directly to your Mac.
iCloud Drive – all files will be available on both macOS and your iPhone.
New tools will be available to help get rid of old files and caches to help free up space on your Mac.
Apple Pay is coming to the web and will allow you to use supported web sites that authenticate your purchases using Touch ID from a paired iPhone or Apple Watch.
Siri is coming to the Mac with both a Dock icon and an icon in the Menu Bar next to the Notification Center. Now you can speak your commands and Siri will search the web, find movies and more.
macOS is available to developers today. A public beta will begin in July and will be available to everyone in the fall as a free upgrade.
iOS 10 is introducing a new lock screen, richer notifications, quicker interactions with apps and expended 3D touch capabilities.
The Lock Screen will now support widgets for both built-in and third party apps like Uber. The lock screen has been completely redesigned and now lets you clear all of your notifications with a single toggle.
Siri on iOS is now being opened up to developers so you will be able to have Siri interact with other applications on your iPhone and iPad. Siri will now support various payment apps. Siri will also have the ability to make “intelligent” suggestions, so if someone wants to know where you are, Siri will respond with your current location.
The Photos app is getting an update with several new feature which will organize your photos by locations, faces, scenes and topics and will make it easier to group related photos together.
Photos can now automatically create short movies based on specific events such as a recent vacation, which Apple called “Memories.”
Many of these features will also be included in the Photos app on macOS.
The Maps application is getting an all-new design in iOS 10, with proactive suggestions and easier to access controls. Maps will now have enhanced traffic information for your route and will automatically zoom in and out to show traffic conditions. You can also pan and zoom ahead to see what traffic looks like further on your route. Apple Maps is also being opened up to developers.
Apple Music now has over 15 million subscribers and will be getting an all new design in iOS 10, including a simpler interface, song lyrics and a new “For You” tab.
Apple News now has over 2000 publications and over 60 million active monthly users. Like some of the other apps, Apple News is also getting a whole new look that mirrors Apple Music. Apple News will now offer subscriptions so you can read every article of a magazine right inside the app.
The HomeKit app is now going to be called Home and will support several new accessory categories like cameras and door locks. Home will let you interact with all of your accessories regardless of the manufacturer and will be included in Control Center for quick and easy access as well as interactive notifications on the Home Screen. The new Home application will be available on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch as well as remote access on the Apple TV.
Visual Voicemail is now adding a transcription feature. iOS 10 will now provide voicemail transcription on the iPhone.
The Messages app is getting some enhancement and will now support rich links. In-line photos and videos will appear above the links, and emoji predictions will be presented as you type your message. Messages will also support hand written messages. Messages will now support Apple Music so you can share a song in your message and it will play within the conversation. Like many of the other apps discussed earlier, iMessage is being opened up to developers.
iOS 10 is available to developers today with a public beta set to release in July and a full public release in the fall as a free upgrade.
iOS 10 supports all iOS 9 devices except the iPhone 4s and iPad 2.
Finally, Apple is introducing a new iPad app called “Swift Playgrounds” which will provide a new way to learn the Swift programming language. The app has provides highly visible and interactive lessons, developed by Apple to help you learn to code in the Swift language and will be available as a free app once iOS 10 is released to the public.
Those are some of the highlights from today’s WWDC 2016 Keynote address. What features are you excited about and what were you hoping for that didn’t show up? Why not join the conversation and share your comments below.
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