Apple made a few surprising new announcements including details on iOS 10 at the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday in San Francisco.
In the coming Autumn, Apple users will have new enhancements to their devices. Tim Cook announced several new features including big changes to the Mac, Apple Watch, iOS software and a newly designed Apple Music.
- iOS 10
iOS 10 will be Apple’s latest mobile software and will bring about an array of new features. Almost every update includes a new interface and the upcoming iOS will be no different. An interactive lock screen will be introduced meaning you can reply to your messages as soon as you pick up your phone (the screen will wake automatically as you take up your phone) amongst other things with 3D Touch like your Uber letting you know where your taxi is at any one stage. It’s been compared to Android devices with widgets now available for the iPhone. Your Photo‘s will be updated with the device recognising similarities and grouping your pictures accordingly.
The Music app has been given a new layout too and it’s most certainly very welcome by it’s 15 million subscribers. Many complained that the app was very clustered and harder to use than the likes of Spotify. Your own library is now at the front of the app when you open it and will include a Recently Added/Recently Played feature from iTunes. Lyrics will also be a new feature for the app where users can read the words of music when they scroll past the album art. Much like their competitors, when you click into Browse/For You sections in Apple Music you’ll see daily playlists, top charts and radio options. The Connect tab has been dropped from navigation (but will be included in the For You section) and will be replaced with a Search function.
The News app has also gotten a makeover. You’ll now have a subscription feature and news stories will be sorted into easily navigated sections. A breaking news feature will notify you of top breaking news stories as they occur.
Siri has major improvements within the new software. A major one is the voicemail transcription which will translate your voicemail into text and read them aloud for you. Another feature will include being able to perform image searches. It’ll also be more interactive with the use of your calendar or location to use as a response to a message someone may send you. Apple announced it is opening Siri to third party developers meaning you may soon be able to hail an Uber or have a message written using a voice command alone. As well as an iOS update, Siri will be available for Mac users too.
Messages/iMessage seen some quirky introductions. Emojis are now three times bigger in iMessage and there’ll be a ‘tap to replace’ feature which will see an option to replace a highlighted word with an appropriate emoji. iMessage will have a music share function, Digital Touch keypad through which you can share sketches or your heartbeat, and full screen effects that take over the backdrop of the messaging screen. Writing messages in ‘invisible ink‘ will also let you send texts that’ll appear slowly or need to be swiped to be revealed. You’ll be able to search for pictures within the keypad too. Apple’s intention with iMessage is to turn it into a platform like Facebook Messenger for example. Long URLs within Messages see rich links auto-convert them including videos.
With the new iOS 10, you’ll be able to delete unwanted pre-installed apps like Stocks, Tips or Calendar which attendees at the WWDC were very happy to hear although it’ll only save users 150mb of space approximately. Game Center is also slashed from the system but is yet to be confirmed with a replacement of ‘GameKit.’
Another useful feature will include the iOS software being able to notify you if an incoming call is spam. All calls (through Messenger or WhatsApp) will all look like a normal incoming call in addition.
Swift Playground will be a new app available which will be able to teach users how to code, Tim Cook revealed.
Maps has been given a small makeover. A very handy feature in the new petrol station listings and Maps are now opened to third party developers too meaning you can ”use OpenTable to make a restaurant reservation, call it up on Maps, and order an Uber to take you there.”
A split-screen feature within Safari for the iPad will let you multitask.
Home is yet another new app derived from HomeKit which will allow you to control smart gadgets in your home such as turning off lights and shutting the garage door provided they have a compatible device.
Yes, gone are the days of Apple’s OS X software for the Mac as Apple goes back in time to the software’s original name mimicking it’s other systems e.g. tvOS & iOS. It looks pretty darn cool too! The new desktop software will be titled macOS Sierra.
Siri on the Mac desktop will be much like its counterpart on iOS in that it’ll be able to search for files, the internet and then drag and drop or switch between apps etc. It was said at the WWDC that Siri will work similar to Mac’s own Spotlight and Finder.
Universal Clipboard was another exciting feature announced. This will see you being able to copy something on say, your iPhone and then right clicking on your Mac to paste it.
Sierra, which has been compared to Amazon’s Alexa, will allow you to access your Mac desktop from your iPhone by clicking into your macOS folder. This means you can share files more easily between your devices as a result of updates to iCloud.
The ability to pay for items etc. online using Apple Pay will also come into effect because of this sharing between devices feature Sierra has made possible, thanks to Apple’s Touch ID. The feature will rival PayPal in it’s security as a result.
Other features within the macOS Sierra will see increased productivity with screen sharing, moving older files to iCloud, a less fussy, cleaner interface and a Tab feature which means apps can support these in their development resulting in a more cooperative screen between windows for users.
- watchOS 3
People have been somewhat critical of how the Apple Watch is useful in day to day life as a product since its release but the latest software arriving for the public in Autumn might change that opinion.
Basically, the Apple Watch will now be more efficient in its performance. You’ll save time by faster app launch, just scrolling downwards to send a reply and pressing the side button for the dock (instead of glances.)
Scribble is a new feature for the watch which introduces a new way to write. Fascinating, right? There’s a new meditation app called Breathe that will remind you to spend between one and five minutes doing guided breathing. The Activity app will be more interactive and will let you share your content as well as being more friendly for wheelchair users. An SOS function will allow users to make emergency calls.
Minnie Mouse is now a watchface which will interest those of you who are kids at heart. A handy feature between Mac and the Apple Watch will let you unlock your screen from the watch.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Apple TV’s new software only that Siri will be more useful within it. You’ll be able to search the 650,000 database with various voice commands and launch live apps by saying ” watch …” Dark Mode will also be introduced.
The revamped Apple TV Remote app for iOS will now imitate each feature found in the hardware remote. It’ll use the phone’s mic for Siri queries, offer a touchpad interface and use its sensors for motion controls in games. The app will also offer a keyboard for text input.