Apple traditionally shows off updates to its iOS, Mac, and smartwatch software at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This year’s conference begins on June 3rd, and according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company has a lot planned.
Gurman is a reliable source for this sort of Apple news, and he suggests that the company will be announcing new apps and updated software across all of its major platforms. The updates seem mostly commonsense and minor, but if there’s an overarching theme it’s that Apple wants to make sure its homegrown apps are viable options.
Apple wants to keep its native apps competitive
The company seems like it’s lavishing particular attention on areas where third-party apps are stronger than Apple’s own (e.g., to-do lists and navigation).
Some of the biggest news includes an official dark mode in iOS, revamped mobile Health and Reminders apps, and an updated version of Maps that will better compete with rivals like Google Maps. In watchOS, Apple is adding direct support for the App Store, meaning Apple Watch owners will be able to install new apps without using their phones. In macOS, the company will announce the first crop of iPad apps that run on Macs. Oh, and the HomePod should get a multiuser mode, with different responses to different users.
Check out the highlights of Gurman’s report below, but visit the original story if you want all of the nitty-gritty details.
New in iOS 13:
- An official Dark Mode will be enabled from the Control Center. iOS users have previously had to use color inversion to achieve a sort of dark mode.
- There’s a revamped Health app, with a new homepage for daily activity, a “hearing health” feature, and “more comprehensive menstrual cycle tracking.”
- The updated Reminders app has a new main screen with four default options: tasks to be done today, scheduled tasks, flagged tasks, and all tasks. Gurman says the update “better competes with the several to-do list programs available on the App Store.”
- The updated Maps app has easier options for setting frequent locations, creating groups of favorite locations, and navigating to suggested and past destinations.
- The addition of profile pictures and display names in iMessages includes a dedicated menu for sending sticker versions of Animoji and Memoji.
- Find My Friends and Find My iPhone will be combined into a single app. Previously rumored by 9to5Mac, it also suggested that Apple was working on a physical tag similar to Tile that would let users track the location of any devices — not just Apple phones and computers.
- Native support to use an iPad as a secondary Mac screen will be introduced, which is similar to the functionality offered by third-party apps like Luna and Duet Display. This was also previously rumored by 9to5Mac.
- There’s a selection of iPad-specific updates, including a better interface for multitasking and an updated home screen.
New in watchOS 6:
- App Store access on-device means you’ll be able to update and install new apps without using the Watch companion app on the iPhone.
- Transplanted apps from iOS include Voice Memos, Apple Books (for audiobooks), and the Calculator app.
- New apps including Dose for pill reminders and Cycles for tracking menstrual cycles will be introduced.
- New Complications (including ones for showing the battery life of hearing aids, rainfall data, and external noise) and new watchfaces (including one with extra-large numbers) will arrive.
New in macOS 10.15:
- iPad apps on the Mac was previously rumored by Bloomberg. It reported that Apple will allow developers to create (essentially) a single app that runs on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This process will need some work from developers, though, who will also have to submit multiple versions of the app to the iOS and Mac App Stores. Gurman says the feature will be expanded to iPhone apps “by next year.” Apple has already made iOS apps available on the Mac itself, including News and Stocks with macOS Mojave.
- A new Apple Music app could be part of the rumored break-up of iTunes.
- Apple iPad apps that will be initially available on the Mac include the Podcasts app and newly merged Find My iPhone / Find My Friends app. Apple’s Screen Time, Siri Shortcuts, and updated Reminders app will also be available on the Mac.