Bloomberg: Apple Watch to Get Standalone App Store, iOS 13 Will Have All-New Sleep Mode, and More

Less than a month ahead of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman has outlined his expectations for iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and more, which we’ve summarized below.

iOS 13

  • Dark Mode that can be toggled in Control Center
  • A new systemwide Sleep Mode that can be toggled in Control Center to turn on Do Not Disturb, darken the Lock Screen, and mute all notifications. This is said to be tied to improvements to the Bedtime tab in the Clocks app.
  • A revamped Messages app with a WhatsApp-like feature that enables users to set a profile picture and display name, and choose who sees it, and a dedicated menu for Animoji and Memoji stickers
  • A revamped Maps app will make it easier to set frequent locations, like home or work addresses, and then navigate there. Improved grouping of frequent locations with ability to add photos.
  • A revamped Reminders app with four default sections laid out in a grid: tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks
  • A revamped Books app with updated progress tracker and new rewards system
  • A revamped Health app with an improved view of daily activity, more comprehensive menstrual cycle tracking, and more
  • A revamped Mail app with ability to mute individual threads, block incoming email from certain contacts, and simpler folder management
  • New default swipe-based keyboard option like SwiftKey
  • New feature that will let users use their iPad as an external display for a Mac, complete with support for Apple Pencil, notifications, and more, as previously reported by 9to5Mac
  • A combined Find My iPhone and Find My Friends app, and possibly a Tile-like tag for tracking devices, as previously reported by 9to5Mac
  • User interface tweaks, including a new animation when launching the multitasking pane and closing apps and tweaks to the home screen on iPad
  • iPad is getting some unique features, including an updated interface for multi-tasking, tweaks to the home screen, and the ability to cycle through different versions of the same app
  • A more comprehensive Accessibility menu on the main page of the Settings app with improved hearing aid support and more
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes

macOS 10.15

  • Marzipan: iPhone and iPad apps can be easily ported to the Mac with new SDK that simplifies the cross-platform development process. This is said to be the first step in a plan to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps into a single package that can run on any of those devices by 2021.
  • Apple Music, Podcasts, and merged Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps
  • Screen Time on Mac
  • iMessage stickers and effects
  • Siri Shortcuts integration

watchOS 6

  • A dedicated App Store app on the Apple Watch itself
  • Voice Memos, Calculator, and Books apps
  • “Dose” and “Cycles” apps for pill reminders and menstrual cycle tracking respectively
  • Animoji and Memoji sticker support in sync with iPhone
  • New watch faces, including one with a custom “gradient” design and at least two “X-Large” versions with very large font; new complications for audiobooks, battery life of hearing aids, and more

Apple is also said to be planning to let the HomePod respond to multiple users in a future software update tied to iOS 13.

As usual, Gurman notes that some of Apple’s plans could change between now and WWDC, so some features may end up being slightly different than described, kept internal, or axed entirely.

Looking ahead, Apple is said to be already working on iOS 14 with support for 5G and new AR functionality on 2020 iPhones.

Gurman’s full WWDC 2019 preview is a worthwhile read.