Bloomberg today released a detailed report outlining some of the previously mentioned features coming to Apple platforms at WWDC 2019, including previously unknown enhancements like a dedicated Calculator app for Apple Watch and revamped Reminders and Health apps in iOS 13.
Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg, has learned that some of Apple’s WWDC 2019 highlights include upgrades to core iPhone apps such as Maps, Reminders and Messages, as well as new apps for Apple Watch that make it more independent from iPhone, plus enhancements to the health tracking capabilities of Apple devices.
Apple plans to add the App Store directly to the Watch so users can download apps on the go. This could open up huge new opportunities for outside developers, boosting app installations.
But Apple has its own new Watch apps in the works, too. There will be new health applications, a Calculator and a Books app for listening to audio books from your wrist, the people familiar with the plans said.
Here are the expected changes…
Codenamed “Yukon,” iOS 13 will bring additional tweaks to make the devices run faster and reduce bugs, including interface changes like:
- A new animation when launching multitasking and closing apps.
- A cleaner look for the widgets.
- A system-wide Dark Mode described as “a black and grey-heavy” interface optimized for viewing at night
- A new keyboard option that lets you swipe across letters on the keyboard in one motion to type out words, similar to some third-party keyboard apps like SwiftKey.
- A new feature similar to Duet Display and Luna Display that will let you use an iPad as a second Mac screen with the ability to draw with an Apple Pencil, expand the viewing area and get Mac notifications.
- A refreshed Reminders app with four sections laid out in a grid: tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks and flagged tasks. “Each section has its own different-colored page that users can add items to,” the report reads.
- A revamped Health app with a new Hearing Health section that includes things like how loud you play music on your headphones or the loudness of the external environment, plus more comprehensive menstrual cycle tracking.
- Screen Time will let parents limit who their kids can and cannot contact at certain times.
- A refreshed Books app will have an updated progress tracker and a new rewards system to encourage people to read more books.
- iMessage will let you set a profile picture and display name, as well as choose who sees it. There’s also a dedicated menu in the conversation view to send sticker versions of Animojis and Memojis.
- Maps will let you create groups of frequent places and add a photo to them, as well as make it easier to navigate to a frequent location.
- Find My Friends and Find My iPhone are merging into a new app, code-named “GreenTorch.”
- Mail will gain per-thread muting, simple folder management and blocking incoming email from certain contacts.
- A new system-wide Sleep Mode in Control Center turns on Do Not Disturb, darkens the Lock Screen and mutes all notifications. It could also integrate with future Apple sleep-tracking devices, like a new Apple Watch model.
- The Home app will be more integrated with security cameras and have the ability to view past recordings.
- The Share sheets interface will be more organized, suggesting people to send content to based on how frequently you interact with them.
- A downloads manager in Safari allowing iPhone and iPad users to access downloads in a single place.
- The Files app will work better with third-party software.
- iPad is getting an updated multitasking interface, Home screen tweaks and the ability to cycle through different versions of the same app.
- The Accessibility sub-section will be moved to the main page of the Settings app and will better integrate hearing aid support.
Apple is reportedly already working on iOS 14, codenamed “Azul,” for 2020. That release, Gurman writes is expected to support 5G wireless network speeds and new augmented reality functionality for 2020’s iPhone.
The biggest change in watchOS 6 is a standalone App Store:
Apple is adding the App Store directly onto the Apple Watch so users can download apps on the go, making the device more independent. Users currently install new apps via the Watch companion application on their iPhone.
Watch faces and complications are also getting some much-needed love.
Apple is adding more watch face complications, which show additional snippets of information beyond just the time. There will be one that shows the status of audio books, another showing the battery life of hearing aids and others that measure external noise and rain data.
The company is also planning several new watch faces: a Gradient face that makes a gradient look out of a color the user chooses, at least two new X-Large faces that show jumbo numbers in different fonts and colors, a California dial that looks like a classic watch face and mixes Roman numerals with Arabic numerals, a redesigned Solar Analog watch face that looks like a sundial, and a new Infograph Subdial one that includes larger complication views like a stock market chart or the weather.
Check out other tidbits.
- Apple Watch is getting its own Voice Memos app for making voice recordings from their wrist.
- Your Anomoji and Memoji stickers will sync from an iPhone.
- Apple Watch is getting a Books app for listening to audio books from the wrist.
- Also new in watchOS 6: a Calculator app.
- And finally, two new health-related apps in watchOS 6 include a pill-reminder app called Dose and another called Cycles to track menstrual cycles.
As previously reported, macOS 10.15 will let iPad apps run on Macs. Next year, the Cupertino company will expand that feature so iPhone apps could run on Macs, too. Beyond 2020, Apple will merge iPhone, iPad and Mac apps into single downloads, with the report speculation that the company could eventually also merge the different App Stores into a single service.
iOS’s Podcasts app and the new merged Find My iPhone and Find My Friends app are coming to macOS. “There will also be a new Apple Music app, which is being developed as a standard Mac program,” reads the report. Other tidbits include Screen Time for Mac, support for effects and stickers in Messages, integration with the Shortcuts app, a refreshed Reminders app and upgrades to the Books app.
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