Tuesday 4 June 2019

Apple WWDC conference - A not so brief round up.

Settling down into Apple’s WWDC conference, we’re about to find out what exactly it is they’ve spent the last year doing, and frankly, if it’s been worth it. 

Apple’s WWDC launched in exactly the way you’d expect, and a small hint for what’s to come, with a clip of Apple’s Memojis, and an entire clip dedicated to the developers. 

  • “World class” seem to be this year’s buzz words. Heavy influences on the services that Apple is going to provide. Maybe with the slow down in technological advancements - Apple, like Google & Microsoft, will be moving away from innovative product design and instead be focussing on streaming services. (Although we were told this earlier in the year, so don’t expect anything special for the iPhone launch later this year).


  • Redesign of the home screen, really just a copy of the Netflix previews, multi user support for tvOs, is apple just catching up with Netflix?
  • Will also deliver apple music.
  • Will now support the xbox one & ps4 controllers.
  • Some underwater scenes, which are pretty cool so I’ll give them a point for that.
  • Preview of “For All Mankind”  - From the creators of Battlestar Galactica & Star Trek. Apple TV+  series. Basically if Russia were on the moon first. 

Apple watch
  • New watch faces & introducing ‘taptic chimes’, so you can slowly be reminded about each and every hour that passes.
  • More apple apps to watch, books, voice memos & calculator - tip calculations & splitting the bill with friends, so you can work out, down to the penny how much to tip your waiter whilst using a £400 watch…
  • Independently running watch apps, including Audio streaming.
  • App store is coming to the watch - you can purchase and install an app, directly on your watch without needing the corresponding apple watch app.
  • New Noise app will let you know if you’re in an environment that could damage your Aural Health. (So you can ignore that too).
  • Period tracking right on your wrist so you can get reminders about where you should be in your menstrual cycle (if you have them) and still be surprised when/if it arrives. (On a serious note, the things this could do for fertility rates is limitless)



  • Tim Cook - back at it again with the hard stats, 85% of iPhone users on iOS 12, just 10% of Android users are on Android 9. What are you doing Android users? UPDATE YOUR PHONES. iOS 13 will be faster, the new ones are always faster. (If you wanted more numbers, 30% faster unlocking with Face ID, 50% smaller app downloads, 2x faster and loading apps…)
  • Dark Mode!!! FINALLY
  • Swipe-to-type coming to the keyboard, Photos will automatically suggest who to send them to based on who’s in them, Mail get ‘desk-top’ formatting, Notes is different somehow.
  • Reminders actually seems worth having now, introducing quick entry, links to people and a tracking system.
  • Maps has been rebuilt, but I’ll probably still leave this one to google to be honest.
  • Volume indicator is being moved to the corner of the screen.
  • Memojis are getting an upgrade, and a sticker pack. (So think Bitmoji but Apple.
  • Camera’s getting an update and it’ll be able to do more automatically. To be honest, the most exciting thing here is that it will be able to edit videos in the Photos app, which is decent. It’ll also be able to hide duplicates, which is great for when one of my siblings grabs my phone and takes 999 pictures of the ceiling.

  • Users will have a “just once” option for things like location tracking.
  • Apps that use Bluetooth or Wifi to try and find location, won’t be able to do so (I didn’t know you did that, did you know they did that?...I’m calling the police).
  • Introducing an alternative to “Sign in with Google” and “Sign in with Facebook” - “Sign in with Apple” which will allow users to sign in using FaceID, logging in with a new account which won’t reveal any personal details. Some apps may want more data from you, which means you can either share real email addresses, or you can hide it and Apple will create a unique email address which will forward to your personal email address, differing with each app. 
  • Apple to challenge Amazon with the release of a new API for home security cameras, Homekit allows you to share footage between your apple devices, without allowing the manufacturer to see it. 


  • Airpods might have just gotten decent. Siri will read messages to you, and if two people have airpods and iphones, they can share audio by tapping the phones together.
  • Homepod - You’ll be able to hand off audio from your phone to your homepod by placing them next to each other. Live radio is coming to the Homepod via Tune In. It will be able to personalise responses based on who’s speaking.
  • Carplay - See music and maps at the same time, Siri is a popover. 
  • Siri Shortcuts are better, but Siri’s going full AI and dropping the human voice recordings. RIP.

Mac Pro 

  • Is it me or are we just seeing the Power Mac G5 crossed with a cheese grater?
  • It is powerful though, with specs including a 28 core Intel Xeon, 300 watts of power, supporting 1.5TB of Ram (making 8GB on my macbook air look…well, like 8GB no a macbook air) and 8 internal PCIe slots. Ethernet, Thunderbolt, USB A and a 3.5mm headphone jack. (old school).
  • New built in graphics module so you can do fancy AMD stuff but also not do that.
  • It has wheels.
  • How has it taken this long for one of them to have wheels?
  • Apple Pro Display - A super fancy display that’s HDR enabled, 6K resolution and 32” panel.
  • Releasing this autumn starting at $5999 for the Pro and $4999 for the display. At just shy of 11K for the pair...it has wheels. Bargain.

RIP itunes 

  • Itunes is being split up into Music, Podcasts and TV.

New Features
  • Sidecar will allow iPads to be used as a second screen for Mac, or as both a wireless or wired graphics tablet.
  • Voice control will allow Macs and iOS devices to be controlled entirely by voice.
  • Find my will combine Find my phone and find my friends and now work offline.
  • Activation lock & Screen time is coming to the mac.


  • 3rd party apps will get to develop directly for the apple pencil
  • Three three finger gestures have been introduced. Three finger pinch to copy text, three finger spread for pasting and three finger swipe for undoing.
  • Safari gets some updates, but the most useful will force sites to open the desktop versions.
  • Multi-window capability comes to iPad apps.

Project Catalyst 

  • Will let developers develop Mac apps from their ipad apps.
  • Mac apps coming at launch are Asphalt 9: Legends, Twitter and Atlassian’s Jira

New APi for developers who work with AR or Swift

  • Reality kit and reality composer will allow developers to work with AR experiences even if they can’t handle graphics engines or low-level code.
  • ARKit 3 has automatic “people occlusion”, allowing the developer to know where a person is and put things in front or behind them.
  • Built in motion capture
  • Swift is getting UI scripting support. Developers will have to write less code to create a UI. You can also see a preview update live when you edit the code.


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