WWDC 2019 Keynote Highlights: iOS 13, iPadOS, Mac Pro, and More Announced

Apple's 2019 WWDC keynote brought loads of announcements around Apple's major software platforms and a brand new modular Mac Pro.

WWDC 2019 Keynote Highlights: iOS 13, iPadOS, Mac Pro, and More Announced
  • Apple previewed the next major versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS
  • iTunes has been retired in favour of new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps
  • Apple also unveiled a brand new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

The WWDC 2019 opening keynote has ended with Tim Cook thanking the audience and promising an exciting week ahead.

Tim Cook has come back on stage, to wrap up the WWDC 2019 opening keynote. All the platforms announced will be available as developer previews today, with beta releases in July and final releases in the Fall. WWDC will have over 100 sessions and over 1,000 engineers on site to engage with attendees. Cook is thanking everyone at Apple who worked hard to deliver products, many of which have been years in the making. 

Now talking about Apple's Swift development language. There are over 450,000 apps in the App Store built using Swift. Today, Apple is announcing a new framework called SwiftUI. It's a new declarative paradigm that lets developers create apps with less code. 

Minecraft will be using ARKit to power an AR experience called Minecraft Earth, which is being demonstrated by Mojang executives for the first time. Players can be inserted into their Minecraft worlds and interact fully with elements, thanks to the new people occlusion feature. 

Federighi says there are three major announcements around ARKit. The first is called RealityKit, which will let developers integrate photorealistic rendering and camera motion effects with a native Swift API. Reality Composer is a new drag-and-drop app with a library of high-quality objects and animations, making it easy to build interactive environments. It will be available on iOS as well as the Mac. ARKit 3 is a major update. People Occlusion is a new real-time way to layer virtual content in front of and behind people. Motion Capture will track people's limbs, heads, and torsos in real-time.

Federighi is unveiling a new platform called Project Catalyst which will allow app developers to quickly port iPad apps to the Mac. Apple used it to build News, Stocks and Voice Memos for macOS Mojave last year, but it's now greatly improved. Project Catalyst will be available to developers today. Developers just have to click one checkbox in Xcode. The same development team can work on iOS and macOS with very little extra effort.

Photos, Notes, Reminders and Safari in Catalina get the same features as the iOS versions unveiled earlier today. Screen Time also now comes to the Mac.

The new Find My app combines Find My iPhone with Find My Friends, and can now even locate devices that are offline, which is particularly important for Macs. Even when it's sleeping, it can send out a secure Bluetooth beacon which can be picked up by other Macs nearby and relayed till it finds one with an Internet connection. It's encrypted end-to-end and anonymous. It doesn't affect privacy, data usage or battery life. Available on all Macs with the T2 security chip.

Federighi is now talking about accessibility, introducing Voice Control to control a Mac or iOS device entirely with voice. It allows rich dictation and editing, UI navigation, attention awareness, and on-device Siri processing for privacy.

A new feature called Apple Sidecar lets people use an iPad as a second display for a Mac. Users can spread out their work and use the Apple Pencil for precise input. It works wired and wirelessly, across multiple Mac apps. 

The Apple TV app will host all purchased iTunes content, and support for 4K HDR playback with Dolby Atmos on recent Macs.

The syncing capabilities of iTunes have been moved into Finder. The dedicated Podcasts app has Listen Now and cross-device progress syncing. Machine learning will index the spoken content of podcasts and make it searchable. 

Federighi is talking about the evolution and increasing feature set of iTunes. He's joking about adding even more bloat, including calendars, email and Safari. iTunes is being broken up and there will be three separate apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV.

Tim Cook briefly comes back on stage to introduce the next version of macOS before handing over to Craig Federighi. Apple is moving away from desert names. The next version is called macOS Catalina.

The new Mac Pro will start with an 8-core Intel Xeon CPU, 32GB of RAM, AMD WX7100 GPU, priced at $5,999. It will be available this fall. There will also be a rack mount version. The Pro Display XDR will be priced at $4,999 and $5,999 for the matte version.

The contrast ratio is 1,000,000:1, which Apple is calling eXtreme Dynamic Range. The name of the display is Apple Pro Display XDR. It also has Thunderbolt 3, and with the new Mac Pro you can have six displays running at 6K resolution. The Pro Stand for the display has a counterbalancing arm for tilt and height adjustment at any angle. It can also rotate into portrait mode for writing code, retouching photos, etc. The stand is removable for easy packing and transport, and can be swapped for a VESA mount.

The new 32-inch 6K Mac Pro display has a matte option with etched glass rather than an anti-reflective coating. A new backlighting system uses a huge array of blue LEDs to generate a massive amount of light, and then the light is precisely shaped and controlled. The rear lattice pattern on the back of the panel acts as a giant heatsink. It can maintain 1000nits of full-screen brightness indefinitely and 1600nits peak brightness. 

The new Mac Pro has a new matching display. HDR is yet to be delivered with pro-level precision, Apple says. More and more devices can play HDR content, so more and more pros need this feature. The new Mac Pro display has a 6K Retina resolution, over 40 percent larger than the iMac Pro display. It has reference modes built in, expertly calibrated at the factory. A new cutting-edge polariser delivers 25 percent better contrast than a typical LCD display and wide viewing angles.

A demonstration on stage is using a brand new version of Logic playing a sample with 1000 audio tracks with 1000 software instruments simultaneously including full orchestral libraries, and the 56-core CPU isn't maxed out. 

Apple has been working with Adobe, Autodesk, BlackMagic, RED, Avid, and others are announcing support for the new Mac Pro including all-new workflows. Otoy, Unity, Pixar, Foundry and Maxon are also announcing support. 

Afterburner is an add-in card with a custom ASIC that can process six billion pixels per second. It can play three simultaneous raw 8K video streams, or 12 4K streams. Aimed at ProRes workflows. Every Mac Pro has a 1400W power supply and three enormous fans and a blower for airflow, yet it's claimed to be as quiet as the iMac Pro. Optional wheels make it easy to move the Mac Pro around.

The new Mac Pro has new MPX expansion modules offering multiple graphics options starting with the Radeon Pro 580X or AMD Radeon Pro Vega II which offers 1TBps of memory bandwidth and up to 32GB of HBM2 memory. The Mac Pro can actually use two modules of two GPUs linked using AMD's Infinity Fabric for up to 128GB of HBM2 and 56 Teraflops of graphics bandwidth.

The new Mac Pro gets PCIe expansion "in a big way" with eight internal PCIe slots. Four double-wide and three single-wide, and one half-length pre-populated with Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-A ports. The new Mac Pro also has two Gigabit Ethernet ports. 

The video showed off the new Mac Pro, which Cook says "is the most powerful Mac we've ever created". There's a stainless steel internal frame, and it's designed for modularity and flexibility. Every subsystem has been optimised for performance. The new Mac Pro uses a brand new Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores, at 300W with a massive cooler. Users get up to 1.5TB of system memory across six channels.

Craig Federighi has left the stage and Tim Cook is back, saying Apple loves the Mac, and calling the current Mac lineup the strongest that the company has ever had. "There's one more spot in the lineup that the team has been working really hard to fill, to take Mac further than it's ever gone before". A video teaser is now playing.

Apple is introducing a new way to use custom fonts in apps. You'll be able to download fonts through the App store. Sources include Adobe and Monotype. Text selection and the cursor are also improved with multi-finger gestures. A new three-finger swipe to the left will quickly undo any action. We're now seeing a demo of new Apple Pencil interactions on iPadOS.

Apple Pencil latency is now coming down to 9 milliseconds. There will now be a PencilKit developer API so third-party apps can provide better experiences. A new markup mode works system-wide. 

Desktop-class Web browsing is coming to Safari on iPad, so you can see the desktop site sized and optimised for touch input, rather than a simple mobile site. This works for Google Docs, Wordpress, and Squarespace. Safari also gets a download manager, keyboard shortcuts, and more.

Federighi shows two Microsoft Word windows side by side, then demonstrates composing an email in a separate resizable Split View panel.

The Files app has a new Column View for digging through file hierarchy. There are file previews and quick actions as well as rich metadata. iCloud Drive will now support folder sharing and built-in support for Samba file sharing. Users can also now plug in thumb drives, SD cards, external disk drives, and they will show up in the Files app or you can import directly into apps such as Lightroom.

Craig Federighi is back on stage talking about iPad, and says the time has come to recognise the iPad separately from iPhones, with iPadOS. The home screen grid is tighter with more icons, and widgets can be pinned alongside icons. Now, slide-over multitasking tabs can fan out, and you can slide along the bottom to flip between apps. Split View will allow two of the same app, just by tapping and dragging. You can slide between Spaces and have multiple apps open in multiple Spaces. App Expose now shows all open windows on iPad.

Moving on to Siri, it can automatically read out notifications if a user is wearing AirPods. This works with the Messages app or any third-party messaging app. Audio Sharing now lets people share a movie or song with a friend, with just a tap. Handoff will also work with HomePod now. HomePod now knows who in the family is speaking and can personalise responses. Works with Music, Messages, Reminders, Notes, and more.

iOS 13 will take portrait lighting to a new level, with movable lights and adjustable intensity. Editing features are also coming to video for the first time, including highlights, shadows, white balance, vignetting, and noise reduction. Machine learning can help declutter the photo library by finding and removing duplicates.

Photos can now be organised like a diary, with new Days, Months and Years views. It can show photos from previous years' versions of specific events. 

We're moving on to HomeKit now, and addressing security cameras that film in and around a home. Most cameras send videos to the cloud to analyse it. Apple is introducing HomeKit Secure Video, an in-home analysis API that uses your iPad, Apple TV or HomePod and sends only encrypted data to iCloud. Storage for 10 days' worth of video will be included with every iCloud account and won't count towards storage limits. Cameras from Logitech, Eufy and Netatmo are coming soon.

HomeKit is coming to routers, and each accessory can be firewalled off so that other devices and personal information can't be compromised. Linksys, similar companies, and Internet service providers will introduce HomeKit routers soon.

iMessage will be able to share your name and photo or Memoji with select contacts. iOS 13 makes Memoji creation easier, with makeup and accessories including eyeshadow, lipstick, piercings, teeth, hairstyles, jewelry, hats, glasses and even AirPods. You can use Memoji stickers in multiple apps and devices through the iOS keyboard. Memoji Stickers are supported on all iOS devices with an A9 or newer processor.

Apple Maps has also been rebuilt, Federighi says the company has driven and flown over 4 million miles to gather data. New Maps will be rolled out across the US this year and in many other locations. Maps have a lot more detail, with 3D buildings and Favourites for quick access. A new Binoculars icon brings up a new Look Around window. You can go full-screen with high-resolution 3D views much like Google's Street View. 

Federighi says Maps has more features such as ETA updates. Maps has been designed to be private as well as secure and "there's no need to flip a switch".

Sharing location with a third-party app can be useful, but that privilege shouldn't be used to track people. In iOS 13, apps can be made to ask for permission every time they need location data. Users will also see reports of location activity. Apps can also no longer sniff for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices to determine location.

Facebook and Google log-in buttons allow sites to customise experiences but also track users. Now, 'Sign in With Apple' will do the same without all the privacy issues. Personal information is not revealed. You can choose to share an actual email address or hide it, and apps will only get a unique random address that forwards to your real one. Each app gets a unique random address and you can disable them to cut any app off. This will be available across all Apple platforms and on the Web.

Craig Federighi, SVP of Apple Software Engineering, has come up on stage to introduce iOS 13. He says it's a huge release, and everything is faster. Face ID is now 30 percent quicker, and several app downloads will now be 50-60 percent smaller.

Federighi confirms that Dark Mode is coming to iOS 13. The lock screen, notifications, Apple News, Calendar, Notes, Messages, and the keyboard are all dark. There are some new tricks, including swipe typing.

The Photos app also has a dark mode, and there's a new Share Sheet with intelligent suggestions based on who is in the photo. Apple Music also has a Dark Mode and can display time-synced lyrics.

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Safari has new options to quickly change text size, with per-website preferences. Mail gets rich text formatting, and Notes gets a new gallery view and shared folders. The Reminders app has been reimagined completely. It can understand when and where to notify you, and there's a bar for quick shortcuts. You can tag a person and be reminded when you're in a Messages conversation.

Tim Cook has come back on stage and is talking about high iOS customer satisfaction at 97 percent. He says 85 percent of iOS devices are now running the latest release and iOS 12 has been installed on more devices than any previous release. He also says only 10 percent of Android devices are currently running Android 9.

Tim Cook welcomes Kevin Lynch, VP of Technology at Apple, up on stage to talk about Apple Watch. He's demonstrating some of the newer Apple Watch faces. Apple is now enabling Taptic Chimes, a subtle vibration or sound that will give you an alert every hour on the hour.

New apps for Apple Watch will include Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator, which includes the ability to let you calculate tips and split bills with friends. Apps can now run independently on Apple Watch, no longer requiring an iPhone companion app. You can now get extended information and streaming audio. 

To make it easier to discover apps, the App Store is coming to Apple Watch running watchOS 6. You can search the full app store using dictation, scribble, or Siri. You can see app descriptions, reviews, and screenshots. You can purchase and install apps directly on your watch.

New health and fitness capabilities are coming to Apple Watch. Apple VP of Health, Sumbul Desai is now on stage to introduce activity trends. There are some familiar and new metrics including cardio fitness, and stairs climbed. It's meant to motivate people for long-term success.

Desai is now talking about hearing loss, which is often so gradual that people might not notice. Apple Watch can now alert wearers when ambient noise is too loud and could possibly impact hearing over time. A Noise app and complication will be easily available. It only periodically records samples on-device, and does not save or record audio.

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Apple Watch now also gets menstrual cycle tracking. For women, this feature will be simple and discreet, and will help period and fertility tracking as well as fertility window prediction. Cycle tracking will also be available in the Health app in iOS without an Apple Watch.

Kevin Lynch has come back up on stage talking about visualising health data over time, including reports and highlights. Health app on iPhone uses machine learning, and the data is stored securely on your iPhone or in iCloud. You can decide what data is shared with other apps. Apple is now demonstrating all these new features on stage.

Miscellaneous new watchOS features include Shazam song recognition, workout summaries, Siri Web search results, Elevation metrics, and new complications. There will be new summer watch bands including a new Pride band that matches the new Pride watch face.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out on stage, and has welcomed the audience to WWDC 2019. He says the company is "so inspired" by the millions of Apple developers across the world. He says apps enrich the lives of millions of people around the world.

Tim Cook is highlighting the diversity of attendees. He says Apple integrates the world's best hardware and software with a growing collection of world-class services, which makes the company unique. He's referencing Apple News+, TV+, Apple Arcade, and other services that were announced in March.

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Tim Cook is sharing a sneak peek of a new Apple TV+ series, For All Mankind, helmed by Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore. After the clip, Cook moves on to talking about tvOS and the several devices on which Apple TV+ can be accessed. New multi-user support is coming to tvOS on Apple TV so each member of the family can get personalised recommendations. You can also use Apple Music, including lyrics on your TV screen. 

The Xbox One S and PlayStation DualShock 4 controllers will be supported by Apple Arcade. The new tvOS also has beautiful underwater screensavers shot in 4K HDR in partnership with the BBC. 

Apple's annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) has just kicked off in San Jose, California, with a keynote address by CEO Tim Cook, who will be joined by several high-ranking Apple executives. We should get to learn quite a lot about Apple's most recent software efforts, including major updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, as well as the company's growing range of online services. This event is focused on software developers, and for that reason, there might not be any major hardware announcements, such as new Mac models. Still, we could get some interesting ideas about what Apple has in store for its next generation of devices based on features and capabilities that are announced.

Apple typically uses WWDC to give developers a good idea of what the next big versions of its various platforms and operating systems will be capable of, so that new versions of apps and services can be ready by the time they are ready for release around September or October. This way, users won't have to deal with sudden surprises or features that behave differently than expected.

Apple will be live streaming the entire keynote on its website for fans and those around the world who are unable to attend in person, and we have full details of all the ways you can watch it right here. However, Gadgets 360 is currently live at the scene, and here are the latest updates of everything that has been announced so far. 

As we wait for the main presentation to begin, Apple is playing a black-and-white video of various people using its products and experiencing moments of joy and satisfaction as their work comes together. 


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