Technology

Here are the highlights from WWDC 2019

Avatar Written by Abdul Wahab · 2 min read>

Apple just concluded its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019 which was held at San Rose on Monday. A lot of announcements were made, the majority of which were new software changes and a new hardware announcement.

The announcements included Mac Pro, WatchOS 6, iOS 13 with a dark mode, MacOS Catalina and an operating system for the iPad called iPadOS.

Mac Pro and Apple Pro Display XDR

WWDC isn’t fundamentally a hardware event but Apple has a habit of announcing few low-key hardware updates. The new Mac Pro has been completely redesigned, the new design is a lot more angular and has somewhat of a funny look about it. The looks somewhat resemble a cheese grater, it now has handles up top and cutouts all along the side for maximum flow.

Spec-wise, the new Mac Pro supports an Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores and 1.5 TB of memory. It has a total of six slots for memory expansion, eight PCI slots, three Thunderbolt ports, two USB-C, and USB-A ports. A new processing card in the Mac Pro supports streaming of up to 8k. The monitor has a stunning 32-inch LCD screen with Retina 6K display. Apple calls it “Extreme Dynamic Range,” or XDR. What’s definitely extreme about the 8-core Mac Pro is its price which starts at a whopping $4,999 and goes up to $5,999 for the fully loaded model. What’s hilarious is that the stand which is sold alongside it costs $999.

iOS 13 – faster with more updated apps and a dark mode

The dark mode is finally here, and iPhone X and beyond users can now finally take full advantage of their OLED screens like their Android counterparts have. Furthermore, another Android feature, ‘swipeable texting’ is now finally available in iOS (13). The music app is also updated and brings a ‘lyric mode’ which displays the words live alongside with the music being played. Furthermore, Memojis are now getting a new personalized tool which includes new make-up options, hairstyles, and accessories.

Apple maps is also getting a major refresh update which will show a more detailed view. For example, when you tap on any place on the map, a street view photo of that place will show up, which you can enlarge and surf in a 360-degree view. Furthermore, the photo app also got an upgrade and now features a photo-sorting mode which divides the pictures into days, months and years.

MacOS Catalina

Apple also announced the new version of MacOS, “Catalina” version 10.5. The new MacOS now has:

  • An iTunes replacement which is dubbed as ‘Music’
  • Less-intrusive iPhone integration
  • A Podcast app
  • Apple TV with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support
  • A new app called, Sidecar which lets the user use iPad as a secondary display
  • Activation lock and ‘Find My’ comes to MacOS for locking access to MacBook

WatchOS 6

The new WatchOS 6 will bring WatchOS’s own dedicated App Store which can be searched via Siri, scribble and/or voice dictation. Some new Apple-specific apps such as a Calculator app which calculates and splits bills and share with friends, a voice memo app, some new health and fitness updates such as long-term activity fitness trends of how the user is performing over an elongated period of time. Furthermore, Apple is also using menstruation cycle tracking alerts for female users.

iPadOS

Tech-reviewers and consumers have been complaining for some time about the limited potential of iOS on iPads and how one of Apple’s most powerful pieces of hardware’s capability is stagnated due to the limited potential of iOS. It seems Apple has finally heard its fans as this year’s WWDC introduced the first ever iPadOS that will run on current and future iPads. The new iPadOS takes more advantage of the bigger screen as it lets you pins widget, provides better multi-tasking interface and permits multiple windows in apps with the split screen. Furthermore, it includes:

  • A column view in files with folder sharing on iCloud Drive
  • Support from USB thumb drive
  • Ability to import photos directly from the camera
  • Safari on the iPad will pull the desktop site resized for its display and optimized for touch input
  • Better latency on Apple Pencil
  • A programming interface for software developers