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WWDC 2019: Apple Watch to get new apps; core iPhone apps to be revamped

At WWDC 2019, Apple plans to give more autonomy to Apple Watch with dedicated App Store. Apple iOS 13 will have UI tweaks and new applications to speed performance.

  • Published: May 7, 2019 6:24 PM IST
Apple Store Hong Kong Stock 1

Image Credit: Karthekayan Iyer


At WWDC 2019, Apple is planning new apps, features and development tools alongside new version of iOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS for its devices. The Cupertino-based tech giant decided to slow down the pace at which it decides new features to iOS last year but this year, the company could go full steam and add a ton of new features to the operating system that powers iPhones. The Worldwide Developers Conference is being held from June 3 to June 7 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. A new report states that major highlights this year would be upgrades to core iPhone apps such as Maps, Reminders and Messages.

Alongside these revamped applications, Bloomberg reports that Apple also plans to introduce new apps for the Apple Watch, which has started gaining in terms of sales in the past few quarters. With the new apps for Apple Watch, the wearable device will become more independent from the iPhone and the company is planning to add new features to the health tracking capabilities of the device. With these new apps, Apple will try to carefully differentiate its apps from hundreds of other developers who rely on App Store to distribute their applications.

In its report, Bloomberg notes that Apple iOS 13 is codenamed Yukon, and is aimed to speed up the devices and reduce bugs for the second straight year. The new version of iOS will bring user interface tweaks and include a new animation when launching multitasking or closing apps. Apple also plans to clean up the widgets that appear to the left of the home screen. One of the big feature is said to be the dark mode that will use a black and grey-heavy interface optimized for viewing at night. Apple iOS 13 users will be able to enable it from the control center.

With iOS 13, Apple plans to add an option to swipe across letters on the keyboard in one motion to type out words. The feature is said to work similar to SwiftKey, which is available as a third party keyboard app on the App Store. Apple is also planning to add features similar to popular third-party apps Duet Display and Luna Display allowing use of iPad as a second screen for Mac. This will even support ability to draw with an Apple Pencil and get Mac notifications. Apple also plans to revamp the Health app with the iOS 13 release.

During a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company is planning to add new options to its Screen Time application. It will let parents limit who their kids can and cannot contact at certain times. The announcement will come just days after third-party screen time app developers complained that Apple does not play fair since it controls the App Store. Apple is also planning a refreshed Apple Books app, an updated Apple Maps app and will combine Find My Friends and Find my iPhone services. Apple is also planning to add WhatsApp-like enhancement to iMessage where users will be able to set a profile picture and display name.

Apple will also unveil macOS 10.15 and will finally allow iPad apps to run macOS-powered laptops and desktops. Apple plans to allow developers to rework their iPad apps to work on the Mac. Apple plans to bring Podcasts and the merged Find My iPhone app from iOS 13 to macOS 10.15 this year. It will also bring Apple Music app as a standalone Mac application and other applications such as Screen Time, integration with Siri Shortcuts app and new effects and stickers for the Messages app. Apple could also use the opportunity to showcase the rumored modular Mac Pro aimed at professional users.

While Apple is planning major revamp for iOS, the focus will be on watchOS, which has become the most competitive wearable platform on the planet. In order to make it even more standalone, Apple is adding App Store directly to your wrist. This allow Apple Watch users to download apps on the go. The Voice Memos app is being brought to Apple Watch from the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The company is also planning to add Animoji and Memojis stickers to the device. Apple is also said to be planning two new health-related apps for the Watch called Dose for pill reminders and another called Cycles to track menstrual cycles.

Apple is also planning more watch face complications showing additional snippets of information beyond just the time. It has planned a “Gradient” face that will make a gradient look out of a color chosen by the user. It is also planning a “California” dial that will look like a classic watch face and mixes Roman numerals with Arabic numerals. Other plans include a “Solar Analog” watch face that could look like a sundial and a new “Infograph Subdial” with larger complication views like a stock market chart or the weather data.

While Apple will introduce new version of its operating system for iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV at WWDC 2019 this year, it has already begun working on the versions for 2020. Bloomberg reports that Apple has begun working on iOS 14 for next year, codenamed Azul, and it will bring support for 5G wireless network speeds and new AR functionality.

  • Published Date: May 7, 2019 6:24 PM IST