Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off Monday amid tons of buzz about what the tech giant might bring to the table. Here are the highlights – just what you need to know to start the week.
iOS 10 – Apple shed some light on the next iteration of its operating system, iOS 10. The update will come with a redesigned lock screen, quick interactions with apps, rich links in messages and expanded 3D Touch.
The update also includes a new “Rise to Wake” feature that lights up the iPhone’s lock screen when the device is picked up to show users any notifications or updates.
The OS will also offer widgets for apps on the home screen that allow users to see highlights from an app without having to open it.
Apple’s visual voicemail is also getting the added feature of message transcriptions and VoIP calling is getting a facelift.
Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi called iOS 10 “the biggest iOS release ever for our users.”
iOS 10 will be offered as a developer preview today, a public beta in July and a free update to all in the fall.
The update will be available on the iPhone 5 and up, iPad 4, Air and Pro and sixth generation iPod Touch.
iOS meets tvOS – The iOS 10 reveal also included a few new features that will connect its iOS and tvOS platforms. The new Apple TV remote app enables the use of touch and voice commands for Siri and motion sensors for playing games. Apple said apps will now automatically download between devices, so that any apps on your phone are also available on your Apple TV.
Apple Home – Capitalizing on the IoT explosion, Apple has finally introduced a new app in iOS 10 to coordinate connected devices in the home – including thermostats, lights, garage doors – from one master location. A feature called “Scenes” will let users set up each connected component should function during different times of the day. A geofences feature will also allow users to program certain actions to trigger when the location barrier is crossed, for example, turning on the lights when you pull in the driveway.
App updates – Apple Maps, Music and News are all getting makeovers in iOS 10. Particularly of note are updates to Apple Maps that will allow the app to be more “proactive” with restaurant and route suggestions, and yes, you’ll finally be able to search for things along your route. Apple said it is also opening up Maps to developers for integration to allow users to complete more actions without having to exit the Maps app.
Siri – Like Apple Maps, Siri will also get a bit smarter with increased contextual awareness. The assistant will use information including your currently location, contact information, calendar availability and recent addresses to offer better suggestions. Siri is also being opened up to developers to allow for support on other apps. Siri is currently supported by WhatsApp, Slack and WeChat for messages as well as Uber, Skype, MapMyRun and more.
Apple Pay – Apple Pay is headed to the web. Apple said the mobile payment system will now work on the web via Apple’s Safari web browser on Mac. Thanks to the Continuity feature, users will be able to authenticate transactions at checkout using their phone’s fingerprint sensor.
Apple said Apple Pay will also be rolled out in Switzerland, France and Hong Kong soon. The service is already available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China and South Korea.
Security – As expected after the company’s recent battle with the FBI over encryption, Apple executives talked up privacy features. According to Federighi, Apple uses end-to-end encryption across iMessage, FaceTime and HomeKit and uses local information rather than cloud stored information whenever possible.
Apple also brought up what it calls “differential privacy,” which allows Apple to gather crowdsourced data without exposing individual user data.