Top takeaways from Apple’s Keynote at WWDC 2019

Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off on Monday with their own keynote presentations. A lot was announced, including the long-awaited Mac Pro redesign and their new operating systems (OS’s). So let’s jump in!

Mac Pro

While many had fun deciding if they liked the return to the “cheese grater” look over the most recent “trash can” design, there’s no denying that the new Mac Pro is outfitted with top-tier hardware. It boasts up to a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, 4TB SSD, 1.5TB memory, dual 10GB Ethernet, and a custom ProRes video accelerator card called Afterburner. With the video accelerator, you can even edit three 8K streams at once. They also brought back internal hardware expansion slots. The most jaw-dropping part is the speculated max config cost. Tech-savvy pundits are estimating it could fetch $35K while the base model was announced at $6K. Here’s a full list of the specs.


Pro Display XDR

Video editors, pro photographers, designers, and anyone looking for a souped-up display: Apple’s rumored 32-inch high-dynamic range (HDR) monitor is real. It’s pre-calibrated and has 6K resolution, 10-bit color depth, sustained 1,000 nit brightness (enough to sear your retinas) and a polarizer for better viewing angles / less glare. And the price? In line with the Mac Pro, it’s set at $5K with an additional $1K for the optional stand.


MacOS Catalina

Apple also announced version 10.15 of their MacOS, dubbed Catalina. Here are some announced changes:

  • iTunes will be replaced with three apps — Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV (with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support.)
  • A new app called Sidecar allows you to use an iPad as a second display natively.
  • It will have assistive voice control so that you can instruct it without a keyboard or mouse to move around the OS.
  • Added security measures like Activation Lock and Find My allow you to lock access to your MacBook if stolen.
  • The new Xcode is able to compile apps to iPhone, iPad, and MacOS via Catalyst — formerly dubbed Marzipan. Previously, it could only do it for iPhone and MacOS.


Here’s a more extensive list of changes.


iPadOS

We will now have an operating system specifically for iPad. Previously, the iPad was an extension of the iOS layout, which didn’t always translate well onto a bigger screen. Here Apple can take better advantage of the added real estate. Some new features — on top of the ones we’ll mention in iOS 13 — are listed below:

  • You can pin widgets to the home screen.
  • It has a better multitasking interface.
  • It will permit multiple windows in apps with split screen.
  • App Expose from MacOS will be utilized on the tablet screen too.
  • There will be a column view in Files along with more metadata and quick actions.
  • iCloud Drive will now have folder sharing and you’ll be able to connect it to network servers.
  • It will have support for USB thumb drives and you’ll be able to import photos directly from a camera.
  • Its default browser, Safari, will pull a desktop site and resize it for iPad with optimized touch input.
  • There’s now support for custom fonts (from bigger foundries) and optimized text selection.
  • Also, Apple Pencil will have lower latency and Apple has opened the programming interface to other software developers.

iOS 13

So many new features, so little time! So let’s just jump in. It will now have:

  • Dark mode
  • A faster FaceID
  • Significantly smaller app and update download sizes
  • Faster app launches
  • More detailed Maps app with Look Around
  • Single sign-on with your AppleID
  • A more personal collection of pictures in the Photos app, with day, month, and year aggregation
  • Portrait lighting effects in Photos
  • QuickPath swipe typing
  • Revamped Reminders app
  • An improved HomeKit security app with a HomeKit-in-routers partner program
  • Memoji upgrades for personalization and automatic sticker packs of your Memoji
  • A feature where Siri can read/reply to messages through your AirPods
  • HandOff to your iPhone via HomePod
  • More personalization across HomePod capabilities
  • A new dashboard for CarPlay with expanded partner apps
  • A more natural voice for Siri

watchOS 6

Some of the coolest updates came from the Apple watchOS update with:

  • Voice memo and calculator now on the device
  • Enhanced Siri
  • New watch faces including a gradient one, a digital one, a California dial, and a solar one
  • An app store where you can purchase and install directly on the watch
  • A redesigned Health app, a hearing monitoring app called Noise, and some fitness-tracking updates
  • And probably long overdue, a menstrual cycle feature in Health that will be added to both the Watch and the iPhone

tvOS 13

This latest update will give users a more personalized big screen experience with all new updates that include:

  • A new home screen
  • Multi-user support
  • Apple Music
  • Apple Arcade
  • Support for both Xbox and PlayStation controllers
  • And a new 4K underwater screensavers (a BBC Natural History Unit collaboration)
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