Today Apple released updates to the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. Let us look at each, starting with the MacBook Air.
When it was introduced in 2008 it was the lightest laptop Apple had made to date. It famously fit into standard manilla envelope. Since then, the MacBook Air has been a favorite of many Apple laptop purchasers. When it was first introduced it was more expensive than other models, like the MacBook, but it was intended to be lighter than any other laptop. The form factor of the MacBook Air remained largely unchanged until last year when Apple introduced the new MacBook Air with an all new design similar to the MacBook Pros. Apple kept the older 13-inch MacBook Air around, because it was $999 and that is a great price point.
Today’s MacBook Air updates builds upon last year’s model and adds a couple of features. The first is the screen has been updated to be a True Tone display. A True Tone display allows you to see colors even better than before.
The second change the storage options available. Last year you could get 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1.5TB of storage. These options have been modified. the 1.5TB option is gone and has been replaced with a 1TB option instead.
The last big change is that the price has dropped $100. This means that the base model MacBook Air now starts at $1099. This is still $100 higher than the old-style MacBook Air. If you are a college student you can get a MacBook Air starting at $999, so you can still get the price, but you have to be a college student.
The other items are still the same. The screen size, color options, and weight all remain the same. Now let us look at the MacBook Pro.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has seen a bit more of a change than the MacBook Air. The Pro is designed to be the device that those who need a bit more power will purchase. The MacBook Pro has seen some big changes.
The first of these changes is that now all 13-inch MacBook Pro models include the Touch Bar. Previously, only the higher end models would include the Touch Bar. The inclusion of the Touch Bar means that all MacBook Pros now come with the T2 security chip. Having a T2 security chip results in better security, like having encryption for your SSD automatically enabled. This is definitely a welcome one, for those security minded individuals.
The second change is the processor. There are four starting points for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The two less expensive models now have a 1.4GHz 8th generation Intel processor. The previous models were 2.3GHz, which may seem like a downgrade in terms of speed, and it might be. However, the new MacBook Pros are quad-core processors with 128MB of eDRAM. The previous models were dual-core with 64MB of eDRAM. These can be configured for a 1.7GHz processor.
With the processor upgrade, the graphics on the base-models have also been updated. It now has an Intel Iris Plus 645, instead of the 640 that last year’s models had.
The storage within the MacBook Pros have also changed. You are now able to configure the base model with 128GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB drives. Previously these topped out at 1TB. The option for a 2TB drive will definitely be welcome for some users.
There have been a couple other changes which are worth noting. The first of these is that the 12-inch MacBook is no longer for sale. With the 13-inch MacBook Air being released last year, the MacBook was a bit of an oddity. The screen size was smaller, it did not have Thunderbolt and it had not been updated since 2015. Some may be sad to see it go, but who knows what will happen in the future.
The second change to be discussed is pricing for upgrading storage on all Macs. With today’s updates, the price of storage has changed. Prices are now at least $200 less expensive than they were before. A drop in price for storage is always welcome and should result in some opting for larger storage for their Macs. This change applies to all Macs, not just the newly released MacBook Air and MacBook Pros.
Today’s updates are solid updates. The new MacBook Air includes a True Tone display and is cheaper than last year’s model. With the price drop on storage, you may be able to get more storage for less than before, which is always good to see.
The base-model MacBook Pros now includes the Touch Bar, 8th generation Intel processors, and you have more storage options than before.
If you are in the market for a new Mac, now is the time to purchase. This is particularly true if you are looking for a laptop for college, because you get an extra $100 off.
At the WWDC 2019 Keynote Apple unveiled a whole lot with their operating systems, tvOS, watchOs, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. However, they also showed a preview of the all new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Let us look at each of these in turn. These will not be super in-depth dives into the products, but just a general overview.
The Mac Pro has always been for the most power hungry of applications. This could be anything from video editing to audio production or even building machine learning models. The Mac Pro is not designed to be a consumer device, not in the slightest.
The Mac Pro has an all new chassis. It is made of Stainless Steel and should accommodate a variety of different components. The front and back of the case have vents that are designed to allow air to flow over the components. The cooling with will be needed.
The Mac Pro is designed to be a powerhouse. To this end it comes with a variety of processor options. This ranges from an 8-core processor up to a 28-core processor. The different options are 8, 12, 16, 24, and 28-core options. The base speeds are 3.5GHz, 3.3GHz, 3.2GHz, 2.7GHz, and 2.5GHz, respectively. The turbo speeds are 4.4GHz, except for the 8-core which tops out at 4.0GHz.
The motherboard consists of eight PCI Express slots. This includes four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one half-length slot, which is pre-configured with Apple’s own I/O card.
One of the main uses of the Mac Pro is for use with graphically heavy tasks. This includes video editing. The Mac Pro has you covered there too. Apple has created a new module, called the Mac Pro Expansion Module, or MPX Module.
The MPX Module is designed to provide even more power, up to 500 Watts. This is done by taking a standard PCI Express and adding a second connector to integrate thunderbolt and provide even more capabilities. You then take the connector and connect a second graphics for even more processing. Yes, you can get two Radeon Pro Vega II graphics cards in a single MPX module. You can even have two of these modules in the Mac Pro.
The three options available for graphics cards are the Radeon Pro 580X, the Radeon Pro Vega II, and the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo.
There is even more graphics processing available with the Mac Pro with a new product called Afterburner
Afterburner is an Apple-designed hardware accelerator with over one million logic cells that can process up to 6.3 billion pixels per second. What does this mean? It means that you can process three streams of 8K ProRes RAW or 12 streams of 4K ProRes Raw, simultaneously.
The Mac Pro come with 256GB of storage standard, but can be configured for 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB. All of this is encrypted with the built-in T2 Security Chip. So everything will be more secure, to the booting of macOS to the items stored on the Mac Pro.
The Mac Pro comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. It should also be noted that there is in fact a 3.5mm Headphone connection should you require one. It also comes with 802.11AC wireless, and Bluetooth 5.0.
One topic we have not looked at is the amount of memory that the Mac Pro can have. It can be configured for up to 1.5TB of ECC memory. The 8, 12, and 16-core processors can support up to 1TB, while the 24-core and 28-core processors can support the 1.5TB. All of this memory runs at 2933MHz, except for the 8-core which is 2666MHz. All of the RAM is DDR4.
In order to be able to power everything in the Mac Pro it comes with a 1.4 Kilowatt power supply. This should be able to handle pretty much everything that you can include in the Mac Pro.
Dimensions and Weight
The Mac Pro is not a small machine. It is approximately 21-inches tall by 18 inches deep by 8.6 inches wide. For the more metric minded this is 53cm tall, 45cm deep, and 22cm wide. If you include the optional wheels the height comes to 21.9 inches, or approximately 56cm tall.
The Mac Pro comes in at almost 40 pounds, or 18 kilograms. This is not a light machine.
The base Price of the Mac Pro is $5999. This is for an 8-core machine with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage.
To go with the new Mac Pro is a whole new Display, the Pro Display XDR.
Pro Display HDR
When Apple discontinued the Cinema Display line, it was presumed that Apple would get out of the display business, except for its own integrated displays. This was the original plan, however when it came to building a new Mac Pro, they had to have a display to go with it.
The Pro Display XDR is a behemoth. It is a 32-inch display Retina 6K Display. It can support up to 1600 nits of brightness with a contrast ratio of 1 million to 1.
The Pro Display XDR goes beyond traditional High Dynamic Range and provides even more. It does this by providing 1000 nits of full-screen sustained brightness. You get 10-bit color and the P3 wide-color gamut for those times when you need to have just the right color. There is also a wider viewing angle than most displays, which Apple states is 25x better for off-axis contrast as compared to a typical LCD.
One area that can become problematic for users is glare. To work against this Apple has crated a Matte version of its display that includes an etched Nano-texture glass which will reduce the glare and significantly reduce the hazing that can be seen with other matte finishes.
Each display is calibrate at the factor and should produce the best image possible.
There is some connectivity on the Pro Display XDR as well. It includes one Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port, and three USB-C ports. The Thunderbolt port is so you can connect it to your Mac and the USB-C ports allow you to charge and connect devices. These devices will only run at USB2 speeds though, not USB3. This means that you can use the Display for expansion or connecting other accessories.
One accessory for the Pro Display XDR is the stand. The Pro Stand can be adjusted for height, tile, and it can even rotate so you can view something in Portrait if you need to.
The Pro Display XDR starts at $4999, that is without the Pro Stand, which is another $999. The Matte Finish for the Mac Pro display is $5999. The VESA mount is $199.
The Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are not meant for consumers, and the prices reflect this. The Mac Pro is designed to allow professionals get the most out of their machines. The range of options, along with the modularity, means that professionals will be able to configure their Mac Pro to their exact needs, from the most basic to the most extreme.
The Pro Display XDR is the monitor of monitors. It supports a whole range of capabilities, including 10-bit color, P3 Color Display, and the price reflects that.
If you were to get a base model Mac Pro, a Pro Display XDR with the Stand, it will set you back almost $12,000 and that’s just the base price. It goes up from there. For those who need it, it looks like the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be a great solution. They should both be available this fall.
WWDC 2019 has a whole ton of new features, you can read about all of those is my recap with what Apple announced. Instead with this post we will look at how I did with my predictions. Let us start with my tvOS predictions.
tvOS only got a few updates, but they were ones that users had wanted.
tvOS – More game features — 85% We did get some new game features, specifically game controller support for the Xbox One S controller and the Playstation DualShock 4 controller. This will be great for games on tvOS. These will also be supported on iOS and iPadOS. So I got this one correct.
tvOS – Save specific screensavers — 5% We did not get any way to save a specific screensaver, but we did get more screensavers. So I missed on this one.
tvOS – Multiple User support — 5% Shockingly, we did actually get multiple user support on tvOS. So I did get this one correct, even though I did not expect it.
For tvOS, I got 66% correct, because 2 out of 3 is not that bad. Let us move onto watchOS.
watchOS – Standalone App Store — 85% I did get this one correct with the inclusion of an App Store on the Watch, due to standalone apps coming.
watchOS – Now Playing complication for the Infograph Modular watch face — 30% I do not know if we got the Now Playing complication or not, as I have not installed watchOS 6 on my Apple Watch. I am going to say we did not, so I did not get this one correct.
watchOS – New watch face — 95% We did get a bunch of new watch faces. In fact, according to Apple there are more new watch faces than were in the original Apple Watch. So I got this one right.
Just like with tvOS, I got 2 out of 3 correct, again this is 66%. Let us now turn to macOS.
macOS 10.15 is a big update, not necessarily in terms of features, but in terms of what this all means.
macOS – iPad apps coming to the Mac — 95% iPad apps are actually coming to the Mac, as long as a developer adds support for their apps on the Mac.
macOS – Screen Time on the Mac — 95% Screen Time is coming to the Mac and this is a good thing for everyone to be able to get a full look at how you are spending time in front of screens.
macOS – Mac Pro Preview — 75% We did get a preview of the Mac Pro that is coming in the fall. I was right on this one.
macOS – New Display Preview — 75% Just like the Mac Pro, we did get a preview of the Pro Display HDR.
macOS – Named macOS Tahoe — 10% I was wrong on the name for macOS 10.15. The name is macOS Catalina.
For macOS I got 4 out of 5 guesses correct, so 80%.
iOS – Elimination of support for A7-based devices — 95% iOS 13 does remove support for A7 devices, so I got this one correct.
iOS – Additional Screen Time enhancements — 90% We did not get any additional Screen Time enhancements, as far as I can tell. So I was wrong about this one.
iOS – Dark Mode on iOS — 90% iOS 13 does include a Dark Mode, and looks fantastic.
iOS – Multiple Instances/Windows for apps — 75% iPadOS 13 includes support that allows multiple windows from a single app. This will help people with productivity.
Services/Siri – Siri synchronization — 60% We did not get synchronization of data with Siri. So I did not get this one correct.
iOS – Developer control of Screen Time — 50% Developers do not have any control over Screen time, so I did not get this one right.
iOS – Additional Developer tools on iOS — 25% There were no additional developer tools on iOS, so I missed on this one too.
iOS – Radically Different iPad Layout — 15% The iPad on iPadOS 13 did get a significantly different layout. This does include Today Widgets being on the home screen and the ability. So I got this one correct.
iOS – Elimination of support for A8-based devices — 10% I could TECHNICALLY say this was is correct, because the A8 Processor is not supported, but I did not get this right. You can install iPadOS 13 on the iPad Air 2, which has an A8X, not an A8.
iOS – Interface Builder on iPad — 5% As much as I would have liked this, we did not get Interface Builder on the iPad.
For iOS, I got a total of 4 out of 10, so this brought down my average.
Out of 21 total predictions, I got 12 correct, or 57.14% correct. This is fewer predictions than I would have liked, but it is not easy to guess what Apple will do.
Today Apple held their World Wide Developer Conference keynote. The keynote was a long one that was brimming with a look at the new features of each of their operating systems. Let us look at these in the order they were announced, starting with tvOS.
tvOS is Apple’s large-screen operating system, specifically designed for the Apple TV. tvOS just received an update with the new TV App. Even though it just received an updated app, tvOS is not sitting still. In fact, tvOS 13 will add a few new features that will be great for all sorts of users.
When you first start your Apple TV with tvOS 13, you will see a redesigned home screen. This home screen will show movie and tv show previews for your “Up Next” queue.
The first addition is great for families, multi-user support. You will now be able to switch users on the Apple TV so that you can get a personalized experience with it. This includes “Up Next”, Music, and any other recommendations. You can switch users by using the new Control Center, which is available by swiping from the right.
One of the iconic features of tvOS are the screensavers. There will be some new screensavers, but instead of being aerial views, these will actually be underwater shots. I think these are going to be a good change of pace for the Apple TV.
One of the areas that Apple is hoping users to use their Apple TV is with gaming; specifically with Apple Arcade. When it comes to gaming there is one thing that you absolutely need to have a great gaming experience and that is a controller. Apple is bringing support for two of the most popular game controllers, the Xbox One Controller and the Playstation DualShock 4 controller. These will be able to be paired with an Apple TV so you can use them to play games on the Apple TV.
tvOS may not be getting a ton of new features, but it is getting some much needed ones.
watchOS 6 will bring a few new features that will be very welcome. The Apple Watch is a very personal device. One of the ways that you are able to customize the watch is through the Watch Face you use.
watchOS 6 will bring a few new watch. Some of the new Watch Faces that you can choose from are a Gradient, which will change as the day progresses. There is a “Large Numerals” watch face which will, as the name suggests, will show large numbers. The Large Numerals face will also allow a couple of complications. There is a new Digital Face, which will provide a large time display with multiple complications. There is also a new California Dial, which alternates between Arabic and Roman numerals. The last new watch face is a Solar Face, which will show the sun’s position throughout the day.
There are still additional watch faces. The newest face is is a Modular Compact face. This watch face includes rich
One last ability for watchOS, which is reminiscent of many time keeping items is that the Apple Watch will now provide you with a haptic chimes on the hour. If the sound is on, you will also get audio feedback.
Apps on watchOS
There are also a few new apps that will be coming to watchOS 6. The first of these apps is an Audiobooks app. This will allow you to continue listening to the audiobooks that have been purchased from iTunes.
There are those instances when you are out and about and you think of a really great idea and you want to record it in some manner. If you are not in a position to be able to type it out using your iPhone, you can now use the Voice Memos app to watchOS, so you can record your memos and they will synchronize to the rest of your devices.
The last app that is available within watchOS is a calculator app. The app will allow you to do calculations on the go, but it will also allow you to split the view with others in your group.
There is one last thing about apps on watchOS. Apps can now be entirely independent. This means that you will no longer need to install an iPhone app just to install an Apple Watch app.
The ability to install apps by themselves on the Apple Watch means that there is also an App Store on the Apple Watch. With the app you can view Editor’s choices, preview apps, and even purchase apps directly from an Apple Watch. Now you will not need to use a keyboard on the Apple Watch, because you can use Siri or dictation to find the apps you are looking to install.
The inclusion of additional apps as well as app independence will be great for the platform there are some additional changes to one area where there is a major focus, Health and Fitness.
Health and Fitness
Tracking health is an important thing for everyone to do. However, this is not always easy to do. There is one additional app that relates to health and fitness that is on watchOS 6. It is designed for use by half of the population, specifically women. The app is designed to allow women to track their menstruation cycles.
The Cycle Tracking app will allow a woman to record aspects of her monthly cycle to help create an idea of what is normal for her. Some of the aspects that you can track include symptoms, amount of bleeding, headaches as well as cramping.
The Cycle Tracking app will also allow predict your fertility window, so you will be aware.
The Cycle Tracking features are not just available on watchOS, they are also available within the Health app on iOS so more women will be able to track their monthly cycles.
This is a great step forward in being all inclusive when it comes to health.
There is another app that is available in watchOS that will help everyone to protect an aspect of their health that they may take for granted, their hearing. Noise is something that most people encounter every day and may not think about, except when it interferes with things that we are attempting to accomplish.
When you encounter loud noises for extended periods of time this can have a detrimental effect. Most notably hearing loss. In order to help us identify when we are in an excessively loud environment, Apple has included a new app in watchOS 6 called ‘Noise’.
Noise will run in the background and check periodically to see if you are in a noisy environment. If you are, then it will alert you to this fact so you can take the proper precautions. All of the noise detection and processing is done on your Apple Watch and it is not sent to Apple nor are any of the detections saved in any way.
Now that we have covered watchOS, let us move to iOS.
iOS is Apple’s largest platform with over 1 billion devices that are running iOS. iOS 13 is a huge update for users. Just like with iOS 12, iOS 13 isF significantly faster. In fact it is up to 2x faster and FaceID is up to 30% faster. Besides the operating system being faster, the apps that you download will actually be smaller. Downloads are now up to 50% smaller and app updates are up to 60% smaller. This means that you will use less data.
The most noticeable change in iOS 13, and one that users have wanted, is a Dark Mode. Dark Mode is just like it is on macOS where the entire operating system will request the dark mode for all apps. You can switch between light mode and dark mode. iOS is now also using a “Card” view instead of a full screen overlay, so this will help you know where you are at.
There are a few additional changes in iOS like a new Share Sheet. The new Share Sheet will provide sharing options, including photos, and you can even share with a single tap. There are a few other changes, for Music you can now follow the lyrics while playing a song. Safari has a new Text size option, which is available on a per-website basis.
There are a few privacy additions that have been added. The first is with you being able to control when an app can use your location. You will be able to allow an app to use your location only during a session. If the same app requests your location again in the future, you will be prompted again. This allows you to decide when to share your location. A second privacy item is called “Sign in with Apple”.
Apple now has its own option for allowing you to sign in to a service. You can use your Apple ID to sign in. While apps have to incorporate it, when they do you will have full control over how much information you share. You can decide to share your email address, or you can decide not to. If you decide to not share your email address a random, service-specific, email address will be generated for you. This email address will be a private relay that will take any incoming emails from the service and send them to your actual email address with the service never getting your actual email address. Again, this allows you to control who sees your information and who does not.
Messages is one of the most used applications on iOS. There are some enhancements to messages as well. You are now able to decide who to share your name and photo with. This is done on a per-message thread basis. So if you do not want to share your information, you do not have to.
On the topic of photos, you can now do some additional customizations to your Memoji. These include eye shadow, lipstick, piercings, the look of your teeth, additional hair styles, more hats, and even additional glasses. If you are so inclined you can choose to add AirPods to your Memoji as well. That is not all for your Memoji though. You will now also be able to get a sticker pack of your memoji. This means that you can use your memoji on all of your devices, provided they are run-in an A9 processor or later.
Photos provides a new layout for looking at your photos. It will also remove duplicates and clutter while you are looking at your photos. There are some new editing options, but the biggest will be to rotate a video. Any of the effects that you can do on a single photo you can now also apply to video as well.
There is another large update, and this one is to the iPad.
The iPad has received a significant update, it is now a distinct platform. iPadOS is designed specifically for the iPad. This includes additional features specifically designed for iPad, like having your Today View widgets pinned to the side of your apps so they are always visible while in landscape view.
Besides Today View, you can now have multiple windows from the same app running and within multiple spaces. This means that you can have two notes side by side, or two safari windows, or even notes and mail or any other apps that support it. On your home screen within iPadOS, by default there are more icons on the screen, specifically six per row instead of the standard five.
There are now also some new system-wide gestures for copy, paste, undo and redo. These are all three finger gestures. Three finger pinch will copy, while three finger spread will paste. three finger swipe left will undo, and three finger swipe right will redo.
With the iPad being more than just a consumption device, that means that additional features are needed for file management. On iPadOS this is done using the Files app. The Files apps has gained a bunch of new features. There is a new view, the “Column View”. This is similar to the Column View on macOS where you can easily view a hierarchy of files. You can also see metadata about a file or folder and perform some basic actions like rotating an image and making a PDF.
Besides being able to view your files differently, you can also share an iCloud Folder, which will be great for collaborative projects. Files can now natively connect to SMB file shares, which means that if you have a Windows device you will be able to connect to it from right within the Files app. That is not the only way to get files into the Files app, you can now connected a thumb drive, SD Card, or external hard drive and and import the files directly into your Files app. If you are importing files from an SD Card you can also select which app to import the files into, meaning that you can bypass Photos app entirely and import them into another app.
Safari is an app that no one can survive without. With iPadOS Safari gets a Desktop-Class experience. What this means is that instead of always getting the mobile layout for a website, you will more likely get the desktop layout. This is great for sites that automatically push you toward the mobile version, just because you are running iOS.
Besides getting the proper site, you will also be able to manage your downloads in Safari on iPadOS and there are 30 keyboard shortcuts that you can use within Safari.
The Apple Pencil is a great tool for accomplishing work on the iPad. Apple has reduced the latency of the Apple Pencil from 20 milliseconds to 9 milliseconds. This is a 55% reduction in the lag between when you perform an action and when it is displayed on screen. This will mean that actions you take will feel almost instantaneous.
There are some tools for developers too, like the new PencilKit API will allow them to incorporate the same Apple Pencil functionality within their apps.
Those are the highlights for iPadOS, let us move onto macOS.
The latest version of macOS changes a lot of things about macOS. First off, the name. macOS 10.15 is called macOS Catalina. macOS Catalina brings an end to a couple of different eras. The first is that the operating system partition will be read-only, which will protect the system from any malicious software. The second, and a much bigger change for users is the elimination of iTunes.
iTunes, as we know it, is going away. It is being replaced by four different apps. Music, Podcasts, TV, and Finder; yes you read that correctly.
The new Music app will allow you to manage your music, including synchronizing the data to your iOS devices. Music on macOS will also bring lyric synchronization to the Mac so you can sing along with your favorite songs.
The Podcasts app will provide a dedicate podcast listening experience. One feature of Podcasts is the new search, which will use machine learning to index the contents of spoken content so you can find any podcast with just a few clicks.
The TV app is just like that one iOS and tvOS and will allow you to watch any of your Apple TV Channels, purchased movies or television shows all from within the TV app. Content within the TV app will be able to play 4K HDR using HR10 or Vision and support for Dolby Atmos is also built-in, so you can watch 4K content if you have a capable Mac.
Finder is actually how you manage your iOS devices. This is where you perform update, backups, and the like. The best part of this is that when you plug in your iOS device guess what happens…NOTHING. There are no apps that open, it just appears in the sidebar of Finder.
Other macOS Features
There is a new feature for macOS that involves your iPad, that feature is called SideCar. With SideCar you can use your iPad as a secondary display. You can connect the iPad via a cable or wirelessly.
Activation lock will allow any Mac with a T2 security chip to act like iOS device and will not allow anyone to boot it without you typing in your password. The operating system will not even load up. This makes the idea of stealing a Mac even less attractive.
Last year Apple announced that they would be bringing the ability to run some apps from iOS on the Mac. They have done so with Project Catalyst. Come the fall you will be seeing some iPad apps available on macOS, if the app developers do the work. This means that some of your favorite iPad apps will be available on the Mac. An app that Apple mentioned was the Twitter app, so we may be seeing that this fall.
Today Apple unveiled a whole lot of new features across all of their platforms. One of the big things mentioned is privacy. This is exhibited through the new ability to select whether to share your location with an app on iOS, or the ability to not provide your email to a service through the “Sign In with Apple” feature.
tvOS brings a new look and feel, with support for multiple users all of whom will get personalized recommendations, “Up Next” queue, and your own music library. tvOS will also bring support for the two main console controllers, the Xbox One and the Playstation DualShock 4 for the Apple Arcade. The new screensavers will allow you to take a look at the life that we do not see often, ocean life.
watchOS 6 brings a slew of new Watch faces, including a Gradient face, Large Numerals face, a new Digital face, the California Dial, and Solar Face. watchOS 6 also includes a calculator app, an audiobooks app, voice memos, an all new Cycle Tracking app for women, and the new Noise app will help everyone with protect their hearing. Apps on watchOS can now be independent and will not require an iPhone app. watchOS will also get its own App Store, which you can use to install apps directly on the watch.
iOS 13 brings even faster performance than iOS 12, including faster Face ID, and even smaller app downloads. iOS 13 also bring an all new Dark Mode which means you can make your content pop. The new Share Sheet will provide suggestions. Music will synchronize lyrics to what you are listening to. With iOS 13 you can also customize your Memoji even more and you can use your Memoji with stickers everywhere.
The iPad has seen a significant update with its own operating system, iPadOS. iPadOS 13 brings all of the same as iOS 13 and its own features. With iPadOS you can run multiple windows of the same app, provided a developer adds support. The Files app now supports iCloud Folder Sharing, SMB file sharing, and even USB and SD Cards. Safari on iPadOS also gets some additional features, like showing you the desktop site views, a download manager, and many shortcuts.
From what we have seen so far, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, macOS Catalina, iOS 13, and iPadOS 13 all look like quality updates. All of the operating systems will be available as updates in the fall. There are many many more features that have not been covered. There is one last item that was announced was a preview. It was for the Mac Pro, which will be covered in another posting soon.
It is that time of year again, just after Memorial Day, the school year is coming to an end, some students are graduating, and summer is just about to begin. While many are enjoying the beach or taking a vacation, there is a group of individuals who will be hard at work updating their applications, or learning all about the new versions of Apple’s operating systems; macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS. This group who will be doing this are developers. Each year in early June Apple holds its World Wide Developer’s Conference, also known as WWDC.
This year’s WWDC opening keynote will be held on Monday, June 3rd, 2019 at 10:00 am Pacific Time. You can stream it on Apple’s site. While nobody can predict with 100% certainty what Apple will release, it is fun to be able to make predictions regarding what one thinks Apple will release. Some of these predictions are more likely to occur than others. While some of these are merely things that I would like to see, others are things that would make sense for the evolution of each operating system.
You can skip all of the text and just jump to the Recap, if you are so inclined.
Here is my list of predictions, starting with iOS.
iOS is, by far, Apple’s most dominant platform.With well over 1.4 Billion active iOS devices, it should come as no surprise that this would be a primary focus for Apple. So I will start with iOS for my predictions.
From time to time Apple no longer supports devices with the latest operating system. I think iOS 13 will drop support for some devices. With iOS 12, Apple primarily focused on speed improvements, and they wanted to support the same devices that could run iOS 11. In fact there were 31 different devices supported with iOS 12. I think that this year there will be some devices that will no longer be supported; specifically, the iPhone 5s, the first-generation iPad Air, the iPad mini 2, and the iPad mini 3. All of these devices have an Apple A7 processor.
Along with this, it is possible that Apple will no longer support devices that cannot support Augmented Reality, which would be anything running an A8 processor. If this is the case, it which would be an additional 5 devices. These would be the iPad Air 2, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad mini 4, and the 6th generation iPod Touch. It would be a a surprise for Apple to stop supporting a product that was literally on sale one week before the keynote, but it is entirely possible.
I give the likelihood of eliminating support for A7 processor-based devices at 95%, with the elimination of A8 devices at 10%.
With the release of macOS Mojave, Apple included a new option for users; Dark Mode. I would expect that this will be coming in iOS 13 in order to bring consistency between the two platforms. Of course, if it does happen, then developers will be able to detect whether or not it is enabled and adjust their themes accordingly. I think there will be a system-wide ability within Control Center to turn on and off dark mode, for quicker access for users. I give this a likelihood of 90% chance of happening.
Screen Time Enhancements
One of the biggest features for iOS 12 was the inclusion of a method of tracking screen usage. The iOS 12 version of Screen Time provides some features like limiting total app usage, allowing unlimited usage of an app, or even groups of apps. All of this can be controlled by the user, or if part of family sharing, a parent. I think iOS 13 will include some additional features for users and parents. Alongside these, I also think that developers would be able to control some settings, but only through an explicit user’s interaction and possible confirmation. I do not know if Apple would allow developer access, due to privacy, but it is possible. Although if they do, it would be only through an explicit user interaction.
I give additional Screen Time enhancements at 90% and developer control a likelihood of 50%.
iPad Specific Items
The iPad is the one device where it would make sense to have a big change made to it. When the iPad was originally released in 2010, it was a separate operating system. During its lifetime it became one with the rest of iOS; which is predominately iPhones. The iPad is more than just a consumption device. For many it is a productivity device and hence the iPad could easily warrant becoming its own type f device. With this, there are a few changes that I can see happening. The first of these changes is multiple applications.
Multiple Instances of apps
I think iOS 13 will bring some new ways of interacting with applications. In particular, the ability to have multiple windows for a single app on the screen simultaneously. This may not be the same app running simultaneously, but multiple windows, which would appear as the app running multiple times. This will provide some challenges for some applications, but it could be worthwhile.
I think this is much needed to make the iPad an even better platform as well as making it a more productive product. I give this prediction a 75% chance of occurring.
As alluded to above, the iPad is currently, effectively a giant iPhone; at least that is how the home screen depicts the iPad. For smaller iPads, like the iPad mini and even the 9.7-inch iPad, the grid is not a bad solution. However, on larger iPads, like the 10.5-inch iPad Air, the 11-inch iPad Pro, and absolutely the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the grid of icons no longer makes sense. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a larger screen than some of Apple’s Macs, and is close in screen size to others. One way to fix this the current layout on the larger screens would be to allow more icons in a row, by reducing the gap, but still maintain the existing grid layout.
While this would would be an improvement, it would be a half-step. A true solution might be to have a list of all of the apps, somewhat akin to the list view on the Apple Watch, that can be moved between the two sides of the screen, or better yet, is accessible from Control Center and have the app previews be in a smaller scrollable view.
What would take over the screen would be your apps. You would be able to stack them and swipe between them to find the app, or app pair, that you are looking for. This would be a radical shift, but would also allow users to be more productive. As much as I would like to see a big shift for the iPad, I do not think we will be betting it. For this prediction I am giving it a 15% chance of occurring.
Developer Tools on iPad
There is one group of users that are not able to do most of their work on an iPad and those are developers. There are some development tools available for them, like Swift Playgrounds, however, they are not able to bring in their existing code and perform significant work. While the task of bringing Xcode to the iPad is likely occurring somewhere at Apple, it is not likely that it will be available this year. However, I do think there might be some additional developer features available.
The one that I would like to see is Interface Builder. Imagine, if you will, that you are a developer who has an idea and only have your iPad with you. Now. what if you could import your Storyboards into Interface Builder for iPad? You would have access to many of the features of Interface Builder for Xcode, like UI Elements, Auto Layout, and all of the properties. Now, imagine if you could tell Interface Builder for iPad which Objective-C header files, or Swift files to use to pull in existing IBOutlets and IBActions. Or, if you do not have an existing project you would be able to create a set of Swift files that you could add to a project on Xcode on macOS to be able to make your idea come to life.
I do not expect to see this, but it would be great to see some additional developer tools available on iPad. I give additional developer tools being available on iPad at 25%, and Interface Builder for iOS a 5% chance of occurring.
Now that we have covered iOS, let us turn to macOS.
When you hear the term “macOS”, you might think “old and antiquated”. However, I think that will change with macOS 10.15. Before we get into the specifics of why I think it will change, we must take care of the most important aspect of any macOS, the name.
With the release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple changed from the “Big Cats” to “California Places”. At the time Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi joked about using the name “Sea Lion”. Instead, they moved to the California Places motif. The names have been on a “tick-tock”-like cycle and were all related. First it was Mavericks, which was somewhat on its own. Mavericks was followed by Yosemite, then El Captain (which is within Yosemite). Then came Sierra and High Sierra. From Yosemite to High Sierra, the names were all related. Last year’s release of Mojave was a bit of a side-step, but still somewhat released. All of these places have been natural places. I think this year will be different.
I have been brainstorming different places within California. I think the name will be macOS Golden Gate. The reason I am choosing this name is because of the myriad of changes that will be coming with this release, and it still fits in with the overall theme of California Place names. At the same time though, I think this release will be one that users will mention changed a number of things. I am giving the likelihood of Golden Gate being the name at 10%, only because it is likely that it will be named something else and names are notoriously difficult to guess. Now, let us move onto the biggest change iOS apps on the Mac. As for one of the changes that will help define this release is something apple talked about last year.
iOS Apps on the Mac
Last year Apple mentioned that they were bringing some of their iOS apps to the Mac. They started with four of their own; Home, Stocks, Voice Recorder, and News. I think developers will be to bring their own apps to the Mac, specifically apps that support the iPad. This will be a huge change not just for developers, but also for users. The Mac has not received as much attention from developers as iOS has. While it may seem like this will be the end of the Mac, I do not think it will be. If anything it will only bolster support for the Mac. This is because there will be more apps, which may bring more users. Additionally, who does not want to use some of their favorite iOS apps on the Mac. Undoubtedly, there will be a bunch of shovel-ware, but there will also be some excellent apps that will be coming out for the Mac.
I give this prediction a 95% chance of occurring. I would give it 100%, but I am not sure if it will be iPad apps only and not include iPhone apps. The rumors indicate that this year it will only be iPad apps that are brought over, but Apple has a way of surprising us. Let us look at another feature that is not available on the Mac right now, Screen Time.
Screen Time on the Mac
Continuing with the iOS coming to the Mac, I think Apple will bring Screen Time to the Mac. It will bring the same features as are available on iOS, meaning that users will be able to limit the amount of time that apps, groups of apps, or websites that can be used. This will help people reduce their overall screen time across all of Apple’s platforms.. I give this is a 95% chance of occurring, because people use more than just iOS and I know I would like some insight into what I do on my Mac. My next prediction is something that we do not always see at WWDC, hardware.
It is not every year that we get new hardware at WWDC. Last year there was no new hardware. However, in 2017, Apple released the 2nd Generation iPad Pros. I do not think we will see any hardware that is released at WWDC, but I think there will be some hardware shown off.
Mac Pro Preview
In April of 2017, Apple met with some journalists about the future of the Mac Pro. It has been just over two years and I think they may have something ready to show off. WWDC is the best place to show off the Mac Pro. I do not think it will be available immediately, but will be available by the end of the year, similar to the iMac Pro. I think this has a 75% chance of occurring. Along with this, I think there will be a preview of a new standalone display. I also give this a 75% chance of occurring.
Now that macOS and its related hardware is covered, let us move to tvOS.
Apple’s operating system for the Apple TV is tvOS. Given the limited nature of tvOS, it may not always be easy to guess what Apple might do.
One thing that I would like to see is the ability to save specific screensavers and select one that can be set as the default. This may be a niche feature, but it would be a nice one. I give this a 5% chance of happening.
There are two additional items that could be made to tvOS. The first of these is multiple users. tvOS does not currently have a way of differentiating multiple users. This could go a long way to helping people have a more customized and personalized experience on tvOS. I give this a very slim chance of happening; specifically 5%.
What I do think we will end up seeing is some new features to enable even more games on the Apple TV. This is likely to occur because of the release of Apple Arcade “later this year”, and the games in Apple Arcade will be able to run on iOS, tvOS, and macOS. I give the likelihood of this happening at 85%. I give it this only because they may not talk about it at the keynote.
That is all I have for tvOS, let us move on to watchOS.
The function of watchOS has been honed since its release a mere four years ago. The initial intent was to replace an iPhone. However, its primary usage has primarily become a fitness and notification mechanism. While the Apple Watch has been able to become independent, it has had some progress with the addition of a cellular model. I think there will be another step to being its own device with no need to be paired to an iPhone. I think we will see a standalone App Store specifically for the watch. This will allow applications to be submitted without an accompanying iPhone app. I give this a 85% possibility of happening.
There are two additional features that I can think of that the next version of watchOS will have. New Watch Faces. This is a somewhat easy one. I think we will see a whole new Watch Face, what it will look like I do not know. I know I would like to see the addition of a single complication for the Infograph Modular watch face, and that is the “Now Playing” complication. It is available on the Modular watch face but not on the Infograph Modular one. I think the likelihood of a new watch face is 95% and I give the possibility of the “Now Playing” complication added for the Infograph Modular watch face at 30%.
There is one area where I think we will have some improvements and that is Siri.
One of the last areas to discuss is actually a service that is across all of Apple’s devices, and that is Siri. The idea behind Siri is to be your digital assistant, as in your single digital assistant. While this is great in theory, in practice it comes up quite short. There are things that Siri can do on one type of device, but not on another. Some of these make sense, like the HomePod cannot display results. However, if the answer can be spoken there are times that the HomePod just says “You can do this search on your iPhone”. Or when you ask for something and the iPhone says “Tap on the one you want”. There are times when you are not in a position to actually tap on something, but instead it would be nicer to be able to provide a number and have Siri describe each of them.
Siri really needs to become a single entity that is accessible across all of your devices and is consistent. Apple’s primary focus is on privacy, but if some information can be synchronized between your devices, using iCloud, Siri can remain private but be available everywhere.
I think we will see some Siri improvements, what they might be, I do not know specifically. However, I give it a 60% chance that Siri will be improved with some sort of synchronization between devices.
I have made a few predictions, 20 to be exact. So, let us recap my predictions.
iOS – Elimination of support for A7-based devices — 95% macOS – iPad apps coming to the Mac — 95% macOS – Screen Time on the Mac — 95% watchOS – New watch face — 95% iOS – Additional Screen Time enhancements — 90% iOS – Dark Mode on iOS — 90% watchOS – Standalone App Store — 85% tvOS – More game features — 85% iOS – Multiple Instances/Windows for apps — 75% macOS – Mac Pro Preview — 75% macOS – New Display Preview — 75% Services/Siri – Siri synchronization — 60% iOS – Developer control of Screen Time — 50% watchOS – Now Playing complication for the Infograph Modular watch face — 30% iOS – Additional Developer tools on iOS — 25% iOS – Radically Different iPad Layout — 15% iOS – Elimination of support for A8-based devices — 10% macOS – Named macOS Tahoe — 10% iOS – Interface Builder on iPad — 5% tvOS – Save specific screensavers — 5% tvOS – Multiple User support — 5%
WWDC 2019 is likely to be a big one for developers. Even having iOS apps on the Mac is a huge deal in itself. As I usually do, I will provide a recap of what is announce as well as a recap of my predictions; which ones I got right and which one I got wrong. The recap may not happen until later in the week, depending on what Apple ends up announcing.