Once again, another Apple WWDC event pops around and as expected, a bunch of new software and improvements were announced for the Apple faithful. Seems Siri is at the center of a lot of the improvements and seems like it is positioned to take on Google Assistant in usefulness.
The, should I say critical disappointment, that was the Apple Watch and its OS got some much needed improvements. For one,it is much faster and responds quicker to touch. Also, a swipe up reveals a Control Center reminiscent of the same one that is on iOS devices. The OS now allows owners to quickly scribble letters on the watch face to reply messages, that is, it has handwriting recognition which is great because who wants to be seen screaming into their watch?Another big feature coming to the watchOS is Activity Sharing, now allowing you to share how healthy (or in my case, unhealthy) you are to friends and family members who have the Apple Watch. Hey, and for those of you that forgot to relax and simply just breathe, the watchOS has a new app it calls,er, Breathe, which takes you through simple breathing exercises. The free watchOS upgrade comes in the Fall, which is September or so to us in Nigeria I think.
Apple TV owners now have access to over 1300 channels on their device and over 6000 apps on the platform. The tvOS remote app has been redesigned, with Siri taking center stage. Siri now enables users to search movies by topics, so now you can say stuff like “Show me action movies from the 80’s (the genre’s greatest year, if you ask me)” and your filtered results show up. Siri also helps you search YouTube videos and helps you open live TV. Availabilty is also Fall.
In keeping with the naming conventions of all their other product OS platforms, OS X has been renamed macOS. I’d say it is about time because I always wondered if it would one day be named OS X 11. The first of the newly christened macOS is called Sierra and Apple is doubling down on its Continuity features. New features include Auto Unlock where an Apple Watch user logs in and unlocks the Mac by simply flipping the lid. Another great feature is Universal Clipboard where you can copy text on your phone and it lets you paste the copied text on you Mac computer. Also, if you have multiple Mac systems and an iOS device, it copies the files on your desktop to the other desktop and you have access to the same files on your iOS device automatically. Also, there’s picture in picture so that you can watch your video while you work (and thus lose productivity). Siri also makes her debut on the Mac, trailing Google Now that was available in Chrome in 2014 and Windows’ Cortana availability on Windows 10 in 2015. Better late than never, right? macOS Sierra will be available in the Fall to systems ranging from the 2009 MacBook all the way down to the latest hardware.
For most, this is the main event, the unveiling of a new iOS version. 10 comes with a couple of features, such as a redesigned lock screen and redesigned notifications which show more detail. For Apple 6S and 6S Plus owners, there’s also improvements in 3D Touch that show you more info, so you can simply 3D Touch your Soccer App to see all the scores and what not. There is also Motorola Active Display type feature that wakes up your sleeping phone when you raise it. Widgets and your Camera app are also accessible on the lock screen by a simple swipe to the left or right respectively. Siri will also get richer results because finally Apple will open up Siri APIs to developers so now your searches should give you richer results like flight times and the such and allows greater interactivity. Siri also pulls a Google Allo and has deep learning in the Messages app so that it reads your message contents and proactively suggests stuff like restaurants closest to you. Photos and Maps also get updates, but if you have used Google Photos and Google Maps before, it is practically the same thing. A lot of their apps have been improved but my most beloved feature must be the Intelligent Emoji prediction where the OS reads all the emoji-fiable words in your typed messages and highlights them so that you can tap away and it replaces the words with emojis. Emojis are awesome. Another big one is that Apple is now opening the Message app to developers in the form of iMessage apps where they can create apps for the platform. So besides the App Store, here is another platform where devs can take your money.
Everything will be available this Fall (September or October). Can’t wait.