Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 (WWDC 2019) will kickoff on Monday, June 3 with the keynote event where Apple will unveil new versions of their iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems.
As is usual for the time leading up to any of Apple’s WWDC events, there have been numerous rumors flying around about what we might see during the WWDC keynote. In this article we’ll try and separate the gold from the silt and offer a preview about what you can expect to see.
We expect iOS 13 to be a major update, with new features for both the iPhone and iPad, many of which have been long-anticipated and long-desired by iOS users.
We expect to see iOS 13 continue iOS 12’s speed improvements, especially for older devices, and it’ll also offer bug fixes for long-standing bugs found in iOS 12 over the last year.
Now, let’s cover the visible additions we expect to see in iOS version Lucky 13.
Dark Mode has long been desired by many iOS users, and for the first time they’ll have it available in iOS 13. Users will be able to choose between light and dark mode, and it will be a system-wide feature, like Dark Mode in macOS Mojave.
Leaked screenshots of iOS 13 indicate Dark Mode will be an option that can be enabled in the Settings app or in the Control Center. The main visible change on the Home screen will be a darker look for the Dock.
iOS 13 will offer a new sleep mode, available via the Control Center. Rumors indicate the new Sleep Mode will toggle on the Do Not Disturb mode, darken the Lock Screen so it doesn’t shine as brightly when a user takes a peek at their iPhone in the middle of the night, and mute incoming notifications.
We may also see improvements in the Bedtime tab in the Clock app.
New Volume HUD
If you’re not a fan of the current volume control interface that blocks the middle of your device’s screen when you’re adjusting the volume, you’ll be glad to hear that a new volume HUD will make the trip with iOS 13, one that doesn’t take up quite as much real estate on the screen.
New iPad-Only Features
Several new iPad-only features will be improved or will be making a new appearance in iOS 13. A new Home screen layout has been rumored in many quarters, although few details have been shared.
Improved multitasking will debut in the new mobile operating system, with multiple window support via a tab view, and possibly stackable cards within apps that can be easily rearranged.
Apps will also include sheets (app cards) that are initially attached to the screen, but that can detached and dragged around on the screen. App cards can be stacked upon each other and a depth effect will indicate the stacking order. Cards can be dismissed with an upward “flinging” motion.
A new gesture will be available to undo text input on the iPad, allowing users to undo and redo an action by using a three finger tap on the keyboard area along with a slide to the left or the right. A new gesture for selecting multiple items in table and collection views is expected to allow users to drag multiple fingers to draw a selection.
While mouse support for the iPad (as an accessibility option) has been rumored in some quarters in iOS 13, it hasn’t yet been confirmed that it will be included in the initial version of the new OS.
The Find My iPhone App Gets an Update
A new Find My iPhone app is expected to make the scene on Monday, and will be merged with the Find My Friends app to offer the features for both apps. A new networking feature is expected to allow Apple devices to be tracked even when not connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network by leveraging nearby iOS devices.
The app, which is expected to just be called “Find My,” will include existing Find My iPhone features like Lost Mode and an option to remotely wipe a device. Location-based sharing options pulled from Find My Friends will also still be available.
Messages could get a new WhatsApp-style feature to allow users to add a display name and profile photo that only certain users will be allowed to see. A dedicated menu for Animoji and Memoji stickers could also make an appearance.
The Mail app may score new feature to allow for organizing of messages into searchable categories such as marketing, purchases, travel, and others. A read later queue and an option to mute incoming Mail notifications for selected threads, as well as a blocking tool, are expected.
The Reminders app could also see an overhaul, with four default sections laid out in a grid, displaying today’s tasks, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks.
The Books app could see some sort of rewards system and progress tracker to encourage reading. (Reminds me of the summer reading program my local library would run to encourage summer reading.) One possible reward could be stickers similar to those received when completing an exercise goal.
Apple’s Health app could also get a new “hearing health” feature that will measure how loud you play music on your headphones, an well as the volume of the environment around you.
Daily activity could also receive an improved view, and better tools for tracking menstrual cycles could also debut.
macOS 10.15 is also expected to receive some major update love. The new moniker for 10.15 hasn’t been announced, but it will likely bear the name of another famous California landmark.
Apple’s “Marzipan” project began offering universal apps in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 last year, and we’ll see more of that this year. Marzipan allows iOS apps to be ported over to the Mac platform with few changes, making it easier for developers to create apps that will run on both platforms.
Previously, the ability to port iOS apps to macOS has been limited to Apple’s in-house development team, but this year Apple is expected to offer tools for third-party devs to bring iPad apps to the Mac.
iOS apps ported to the Mac should be able to take advantage of the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, as well as Mac keyboard shortcuts and offer support for multiple windows.
New Mac Apps
Apple is expected to port several formerly iOS-only apps over to the Mac, while revamping others. New apps will include Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, as well as an updated Books app, all built using Marzipan tools. While all of the above apps are currently part of the iTunes apps, it is widely expected that Apple will retire the venerable iTunes app.
None of the iTunes functionality will disappear, they’ll simply be available in their own standalone apps.
In addition to the above apps, Reminders, Screen Time, and iMessage Effects are also expected to make an appearance in macOS 10.15.
iPad to be Available as an External Display
The new version of macOS is expected to offer the ability to send any app to an external display including connected monitor, or an iPad. The feature is said to be enabled via a menu that can be opened by hovering over the Maximize icon in any Mac app.
iPads with Apple Pencil support will allow users to draw with the Pencil while the iPad is serving as an external display, making the iPad act similar to a graphics tablet.
No More 32-Bit App Support
Apple has been warning users about 32-bit app support going away for quite awhile now. And macOS 10.15 will officially drop support for the older app architecture. This means older apps that haven’t seen any update love in awhile will no longer function. So plan accordingly, and don’t act all surprised when the support disappears.
New “Find My” App
macOS 10.15 is expected to receive a new app that will combine Find My iPhone and Find My Friends capabilities, much like that to be found in iOS 13.
Apple Watch Authentication
Apple Watch owners can already automatically unlock their Mac using their Watch, but the wearable may gain additional authentication abilities in the new Mac OS. While details are unavailable, Watch users may be able to use their watch for confirming payments or entering passwords on the Mac.
watchOS 6 is expected to bring a number of new features to the Apple Watch, including a new App Store that will allow Watch owners to download new apps directly to their favorite wearable.
Apple is also said to be working on new health-related apps for the Apple Watch, such as a pill-reminding “Dose” app and a “Cycles” app for tracking menstrual cycles.
Other new apps could include Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, plus support for Animoji and Memoji stickers.
New complications are also expected to be on the way, with complications for rain data, hearing aid battery life, external noise info, and more.
New watch faces will also make an appearance, possibly adding a new customizable “Gradient” watch face, new faces featuring jumbo numbers in various fonts and colors, and a “California” dial watch face with a mix of Arabic and Roman numerals.
tvOS 13 is more of a wildcard this year, as not much has been leaked about it’s possible new features.
We do expect to see the new TV app get some additional love, and it will also include the basis for the upcoming Apple Arcade subscription service for gamers.
Other Possible Reveals
We could see a new Mac Pro get a preview during Monday’s shindig. While there have been Mac Pro reveals at past WWDC event, such as 2013 when a new Mac Pro was unveiled, there is no guarantee we’ll see anything like that this time around.
We could also see Apple debut new iPhone cases, new iPad cases and new APple Watch bands on Monday.
Apple will make a livestream of the WWDC 2019 keynote available both on its website and via the Events app on the Apple TV. If you can’t watch the action, we’ll be live tweeting highlights on the MacTrast Twitter account. We’ll also provide a complete wrap-up of the action following the keynote, and will also provide coverage during the week.