Apple unveils iOS 10, macOS, and more at WWDC 2016
While there was no big splashy unveiling of a brand-new product, Apple still made some major announcements Monday during the keynote event for its 2016 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. The two-hour presentation saw the re-naming of the Mac OS X operating system — now dubbed macOS — a preview of enhancements coming to the operating systems for the iPhone, the iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch.
All of the technology highlighted at the event is now available as developer previews, while public betas will roll out in the next month. Everything will be available to download in its final form in the fall.
But before getting into the announcements, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a moment to recognize Sunday’s horrific Orlando, Florida mass shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 more wounded at a gay nightclub.
“It was a senseless, unconscionable act of terrorism,” Cook said during his keynote speech, asking the audience to stand for a moment of silence. “The Apple community is made up of people form around the world, from all different background and points of view.”
While the weight of current events hovered over the event, the focus then turned to technology.
Mac OS X gets a new name
Perhaps one of the announcements that stood out the most was a slight name change. The desktop operating system Mac OS X will now be called macOS to better match with the way the company’s other operating systems are named. The first edition of this desktop operating system will be called Sierra, Apple VP of software engineering Craig Federighi announced.
And there’s more to this change than just the name. For the first time ever, Siri will be available to desktop users, potentially bringing in a big shift in how users seek out information on their Apple desktops.
Say hello to iOS 10
Siri came up often during the keynote event. Apple announced iOS 10, the new mobile operating system, bringing with it the promise of a more ubiquitous Siri.
The new iOS also brings promise of an improved iMessage text platform. iOS 10 will enable users to play YouTube videos or songs directly through iMessage without having to switch to a different app.
Text messages will also be more interactive — not only will users be able to add effects within text boxes, but they can have fun with emoji that are three times bigger than those currently used. Certain words can also be substituted by emoji. If you’re texting about pizza, a pizza emoji symbol could be prompted to replace the actual word as you type.
The new mobile iOS includes other improvements. There will be a more streamlined look to Music, a more organized Apple News, and Photos that will include face recognition and sorting images on your phone by date, place, and people in the photo.
tvOS takes center stage
Another big focus of the keynote was tvOS, Apple TV’s operating system. One of the big shifts will be — and this is a recurring theme — a bigger presence for Siri. The Apple voice-operated assistant will be able to search through videos, TV shows, and movies in the system database. If you’re looking for a science fiction flick from the 1990s, you’ll be to ask Siri and she can cull through the wide selection of titles to bring you the content you want to watch.
Siri will also be able to sift through YouTube videos. An updated Apple TV Remote app for the iOS will be able to replicate everything that a hardware remote can do, further syncing up Apple devices to one another.
Apple watchOS 3
Phones, TVs, and desktops weren’t the only Apple devices that got an operating system boost. The Apple Watch will see a new watchOS 3 that aims to enhance the smartwatch experience for users. Apps will launch faster, and something as simple as replying to a text is more user-friendly — you don’t have to look to hit the “Reply” button, you’ll be able to answer a message with a quick swipe.
Apple also unveiled Scribble, a method for writing on the Apple Watch.
And for the fitness fans out there, Activity, the device’s fitness-tracking app, will now have a “share” feature allowing users to let their friends, family members, and friendly gym competitors know what fitness and health benchmarks they are using.
Complete coverage of WWDC 2016 on CNET.