Whew! Apple put on quite a show on Monday and fans had a whole lot to absorb, since WWDC 2016 was jam-packed full of big announcements. Not everyone was able to follow along live of course, and even if you did, there was so much news that the odds are good you missed a few things from the show. Don’t worry — in this post we’ll recap every single one of the biggest and best announcements from WWDC 2016.
Apple announced big changes coming to the Apple Watch in watchOS 3.
Customers’ biggest complaint about the watch has always been the lag in opening and using apps on the Watch, and watchOS 3 is way faster. Apps open much, MUCH faster than they used to — at least seven times faster according to Apple.
There’s also now a dock in watchOS, which is an app switcher interface similar to the one on the iPhone and iPad. There are a few new watch faces as well including a Minnie Mouse face and two new Activity faces. One last nifty note regarding watch faces: You can now cycle through them with simple swipes instead of having to use a 3D Touch gesture.
Also important is a new SOS feature that lets you quickly and easily call 911 for help, and it will simultaneously send a message to your emergency contacts notifying them that you need help. It will even include a map of your location at the time you called for help in the message.
Activity sharing lets you see your family and friends’ activity (as long as they’ve shared their activity) and you can see where you’re ranked among them. Better yet, you can record audio messages and send “smack talk” to other people with whom you’re connected. Then there’s a new Breathe app that helps users build a habit out of doing deep breathing exercises.
Finally, there’s a fantastic new scribble feature that lets you draw letters by hand that the Watch will then convert into text.
First and foremost, Sling TV is coming to Apple TV as of today. Woo! That means Sling’s live streaming TV service, which is perfect for cord cutters, is finally coming to Apple’s set-top box. It’s great news for users, but probably not the best news for the streaming TV service Apple is said to be working on.
Oh, and there’s an all new Remote app for the iPhone and iPad that’s been redesigned, and it lets you type text in all text fields. Finally!
Siri functionality has been dramatically enhanced. You can speak commands for specific apps — “search YouTube for cat videos” — and Live Tune-in lets you speak the name of a live channel app to tune into live broadcasts instantly.
Another nice addition lets you sign in once on your Apple TV to your network’s online service and it’ll automatically log you in to all compatible network services. In other words, you won’t have to log into Xfinity separate times for HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, and every other network app.
First of all, OS X is dead. Long live macOS!
With the much rumored rebranding out of the way, the first new feature Apple unveiled for macOS Sierra was Auto Unlock, a new feature of Continuity that will let users automatically unlock Macs with an iPhone or Apple Watch. Universal Clipboard is another great new Continuity feature that makes copied text available across all devices where you’re logged in.
Also of note, macOS Sierra lets users mirror their desktops across multiple Macs.
Apple Pay will now be available on the Mac courtesy of new web integration, and purchases are authenticated with an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch using Continuity. And then there’s picture in picture, which lets you keep videos open in a window on top of whatever you’re doing. That should be great for productivity.
Oh, and did we mention… Siri is finally coming to macOS!
That’s right, you can finally use Siri on your Mac beginning with macOS Sierra. Siri on the Mac can do just about everything it can do on the iPhone or iPad (aside from mobile-specific stuff, of course) and it can do plenty more as well.
OK, iOS 10 looks amazing. Seriously.
This is a huge one, whether or not you ever use it. The new Swift Playgrounds app teaches users how to code with Apple’s Swift programming language, right on the iPad. Best of all, it’s made for kids so it has the potential to get kids coding on their own at a much younger age. The app features interactive tutorials and lessons, some of which make learning how to code like playing a game.
It’s a terrific app with far-reaching implications, and it’ll be available today in the iOS 10 developer beta. Then it’ll launch to the public with iOS 10 this fall. Most impressively, it’ll be completely free.
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