A new iOS, a revamped Siri with a host of improvements as well as a several developments in personalisation of its devices were among the announcements made at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. CEO Tim Cook, who began his address in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium with a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando shooting, The Telegraph reported.
Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its software, iOS 10. The update includes an interactive lock screen, a softer look and personalised widgets for the home screen, as well as a makeover of the Music, News, Maps and HomeKit apps. It will be compatible with iPhone 7, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2 and iPod touch, sixth-generation onwards. iOS 10 will be released in September 2016, while a beta version will be available in July.
Handy digital assistant Siri will also see a number of improvements to make it smarter, such as voicemail transcription, image search and writing messages. Siri, as well as Apple Pay and auto-unlock, will soon be available on Mac devices. Apple rebranded its OS X operating software as macOS, the next generation of which will be called Sierra and will come with Siri and the other apps.
Sierra is expected to bring greater integration with other Apple devices through an iCloud Drive update and a new Universal Clipboard feature, optimised storage and picture-in-picture, which will allow users to have play a video in a separate box while browsing other things.
Other changes in iOS 10 include the following:
- iMessage will have updates such as larger emojis, a quick search function for “emojifiable” words, a music share function and full-screen effects that take over the background of the messaging screen.
- Useful iTunes features such as the Recently Added and Recently Played sections will be back on Apple Music.
- The Game Center will be replaced with a new platform called GameKit.
- Pre-installed apps, like Stocks, can now be deleted.
- The HomeKit app can be used to control several smart home gadgets, such as the garage door to a thermostat.
- Apple News’ new subscriptions feature will allow users to read all their subscription media within the app.
- Apple Maps will help users check their calendar for places where they are scheduled to be and will come with a better search function.
In another significant announcement, Cook said Swift Playground, the app with which users can learn to code in Apple’s coding language, will be available for free. “We believe it’s the best way to teach absolutely everyone to code,” he said. The app, includes lessons and challenges in Swift, will be available in the iOS app store from Autumn in time for the iOS 10 release. However, a beta version will be available free for everyone from today.
Redesigns to watchOS and tvOS to streamline the working of the Apple Watch and Apple TV was announced.