Apple WWDC19 was full of wonders
Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) was held earlier today, and Apple made a number of announcements:
- iOS 13 is aimed at being much faster, even on existing hardware, and is bringing Dark Mode to the small screen, along with outstanding security and privacy;
- iPad software is being split off from the iPhone to a new iPadOS, with features that take advantage of the vastly larger screen;
- the Mac Pro returns, in a powerful 28-core monster;
- Apple returns to the display business with an exotic Pro Display XDR;
- watchOS 6 will add new health and fitness metrics and capabilities, and new watch faces;
- tvOS 13 will allow multiple user profiles, so you can watch what you want, and listen to what you want;
- macOS Catalina returns to the California coast, and splits iTunes apart with separate apps for Apple Music, podcasts, and Apple TV;
- another huge change to macOS Catalina is Sidecar, a built-in capability to use your iPad as an additional screen of your Mac, and use iPad capabilities — such as the pen — with your Mac;
- accessibility changes, to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, promise to vastly expand what can be done by those with vision, hearing, or mobility limitations, including both the very young and the very old.
You can watch the keynote (a bit more than two hours) here.
Most people will never own a Mac Pro; fully equipped with the new Pro Display XDR, you could buy a decent car — a new car — for the same price, or less. But almost everyone with an Apple device will benefit from iOS 13, iPadOS, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, and macOS Catalina. In particular, the accessibility features, and the vastly expanded iPad capabilities, are worth a long, thoughtful look. And the security and privacy features built into the new operating systems — all the operating systems — are extraordinary.
The programming tools will roll out immediately, with the finished iPhone, iPad, watch, TV, and Mac operating systems coming out in the fall. The Mac Pro and Pro Monitor will be out “this fall,” but you can sign up to be notified when they are getting close.
Since this is the World Wide Developers conference, there was also a presentation on coding, and it was impressive. While GUI (Graphical User Interface) programming has been touted for a couple decades, the reality is that complex programming is almost entirely based on thousands, or millions, of lines of text-only code. But with the forthcoming Xcode 11, you really can drag-and-drop large chunks of graphical elements, and large chunks of code, into your application code. And Apple has vastly reduced the code barriers between macOS and iOS apps with new technology that lets you very quickly, and fairly painlessly, transform an iOS app into a Macintosh application in just a few days.