WWDC: iOS 13 brings iPad productivity, Watch independence and more

Apple OS upgrade plans are becoming more widely known

Apple, WWDC, iOS, watchOS, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch

With just weeks to go until WWDC 2019, initial claims concerning Apple’s iOS upgrade plans are becoming a torrent. Claims of speed, more apps, and key enhancements appear to be the order of the day.

What to expect from iOS 13

Apple intends to release a bundle of its own new apps at the show and plans to sweeten the pill of it becoming a competitor for some developers with all new APIs that developers can use to build fresh apps, a Bloomberg report claims.

The WWDC June 3 keynote should see Apple reveal new operating systems and new iPhone-independent apps for Apple Watch, including an iPhone-independent App Store. Apple will offer its own apps, including a Calculator and audio books app through this store, the report claims.

Apple Watch will also gain its own Voice Memos app and a bunch of new watch faces.

Productivity enhancements

iOS 13 (“Yukon”) will provide performance and stability enhancements. The user interface will be cleaned up a little, and you’ll get some form of Dark Mode. The report also claims you’ll be able to use your iPad as an external Mac monitor, including Apple Pencil support – this being one of numerous iPad enhancements.

Bloomberg suggests Safari Downloads made on iOS may end up being stored in one place, as they are on the Mac. I see this as hinting at a Downloads folder in the Files app, but we’ll see. 

Some other highlights from the wide range of claims include:

  • Improvements to Reminders, Messages, Find My Friends/iPhone combined
  • Home (app) improvements
  • Maps support for favorite places
  • Enhanced health-tracking tools, including audial health and menstrual tracking
  • Apps for Apple’s services, such as TV and Music
  • Parental controls letting parents define when and who children can contact at defined times
  • Improvements in the Accessibility settings

What has been claimed before?

Many of these latest speculations echo previously reported suggestions.

A March reports suggested tweaks in the Home screen, Files app and multitasking enhancements, alongside significant improvements in Safari and Mail.

Just last month we saw more reports that focused on iPad productivity, Mail, and sundry usability improvements. That so many of these claims now appear to have been amplified by Bloomberg gives them a little more credibility.

Questions and answers

There are some questions.

After all, if Mail is improved on iOS, will Apple choose to use Marzipan to port the app to the Mac? There’s good reason to do so given the current Mail application on Macs is deeply processor-intensive and could really use enhancement.

What about the growing independence of Apple Watch? At what point will Apple make it possible to truly use this device without ownership of an iPhone? How would it approach this, and is it possible an increasingly independent smartwatch may also become more compatible with other operating systems and devices?

Of course, most eyes will be on Apple’s Marzipan and iPad productivity improvements. Given recent claims, the latter may include support for a USB-C mouse on iPads, at what point will the apps available to iPads and the user interface elements required to make use of those apps actually become significantly easier than the Mac equivalents? What then? And following along these lines, when might professional apps support, such as for Xcode, make it to iPad Pro?

WWDC 2019 runs June 3-7. I’ll be watching events closely to bring you the news that matters from the show.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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