At yesterday morning's keynote event in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Apple took the wraps off of the latest revision of their mobile operating system. The tenth version of iOS opens up the system to a bold new world of integrations, APIs, and surprising customizability. It modernizes core apps that were growing long in the tooth, takes ambitious leaps forward with computer vision and contextual predictions, and enriches the user experience of such system tentpoles as notifications and the lock screen.
iOS 10 marks the beginning of a new era of iOS in many different ways. With a solid, mature core to build on, Apple is now feeling free to reach out into new areas that it has never before explored with its most popular operating system. We'll have to wait for real world testing and future betas to see if they've truly delivered, but the promises of iOS 10 are some of the most ambitious Apple has ever pursued with "the world's most advanced mobile operating system."
So let's take a look at the features Apple has planned for hundreds of millions of users next Fall. - MacStories
As always, MacStories covered the iOS news brilliantly. So instead of writing something about it myself, I will pass you over to their great article.
Seven years ago, Apple announced their new Apple TV along with tvOS. It brought with it the ability to finally download apps and games, and also a lot more cool features. This year at WWDC, they announced a few more features, that will make the Apple TV experience even better.
The Remote app for iOS, has now been remade, and now has exactly the same functionality as the Siri remote. It even includes the ability to perform Siri queries from your phone, and it doubles up as an extra Game controller.
Siri has got a little bit more intelligent as well, with even more things it can search for.
You can search for movies by a certain topic or themes, such as “Search for Christmas films”. You can also perform YouTube searches direct from Siri as well.
As a sort of extension to Siri, you can use Live Tune-In to go directly to a certain television channel. So you don’t need to find the app, find what channel you want, and then launch it. You just say “Watch ESPN 2” for example, and you will be directed straight to that video feed.
This is where I think Siri is really useful, as it truly saves you time and confusion.
It’s a pain to authenticate services on things like the Apple TV, especially when you have to find the app, go to a browser, enter a code, etc.
But now with Single Sign-On, you just need to authenticate to a service once, and then apps that require the same authentication, can just access it themselves.
I guess this will only be useful for people who use apps from the same company, maybe as part of a television subscription. But if you use individual apps from multiple networks, I can’t see this helping. Maybe it’s different in the US
Everything needs a dark mode, and having it in tvOS can really change the experience.
A slight update, but I still think every OS should have one.
With this version of tvOS, Apple have now opened it up to ReplayKit, PhotoKit, and HomeKit.
ReplayKit lets you record and also broadcast gameplay live from the app. It can be used to show a replay of a completed level, or just used to stream video.
PhotoKit is what apps use to gain access to your photos and videos stored in iCloud. By having this kit, it standardises the way apps can use your media, which also makes it clearer for the user.
HomeKit is how you control the accessories around your home, and now you can do it from your Apple TV. You can also use your Apple TV as a “Home Hub”, so when you’re not at home you can still control things from another device, such as an iPhone.
If you download an app on iOS that also has a tvOS app, it will be automatically downloaded and added to the Home screen.
For some reason it is known as tvOS 10, because apparently it’s synced to iOS. Weird.
tvOS apps can now require the use of an MFi game controller. Meaning that developers no longer need to design their game based on the input of the Siri Remote1.
It still requires the latest Apple TV, no previous versions are supported.
Apple’s App Review process is a strange one, and people do their best to understand what they do exactly. But there has always been Review Guidelines available to developers, even though they were pretty long!
The comic book is a 36 paged PDF file, which was published in association with Madefire, and it features some great artwork. It focusses on the five different parts of App Review: Safety, Performance, Business, Design, and Legal.
I think it’s a very impressive job, and it’s fun to read, especially with all the cool art. It’s certainly more readable than the boring guideline document. Maybe all documentation should be in comic form?
This is a serious medical application, the detail it shows is immense. You can break a body down to the muscle or bone level, to show patients what they’re really talking about. I can really see these types of apps improving health care endlessly.
It’s no longer Mac OS X, but macOS. And it looks like they’ve dropped the numbering, with a simple name of Sierra. Although internally in the system it is still referred to as 10.12.
The new macOS Sierra came with a few announced features from the Keynote, but I’m sure quite a few were left out to accommodate for the massive change to watchOS, and the iOS/tvOS changes.
Not the same native implementation that the iOS devices have, but it’s still really awesome. It means that you can use your Apple Pay details that are securely stored, to purchase items on the web. And you then authenticate with your iOS device or Apple Watch.
That’s pretty cool. I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreaking, since you can also store your payment details in Safari. But this method is a lot more secure (and cool).
Picture in Picture
One of my favourite parts of iOS, and now it’s coming to the Mac. Picture in Picture lets you pop a video out of Safari, iTunes, or any other video source, and let it float above any other apps you have open. It’s going to be really handy when you’re watching things like YouTube videos, while doing work in FullScreen mode.
There was a big focus on realigning macOS with Apple’s other devices, and it introduced a few continuity features that will certainly help bridge the gap.
iCloud Drive Improvements
Now in iCloud Drive, any file on the Desktop or Documents folder on a Mac, will be available on an iPhone/iPad.
They also showed another odd feature that was having multiple Macs desktops synchronise together. I guess this is useful if you have a work and personal Mac, but I don’t know how much use it will get.
You can now Copy something on one device, and Paste it on another. It’s finally the future. This works with iOS 10 devices as well, meaning that it’s now easier than ever to transfer links, text, or anything you can copy, to another device.
If you have an Apple Watch, when you wake your Mac, it will automatically log you in!
Window Tab Support
This was a very developer-aimed feature, but now all windowed applications support tabs. They look and operate exactly like tabs in Safari, and the best thing is - it doesn’t require any developer adaptation for it to work. That’s great news.
The major part of Sierra was the addition of Siri. It looks just like the iOS version of Siri, but it doesn’t look particularly out of place.
It seems to be able to handle most things iOS Siri can do, and a few more Mac specific queries, such as locating files.
The Siri results are quite interactive themselves, as you can drag and drop elements such as a Photo or Map into another application. You can also drag a result to Notification Center if you want to keep a hold of it for a while.
A few queries Apple give as examples:
“Show the PDFs in my Downloads folder”
“How much free space do I have on my Mac?”
“Show my photos from yesterday”
"Add Laura to my 10 AM meeting”
Support for Right to Left interfaces.
Sort Photos by Places or Person.
Photos.app can intelligently identify objects and scenes in an image, so you can search for them by keywords.
Just like iOS, Sierra has an Optimise Storage option, to make sure you never run out of space.
There’s so much more to macOS Sierra, and the best place to find out more information, is the macOS website.
At WWDC we made lots of major announcements. iOS 10 is our biggest release yet, with incredible features in Messages and an all-new design for Maps, Photos, and Apple Music. With macOS Sierra, Siri makes its debut on your desktop and Apple Pay comes to the web. The latest watchOS offers easier navigation and a big boost in performance. And the updated tvOS brings expanded Siri searches. - Apple
Like most people, there are a number of features that I want to see Apple announce at WWDC. They span across all of their platforms - iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. I'm not going to talk about hardware, as WWDC is fundamentally a software conference.
This isn't a massive list of all the various rumours and expected features, but instead all the things I want to be announced.
With iOS 9 bringing a lot of well needed focus on the iPad, I expect another push on the productivity side of things.
New Multitasking App Picker
Multitasking has been a big improvement in iOS, but the app picker is just plain wrong. You need to be able to search your apps, and just not have to scroll through an endless list. They proved they can suggest what app you want to open with the Siri app suggestions, and I've found this to work 90% of the time. So why not put it here as well?
Come on, who doesn't want this? Dark themes make everything look better, and it's something I thought iOS should have since around iOS 7, when everything started getting a bit too white.
Music App Redesign
Not a main issue for me, but the Music app on iOS can be a bit confusing sometimes. Especially with the addition of Apple Music streaming, they definite;y need to clean the structure up.
I also think the For You section needs something, it hasn't really worked for me yet. I've tried many times to select what artists/songs that I like, but all I ever see are full albums that either I just listened to, or don't like. I actually had a better experience with Spotify's Discover Weekly playlist, but this wasn't perfect either.
Better Control Center
Everyone has a bunch of settings that they change often, whether it's Do Not Disturb, Personal Hostpot, WiFi, or others. So it would help if Control Center would be configurable, to help fit everyone's needs.
Sam Beckett created an impressive concept video for this, and you can watch it below. It's pretty much the Control Center, I and many people want.
This is another push in the way of customisation, and productivity. The ability to seta default browser, text editor, or email client is a big must for me. And although it may mean users won't use the stock Apple apps as much, it makes the platform more appealing for real work. If this is implemented, it would also be handy to delete or maybe just hide the standard apps.
As you may of heard in the Canvas episode I linked to earlier - Programming is possible in iOS, except it has a lot of drawbacks, and there are currently a lot of restrictions to what apps can do. Such as not being able to share code with other apps, or being able to download code from the Internet to run on your device.
There's been long-time rumours of an Xcode app on iOS, mainly the iPad (possibly just the iPad Pro). This would be a massive step forward for the platform as a whole, as it cements itself as a self-sustaining platform, therefore removing the need for a Mac entirely.
Also, as Viticci tweeted earlier - This years WWDC and especially the venue, seems to focus a lot on Swift:
If this means that there will be something to do with programming on iOS, then maybe we can settle with a Swift Playground, that we can then export to a Mac?
Apart from having a Mac version of Siri (which I'll cover at the end of this post), I don't really know what I want in the next version of macOS.
The only feature that I've wanted on my Mac for a while, is better recognition when using an iPhone/iPad as a hotspot. If I remember correctly, there is an app that manages this, but it should really be a system feature. Because if I need to use my Mac for something while travelling, I don't want to risk all the notifications, emails, software updates, and other syncing stuff draining my data allowance.
The AppleTV is a bit stagnant again for me, it's probably because I don't use it much. But I thought having an SDK, and loads of apps would revamp the platform.
But I think it's the restrictions on the apps, that has stopped it reaching it's full potential. For example, I think a full version of UIKit would be a massive plus, as it means you can get fully capable apps, and maybe more like iOS apps in general.
I also think having a browser, at least in some form, would be very helpful. Because there's no reason my a TV couldn't be used to read big pieces on, and I'm sure there's loads more use cases for it.
This is a bit like the TV, in that the platform needs an improvement before a real opinion can be made. I like many others, don't use apps on my Watch. It's simply a place for notifications, telling the time, and checkig my daily activity.
So the basic improvements I want are faster apps, and the ability to use it without a phone. I know hardware may have to be updated for some improvements, like I can imagine Bluetooth 5 helping a lot. But the standout feature of the Watch at the announcement, was the apps. And in my opinion, that's the worst part of it.
Yep, I've called it. I think SiriKit will be announced at WWDC, along with support for macOS.
I want third-party apps to have deep access into Siri, and a lot of customisation. This relates to the ability to set default apps.
I hope that with a Siri coming to the Mac, it will help unify Siri. And mean that all devices have access to the same abilities, except I guess for the Watch.
So that's what I want from WWDC, I expect about 50% of it to be announce. But maybe I'll get lucky?
It's quite a big question at the moment, whether you can actually code on iOS. Luckily, a few days before WWDC kicks off (where some expect a form of Xcode/Playground for iOS), Federico Viticci and Fraser Speirs talked about the current possibilities in the latest episode of Canvas. If you haven't heard of Canvas already - It's a show based around being productive in iOS, and solving users problems with different apps and workflows.
The mission of Canvas has always been to illuminate the parts of iOS that people think can't be done. In that spirit, this week Fraser and Federico dig into how to program on iOS.
We take a look at both traditional Integrated Development Environment tools such as Pythonista and Codea and block-based programming tools like Editorial, Workflow and Hopscotch.
It's packed full of great tips, so I had to share it here.
If you want to listen to Canvas, just follow the link to the website, or you'll most likely find it on your preferred Podcast app.
Only joking, it’s a fun new camera app by the IconFactory (Makers or Twitterrific), to celebrate their upcoming 20th anniversary this month.
BitCam lets you take photos with a retro feel to them, taking inspiration by the old Macintosh applications. They’ve made the whole app really fit the theme as well, with the view transitions, and the throttling when selecting more advanced features. They’ve also done a great and very funny job on their website.