WWDC19: Whats hot in the Apple Ecosystem?
So its been no news that Apple is failing to make investors happy with their failing revenues and that has been driving Apple to diversify and introduce streaming services and even a gaming service announced in its last keynote. Well, Apple seems to be doing its homework to generate more money as hands down this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was the best keynote in recent times. Here’s all the good stuff that got mentioned in this year’s WWDC.
Starting off on a lighter note there’s a new OS for the IPads. For a long while, the iPad used the OS of the iPhone but now as the iPhones move to IOS 13 (excluding the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) the iPad takes a detour. Apple has always believed its iPad lineup will take over from laptops as a smaller, more portable alternative and unlike the rest of the competition which offers laptop-like experiences, the iPad takes it own perspective by offering its own OS. The new OS offers a much better use of the iPad screen, enhanced multitasking features and new user interface gestures for cutting, copying, pasting and undoing actions and reduced latency when using the Apple Pencil. Apple is really trying to sell the iPad as the future with all these features.
IOS 13 really comes with a bang with an all new dark mode which is extremely popular with Android users. Other smartphone manufacturers have it already in their various versions of android but Google is expected to have a dark mode feature in Android Q. To be fair with Google, most of the native apps such Youtube or Messages already have a dark mode feature so its not a big deal that the entire UI doesn’t have it but Google already has it planned. The IOs 13 keyboard would support swipe which is something I’ve used on my android phones for so long yet it’s now coming to IOS. The new IOS 13 would offer apps with a 50% reduction in app size and 60% reduction in update size. By making the new UI more efficient, Face ID would unlock phones in 30% less time and apps would open up in 50% less time than the present times. With a more efficient UI, it is hoped the battery life would increase too.
Some apps also got a revamp in their performance and interaction. Safari has new options to easily toggle word size and has per website formatting. The latter seems more practical as you might want to see more content when reading manga than reading on Wikipedia. Mail gets desktop class formatting including support for rich fonts and Notes gets a new gallery view.
Apple takes every opportunity to show how seriously they take security and this WWDC they showed a new way to login to apps and websites: Apple Login. What usually happens when you download a new app or log on to a new website is that it requests you to log in with your email or social account which is unsafe as you can be tracked. Apple Login removes this by just requiring you to authenticate with your face alone without your email. SHould the app need to communicate with you, you could share your email with them or decline too. When you decline to share your email, Apple creates a unique email which forwards all messages sent to it back to your original email thereby increasing anonymity. Security has always been and will always be Apple’s second name.
Perhaps the highlight of the show was the new Mac Pro which was overflowing with power. It sports an Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores, fed by 330 watts of power and a great cooling system which looks like a cheese grater. It also has 6 memory channels of ECC memory and 12 DIMM slots which can support up to 1.5 TB of RAM. Wild! In terms of Graphics cards, it ships with a Radeon Pro 580x but can handle two Radeon Pro VEGA 2. A single Pro VEGA 2 has 14 teraflops of power and 1 TB of memory bandwidth. It starts at $5,999 (32,334)for the base model which has an 8-core Xeon processor with 32GB memory, AMD WX 7100 and 256Gb SSD. Alongside the Mac Pro is an optional display sporting a 32 inch LCD with 6k retina display and a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio. It goes for $4999 with its stand at $999.
The Apple watch was not left out. It gets its own Appstore as more and more apps are expected to be accessible to the watch such as an audio books app, voice memo app and calculator with tip calculations and a gimmicky ability to split the bill with friends independent apps, streaming support API for podcasts and introduction of Appstore. Apple has also split iTunes into Apple music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.
It was an interesting session and if everything moves as planned, Apple might finally get the breakthrough it needs.